Top 11 Registered Pharmacist Certifications
This article covers the top certifications for registered pharmacists, including their benefits and requirements.
Published 18 min read
Certifications are important for registered pharmacists in the job market because they demonstrate a level of professional knowledge and skill that employers value. Certifications show employers that a pharmacist has met certain standards of competency and is knowledgeable about the latest advances in pharmacy practice. Additionally, certifications can help pharmacists stand out from other applicants when applying for positions within their field. Pharmacists with certifications are often considered more qualified than those without, as they have proven their expertise and commitment to the profession. Ultimately, having a certification can be an invaluable asset for registered pharmacists in the job market.
This article reviews some of the top certifications for Registered Pharmacists and outlines how they can help to advance their career.
What are Registered Pharmacist Certifications?
Registered pharmacist certification is a voluntary credential offered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) that recognizes pharmacists who have achieved a high level of professional competence. This certification demonstrates to employers, peers, and patients that the pharmacist has met specific educational and practice standards. The certification process consists of an assessment exam, continuing education requirements, and adherence to NABP’s Code of Ethics.
The benefits of becoming a registered pharmacist include increased job opportunities, higher salaries, recognition from employers and peers, and improved patient care. By having this certification, pharmacists will be able to provide more comprehensive services such as medication therapy management (MTM), disease state management (DSM), immunizations, smoking cessation counseling, and other services. This can help increase quality of patient care by providing better access to pharmacy services for patients who may not have access otherwise. Additionally, registered pharmacists may have more influence in healthcare decision making due to their increased knowledge base.
Pro tip: Make sure to take advantage of continuing education opportunities and keep up with the latest developments in the field. Keeping up with new regulations, laws, and techniques will help you stay ahead of the game and maintain your registered pharmacist certification.
Top 11 Registered Pharmacist Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Registered Pharmacists today.
1. Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)
A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) is a healthcare professional who has specialized knowledge and experience in the management of diabetes. CDEs provide comprehensive diabetes education and support to people with diabetes, their families, and other healthcare providers. They are certified by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE).
To become a CDE, an individual must have at least two years of experience in providing diabetes care or education, complete a minimum of 450 hours of continuing education related to diabetes care or education within the past three years, pass the NCBDE certification exam, and maintain certification through recertification every five years.
The cost of becoming a CDE varies depending on the type of training and preparation required. The cost for taking the NCBDE certification exam is $295. Additionally, individuals may need to pay for additional training courses or workshops that are required for certification.
Overall, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to become a CDE depending on how much time an individual is able to dedicate to preparing for the exam and completing any additional requirements.
2. Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist (BCACP)
A Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist (BCACP) is a pharmacist who has achieved a specialized certification in the area of ambulatory care. This certification is awarded to pharmacists who demonstrate expertise in providing pharmaceutical care services to patients in an outpatient setting.
The BCACP certification requires completion of an accredited pharmacy program, licensure as a pharmacist, and at least two years of experience in ambulatory care pharmacy practice. In addition, applicants must pass an exam administered by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS).
To become certified as a BCACP, applicants must complete an application form and submit it to BPS. The application fee for the exam is $595 for members of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), or $645 for non-members.
Once the application is approved, applicants are eligible to take the BCACP exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and lasts four hours. After passing the exam, applicants receive their BCACP certification from BPS and can use the designation on their resume and business cards.
The cost to obtain BCACP certification varies depending on whether or not you are a member of ASHP. However, in general it costs around $600-$650 plus any additional fees associated with taking the exam.
3. Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist (BCNSP)
Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist (BCNSP) is a certification offered by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BPS). It is a credential that demonstrates a pharmacist’s expertise in nutrition support pharmacy practice. This certification is designed to recognize pharmacists who have achieved advanced knowledge, skills, and experience in nutrition support pharmacy practice.
In order to become board certified, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
1. Have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited college or university;
2. Be licensed as a pharmacist in at least one U.S. state or territory;
3. Have completed two years of full-time clinical practice experience in nutrition support pharmacy; and
4. Pass the BCNSP examination administered by BPS.
The BCNSP exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete. The exam covers topics such as parenteral nutrition, enteral nutrition, pharmacokinetics, drug interactions, metabolic disorders, and more. The cost for taking the exam is $675 for BPS members and $775 for non-members.
4. Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist (BCPP)
Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist (BCPP) is a specialty certification offered by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BPS). It recognizes pharmacists who have specialized knowledge and expertise in providing pharmaceutical care to patients with psychiatric disorders. To become certified, pharmacists must meet specific eligibility requirements, pass an examination, and maintain their certification through continuing education.
In order to be eligible for the BCPP exam, pharmacists must have graduated from an ACPE-accredited school of pharmacy and have completed two years of practice experience in psychiatric pharmacy within the past five years. They must also hold a current license to practice pharmacy in their state.
The BCPP exam is administered twice a year in April and October. The cost of the exam is $1,100 for members of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) or $1,400 for non-members. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering topics such as psychopharmacology, clinical management principles, patient assessment and monitoring, drug information resources and more.
Once a pharmacist passes the BCPP exam, they must complete 50 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their certification. The cost for recertification is $500 for ACCP members or $700 for non-members.
5. Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP)
A Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP) is a pharmacist who has completed additional training and certification in the specialty of oncology. The BCOP credential is awarded by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BPS). To become a BCOP, pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, be licensed to practice pharmacy in the United States, and have at least two years of experience as an oncology pharmacist.
The process to become board certified takes approximately six months. To begin the process, pharmacists must submit an application to BPS that includes their professional information and transcripts from their pharmacy school. After submitting their application, they will need to pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics related to oncology pharmacy. Once they successfully pass the exam, they will receive their BCOP certification.
The cost for board certification varies depending on where you are applying from. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000 to apply for board certification with BPS. This fee covers the cost of the application fee, exam fee, and any other associated fees.
6. Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (BCGP)
A Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (BCGP) is a pharmacist who has completed additional training and education in the field of geriatric pharmacy. This certification is awarded by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BPS). The BCGP credential demonstrates that the pharmacist has achieved a higher level of expertise in geriatric care, which includes knowledge of the unique needs of elderly patients and how to best meet those needs.
To become a BCGP, an individual must first possess a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited college or university. They must then pass a comprehensive examination administered by BPS. The exam covers topics such as pharmacology, drug therapy, patient assessment, communication skills, and geriatric-specific topics.
The process typically takes 3-6 months to complete depending on the individual’s preparation time and availability for the exam. To prepare for the exam, individuals can review study guides provided by BPS or take courses offered by various organizations such as American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) or American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP).
The cost for taking the BCGP exam is $500 for members of BPS or $750 for non-members. Once an individual passes the exam they will receive their certificate and be officially recognized as a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist.
7. Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS)
Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS) is a certification offered by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS), which recognizes pharmacists who have achieved advanced knowledge and experience in the clinical practice of pharmacotherapy. The BCPS credential is designed to demonstrate that a pharmacist has met the highest standards of clinical excellence and professional achievement in the field of pharmacotherapy.
To become a BCPS, one must first meet eligibility requirements, including having an active pharmacist license, completing two years or 3,000 hours of relevant pharmacy practice experience within the past five years, and passing the BCPS exam. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as disease states, drug therapy management, patient safety, and health care systems.
The cost for taking the BCPS exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally, it costs around $400-$500 to register for the exam. Additionally, some states may require additional fees or paperwork to be completed before taking the exam.
Once an individual passes the BCPS exam they will receive their certification within 4-6 weeks after passing. The certification is valid for 5 years and can be renewed by completing continuing education activities related to pharmacotherapy during that time period.
8. Nuclear Pharmacy Certification (NPC)
Nuclear Pharmacy Certification (NPC) is a professional certification program for nuclear pharmacists who wish to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field of nuclear pharmacy. The certification is administered by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS), an independent organization that certifies pharmacists in various specialties.
To become certified, applicants must have a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited school, be licensed to practice pharmacy in the United States or its territories, and have at least two years of experience working as a nuclear pharmacist. In addition, applicants must pass a comprehensive written examination that covers topics such as radiation safety, radiopharmaceuticals, nuclear medicine procedures, and regulations related to nuclear pharmacy practice.
The process of obtaining NPC certification typically takes several months to complete. After submitting an application and meeting all eligibility requirements, applicants must register for and take the written examination. The exam is offered twice per year and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within four hours. Once the exam has been successfully passed, applicants will receive their NPC certificate in the mail within six weeks.
The cost of obtaining NPC certification varies depending on whether you are already a BPS-certified pharmacist or not. For those who are not currently certified by BPS, there is a one-time fee of $1,000 which covers both the application fee and the cost of taking the exam. For those who are already certified by BPS in another specialty area, there is only an additional $500 fee for taking the exam.
9. Immunization Certification Program (ICP)
The Immunization Certification Program (ICP) is a program that provides individuals with the education and training necessary to become certified as an immunization provider. The program is designed to ensure that all healthcare providers are knowledgeable about the latest immunization practices and protocols. It also helps to ensure that immunizations are administered correctly and safely.
The ICP consists of two parts: the online coursework and the hands-on clinical experience. The online coursework covers topics such as vaccine safety, storage, administration, and record keeping. It also teaches students how to recognize common adverse reactions to vaccines, how to counsel patients on immunization risks, and how to respond in emergency situations involving vaccines. After completing the online coursework, students must complete a hands-on clinical experience in order to receive certification. This includes observing an experienced immunizer administering vaccines and participating in supervised practice sessions.
It typically takes about 6 months for an individual to complete the ICP program and receive their certification. To get started, individuals must first register for the program through their state health department or other designated organization. The cost of registration varies by state but is usually around $100-$150 USD for most states. Once registered, individuals will have access to all of the materials needed for completion of the program including textbooks, study guides, practice exams, etc.
Once completed, individuals will receive a certificate verifying their successful completion of the ICP program and they will be eligible for licensure as an immunization provider in their state or jurisdiction.
10. Medication Therapy Management Certification Program (MTM-CP)
Medication Therapy Management Certification Program (MTM-CP) is a certification program designed to help pharmacists become certified medication therapy management specialists. This program provides pharmacists with the knowledge and skills needed to provide comprehensive medication management services to patients. The program includes didactic instruction, practical experience, and a written examination.
The MTM-CP program takes approximately two years to complete. During this time, students must take courses in topics such as patient assessment, drug information, and clinical decision making. They must also complete a minimum of 300 hours of supervised practice in medication therapy management services. In addition, students must pass a written exam administered by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP).
To get MTM-CP certification, applicants must first meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having an active pharmacist license in good standing and at least two years of clinical experience in providing medication therapy management services. Applicants must also submit an application form along with supporting documents such as transcripts and letters of recommendation.
The cost for the MTM-CP program varies depending on the individual student’s situation. Generally speaking, tuition costs range from $2,500-$5,000 for the entire course of study plus any additional fees associated with taking the final exam or obtaining licensure in a particular state.
11. Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Provider Certification (ACLS-P)
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Provider Certification (ACLS-P) is a certification offered by the American Heart Association that provides healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage cardiac arrest and other cardiovascular emergencies. The certification is valid for two years and requires renewal every two years.
To obtain ACLS-P certification, healthcare professionals must complete an initial course that consists of both online and in-person components. The online component includes reading materials, video lectures, practice tests, and other activities. The in-person component involves hands-on training with an instructor who will provide instruction on performing CPR, using an AED, recognizing cardiac rhythms, administering medications, and managing airway emergencies.
The cost of the ACLS-P certification varies depending on the provider offering it. Typically it costs between $200-$400 USD for the initial course. Renewal courses are typically less expensive than the initial course but may still cost up to $200 USD.
Do You Really Need a Registered Pharmacist Certificate?
Whether or not you need a Registered Pharmacist Certificate depends on your career goals. If you are interested in becoming a pharmacist, then a Registered Pharmacist Certificate is an essential part of the process. You will need to pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and obtain a license from your state board of pharmacy in order to practice as a pharmacist.
If you are interested in pursuing other careers in the field of pharmacy, such as working as a pharmacy technician or in pharmaceutical sales, then you may not need to obtain a Registered Pharmacist Certificate. It is important to research any job requirements before applying for positions so that you can determine if any additional certifications or qualifications are needed.
In addition to obtaining the necessary qualifications for your career goals, having a Registered Pharmacist Certificate can also open up more opportunities for advancement and higher salaries. Even if it isn't required for your current job, employers may look favorably upon certified pharmacists when considering promotions or raises.
Overall, whether or not you need a Registered Pharmacist Certificate depends on what type of position you are looking to pursue in the field of pharmacy. It is important to do your research and make sure that you have all of the necessary qualifications before applying for any jobs. Having this certification can be beneficial even if it is not required by employers, since it shows dedication and commitment to the profession.
FAQs About Registered Pharmacist Certifications
1. What is a Registered Pharmacist Certification?
Answer: A Registered Pharmacist Certification is a credential that recognizes a pharmacist’s professional knowledge and expertise in the practice of pharmacy. It is awarded by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and demonstrates a commitment to quality patient care and safety.
2. How do I become a Registered Pharmacist?
Answer: To become a registered pharmacist, you must complete an accredited pharmacy program, pass the NABP Exam, and obtain licensure from your state board of pharmacy. Most states also require continuing education to maintain registration status.
3. What are the benefits of becoming a Registered Pharmacist?
Answer: Becoming a registered pharmacist comes with many benefits including increased job opportunities, higher wages, greater professional recognition, and improved patient care standards. Additionally, it can open doors to advanced clinical roles such as pharmacotherapy specialist or clinical consultant pharmacist.
4. Is there an age limit for taking the NABP Exam?
Answer: No, there is no age limit for taking the NABP Exam; however, applicants must be at least 18 years old in order to be eligible for licensure from their state board of pharmacy.
5. Are there any special requirements for taking the NABP Exam?
Answer: Yes, all applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements prior to taking the exam which include completing an accredited degree program in pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences and passing certain background checks as determined by their state board of pharmacy.