Pharmacy school?

  1. I am about to graduate from nursing school in December, however, I have became recently interested in becoming a pharmacist. I was wondering if any nurses have ever heard of an RN going back to school to become a pharmacist? Also, does having a BSN help or hinder the process? I like patient care I just feel that this is a different route for me to go.
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    About Sg0223RN

    Joined: Sep '07; Posts: 19; Likes: 19
    ICU CCRN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Critical Care

    19 Comments

  3. by   ICRN2008
    My sister is a PharmD. She had at least three nurses in her class, from what I can remember. They did well because they were able to earn decent money working minimal hours as a nurse while going through school (at least compared to most other jobs that students have).

    A bachelor's degree can't hurt, but it's not required for admission to a Pharm D program.

    Calculus, organic chemistry (2 semesters), physics (2 semesters) and a few other pre-reqs are required. As a heads-up, it is sometimes more difficult to get into pharmacy school than med school grades-wise.

    My sister loves her job and makes great money. However, she also has pretty hefty student loans from 4 years of grad school.
  4. by   rita359
    Don't think having a BS in nursing will help much. Much more science is required in pharmacy school. Don't have any personal experience in this but helped my husband through pharmacy school years ago. He makes a lot more money than I would ever make as an RN. I didn't think nursing school was any picnic but I can assure you his pharmacy program was a lot harder. That being said, you can make a decent salary and support yourself while in school so if you really want to do it go for it. If it is what you really want you will probably always want it and wander what would have happened if you had. Only way to have no regrets is to do it.
  5. by   Sg0223RN
    Thanks for the advice. I know it won't be easy...but 5 years (including prereqs) is still worth 30 years of working in a field I like. I want to work as a RN for a couple of years, while taking the prereqs around my work schedule.
  6. by   RN1989
    I have a nurse friend who has wanted to do this. She found that pharmacy school was much more competitive than getting into an RN program. Seems that they are extremely picky and wanting straight A's and near perfect test scores where she applied. Pick your school and try to talk to students to see what their background was like. Don't want to waste money if you can't beat the competition to get in.
  7. by   Sunflower3
    I had considered this route myself. Calculus is what holds me back, since I'm no math whiz by any stretch!! I wonder if there are any online programs for this? I've only found pre-pharmacy or PharmD programs in an online setting.

    Thanks,
    UnitRN01
  8. by   czyja
    Quote from UnitRN01
    I had considered this route myself. Calculus is what holds me back, since I'm no math whiz by any stretch!! I wonder if there are any online programs for this? I've only found pre-pharmacy or PharmD programs in an online setting.

    Thanks,
    UnitRN01
    Have you taken a calculus course?

    I struggled through algebra but I found calc pretty straightforward. It is a very different kind of math and the applications of it are very cool. Don't let Fear of Math hold you back.
  9. by   Jo Dirt
    A pharmacist's job may not seem that technical or hard but they only want the brightest ones for pharmacy school. Lots of science and math.
  10. by   supafly
    Quote from rita359
    you can make a decent salary and support yourself while in school so if you really want to do it go for it. If it is what you really want you will probably always want it and wander what would have happened if you had. Only way to have no regrets is to do it.
    :yeahthat:
  11. by   Sg0223RN
    I have to say I know pharmacy school is no cake walk, however, I feel this is right for me. I will work for a year or so to get my nursing skill, then take the prereqs while working. Then roll the dice. At least I'll have a decent job if I don't get in and nursing is a good profession.
  12. by   oohnurse
    Hi original poster,
    I am working as a nurse and will start studying pharmacy school this Fall.
    Pharmacy schools is competitive, yet it is less competitive than medical school and some dental schools. You should not choose a career based on the difficulty of the courseworks. Schools only take a few years but you have to work until retirement. Anyone can go to school and finish if they put enough concentration into. Come on!!, working is much more difficult. To me, working 12-hr running around pleasing the patients and family members and breaking my back is way more difficult than sitting on cozy chair studying for biochemistry.

    I know people who get in with 3.2-3.5. By the way, I finished pharmacy prerequisite before obtaining BSN, so I don't have to make as much effort to get in pharmacy school.

    Pharmacy is also not stress-free job, especially retail pharmacy. You still have to deal with customer complaints, workload and insurance. I still have a doubt about pharmacy because the majority of pharmacy job is in retail. I am thinking about getting Ph.D in pharmaceutics along with PharmD so I can get into industrail or work with CDC.... But it will take much longer time to finish..

    There are at least 6 new pharmacy schools opening this year nationwide and I'm sure that they will open a lot more next year.
    This could make application pool less competitive if you're willing to travel out of state; on the other hand, this can cause oversupply of pharmacists in a long term. They may not be able to make as much like before.

    If you care less about pharmacy, I would recommend also applying to dental school instead. It takes about the same time to graduate and you'll be making more money. Moreover, you don't have to worry much about the oversupply because there are very limited number of dental schools and it's probably hard to open one..

    Of course, the tuition and the length of study is a huge investment in pharmacy school. But if you get accepted to a in-state school, you will pay much less. And if you 're able to work as a nurse on the side, you will graduate with no debt in a public school. I was accepted to a public school but I am probably going to a private school. It's because I'm interested in the Ph.D program.
    Last edit by oohnurse on Jul 21, '08
  13. by   oohnurse
    UnitRN01, there is one online pharmacy school in the US (Creighton University). Being the only one, it's very competitive to get in.

    http://spahp2.creighton.edu/admissio...y_Distance.htm

    For most pre-pharmacy prerequisites, you can't take it online because there're lab components that require you to come to class.
    For lower level courses eg. General chemistry, you might be able to do the lecture portion online at your local schools.
  14. by   Sg0223RN
    Thanks for the advice; I feel that pharmacy school is the way for me. I will work for a year to get my basics done, hopefully in ICU, and then finish my prereqs. I was pre-Pham before BSN. Only a couple of classes, especially Organic, but as an older student just taking one or two classes I know I can kick butt. Good luck with the PhD. program, you have way more ambition than me Did the admissions committee look down or up on you being a nurse and did you have to explain why you wanted to switch careers?

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