Sorry if I'm posting this on the wrong forum, but I do need advice. Anyone here have tried going from a RN to Pharmacist? If so, do you have any advice? How do you like it?
Oct 24, '05
My husband is a pharmacist and so are half of my in-laws! Have you checked the requirements of the pharmacy schools? You might want to do that. There used to be a time when pharmacy schools would take a student into their programs after they were completing their junior year of a university program. Most are chemistry majors because of the amount of chemistry required. Times have changed since my husband went through pharmacy school. It is getting harder to find BS programs in pharmacy as most schools have gone to the Clinical Doctorate in Pharmacy. This is a three year post graduate professional school much like what doctors and dentists go through. The specific pre-reqs include, at a minimum, College Chemistry and Organic Chemistry. Some schools require Calculus and Economics. The only way to know what is needed for sure is to look at the requirements of a pharmacy school in which you are interested. Recently, the application process for many pharmacy schools has been taken over by an organization called PharmCAS, the Pharmacy College Application Service. They have a web site you might want to peruse for information. Because I help write the recommendation letters to pharmacy schools for some of my in-laws pharmacy assistants I can tell you that most of these aspiring pharmacy students have bachelor degrees in chemistry or biochemistry. Many get jobs as pharmacy assistants because they need at least one recommendation letter from a registered pharmacist as part of their application process. Unless you already know a pharmacist who will write a letter of recommendation for you, this is probably the only way you are going to get a pharmacist to write this letter for you. Pharmacy schools these days are very interested in fluency in English as this subject has come under some discussion with the high number of asian immigrant students taking up positions in pharmacy schools. Pharmacy school involves a lot of work in chemistry as you will be doing experiments to determine the letal doses of substances (this means using test animals) and identifying unknown substances. You will have to give substances to test animals and then sacrifice (euthanize) them in order to perform an autopsy to determine how the substance affected the organ systems of the animal. In some cases you will deliberately give lethal doses to animals. So, if you have a problem with this you need to know this occurs up front.
My advice. . .make grades as high as you can in chemistry and math. Decide on a couple of pharmacy schools you think you'd like and get a copy of their catalogs and find out what the entrance requirements are. Have a spouse who makes a good job because tuition is not cheap. Although I will say that once you get accepted into these programs it is much easier to get loans unlike when you are in undergraduate school. And, start making friends with a pharmacist because you'll need a letter of recommendation. I would plan on not working while in pharmacy school as it is very intensive study. If you thought nursing school required a lot of study, pharmacy school will be way more intensive.
So, if you're still interested, go for it. You will make a very good living, that's for sure! I've often gone behind the counter at some of the family's pharmacies and they are a madhouse of activity. To my nurses eye it seems so much easier to be counting out pills and labeling containers, but I know it is much more complicated than that!
Oct 24, '05
Thanks for the response. I thought no one would respond! Do you know if it looks bad if you have a couple of dropped class. I have about a 3.4 GPA and a couple of dropped classes, and I wonder if having dropped classes would make me look like I couldn't "hack" it. I dropped history I and spanish I by the way. Thanks again!
Oct 25, '05
Couldn't tell you. It seems like all the pre-pharmacy people I've been around worry about their math and chemistry grades. They really have to be tip-top. History and Spanish don't sound like something to worry about. Anyway, you can always come up with some excuse for dropping a class, especially if you didn't get a grade. A "W" is nothing. My experience with transferring credit is that D's and W's don't transfer and nobody seemed to even care about them. When I transferred into a university the only thing they were interested in was the classes they were going to take in transfer and how they re-computed my GPA. Go figure. I think they probably look at a person's overall academic history and if it is good a W here or there gets overlooked. Just watch those chemistry and math grades.
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