While attending a pharmacy continuing education (CE) program this weekend, I was reminded that changes to the profession occur constantly.
From pharmacy law updates to new drug approvals, it’s always important to stay up-to-date. All US boards of pharmacy require pharmacists to obtain CE credits for licensure renewal.1 So it’s best to make the most of your experience! Whether you are attending a local or national conference, these 5 practical tips will help you on your journey.
1. Register for the continuing pharmacy education (CPE) monitor service.
The CPE Monitor Service is an electronic system provided through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) that enables you to keep track of CE credits from ACPE-accredited providers.1
This is especially helpful when you hold pharmacy licenses in multiple states. Once you register and set up your e-Profile with NABP, you’ll receive a unique ID. Keep this ID handy when you attend conferences because the program will request it, along with your date of birth.
Providers have up to 60 days from the date of your CE program to submit the information.1 It’s important to also check with your state board of pharmacy to learn the best way to submit proof of your CE credits.
2 Take notes and participate.
Take notes on all of the new and exciting updates to the pharmacy profession. Remember that this is a time to expand your professional horizons. Each program you attend can help enhance your professional knowledge and expertise. Ask questions during the program, as your colleagues will also learn from the experience. Many programs also have audience response cards or clickers to help promote active learning.
3. Attend pharmacy alumni networking events.
Attending pharmacy alumni events at CE programs is a great way to catch up with your colleagues. Bring business cards so that you can network and make new connections at the events. If you’re looking for a new job, also keep a few copies of your CV with you because you could potentially meet a future employer.
4. Select programs that will instill professional growth.
Programs may have different tracks depending on the type of conference. Try to attend programs that further your professional interests. For example, if you’re practicing in an ambulatory care setting, then it may be beneficial to attend a program discussing updates in anticoagulation guidelines. New drug updates are always useful for any practice setting. If you’re getting started on research, then look into a program on how to publish in a pharmacy journal.
5. Keep track of your CE credits and license renewal dates.
Make sure to always keep a paper hard copy of your CE credits in case there are any issues that need to be resolved with your electronic record. Also, make sure to keep track of renewal dates for each of your licenses. Ensure that all of your CE credits are up-to-date prior to your license renewal so that you’re not at risk for disciplinary action.
1. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. CPE monitor service. NABP website. nabp.pharmacy/cpe-monitor-service/. Accessed November 5, 2016.