5 Things to Do After Pharmacy Graduation


Graduating from pharmacy school is a momentous occasion. What's next?

Graduating from pharmacy school is a momentous occasion, as you have surely worked hard. From the long nights of studying for midterms and finals, to the papers and presentations, your journey has reached a great milestone. It is definitely cause for celebration before starting this new chapter in your life. However, it is also the time to prepare for your first pharmacist job.

Here are 5 things to do after pharmacy graduation:

1. Take time for yourself

You undoubtedly missed out on some events while in pharmacy school, so take the time to relax, and spend time with family and friends. Take an adventure or travel to a state or country that you have always wanted to visit. Catch up on your favorite TV shows that are still on your DVR or try out that new restaurant that has gotten great reviews.

2. Get licensed early and consider the NAPLEX score transfer program

Submit all paperwork to your respective board of pharmacy and apply through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) website for the NAPLEX and MPJE exams for licensure. Getting licensed early will help to put you at ease as you begin your job. Many residency programs begin in July and would like their residents licensed by August or September. Consider participating in the NAPLEX score transfer program, especially if you are moving out-of-state to begin a residency or other pharmacy position. Score transfer generally enables you to become licensed faster than the license transfer process, which many states require at least 1 year of practice as a licensed pharmacist to be eligible. You can sign up for the score transfer program during the registration process and up to 90 days after taking the NAPLEX.1 The cost is $75 per state, and pharmacists generally have 1-2 years to apply for licensure once the score is transferred.1

3. Join a professional pharmacy organization

Consider joining a state or national professional pharmacy organization if you are not already a member. This can provide great benefits such as helping you stay up-to-date through the organization journal, pharmacy conferences, continuing education, and career postings. There are also leadership opportunities within the organizations to help expand your horizons. Playing an active part in the pharmacy legislative process can assist with passing laws that will move the profession forward. Pharmacy organization membership fees can be expensive, so choosing one is sufficient. Some national organizations include the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Pharmacists Association, and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.

4. Carry your own professional liability insurance policy

It is extremely important to carry your own professional liability insurance policy. Most policies provided by employers may not offer sufficient protection. Policies are very reasonable, and generally range from $150-$200 annually.

5. Stay calm if you do not yet have a job

It can sometimes take time to find the right position, so try not to worry if you do not have a job yet. Reach out to your pharmacy alumni association. Make sure that your curriculum vitae is updated, and create a free LinkedIn account to search for jobs, and make professional connections. Network with colleagues, and focus on becoming licensed.


  • National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Transfer your NAPLEX score to multiple states. https://nabp.pharmacy/programs/naplex/score-transfers/. Accessed May 17, 2018.

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