Pharmacy Staffing Trends for 2013 Examined in ASHP Report


5/16/2014-- ASHP’s 2013 Pharmacy Staffing Survey reveals a softer job market for pharmacists in findings released today. ASHP has monitored pharmacy staffing trends through its survey since 1999 to determine the supply of and demand for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in hospitals and health systems, and to gauge perceptions about pharmacist workforce shortages.

While there has been a general upward trend in the number of total pharmacist and technician staff, these increases are not equally represented in all types of pharmacy positions. The numbers of management, clinical, and informatics pharmacists show some increases while distributive positions have decreased. Key findings from the survey include:

  • The 2.1 percent vacancy rate for pharmacists in hospitals and health systems is the lowest since ASHP began measuring vacancies in 1999. At that time the vacancy rate was 7.7%
  • The vacancy rate for pharmacy technicians rose to 4.2 percent from 3.4 percent in 2012, which is the highest since 2008.
  • The average turnover rate decreased from 7.1 percent in 2012 to 5.6 percent in 2013 for pharmacists. The turnover rate for pharmacy technicians did not change significantly (14.4 percent).
  • Although pharmacy directors’ perceptions of shortages in some positions declined dramatically, a majority of pharmacy directors continues to perceive moderate to severe shortages of pharmacy managers (60.6 percent) and experienced pharmacy technicians (56.1 percent).
  • The percentage of pharmacists who have completed a residency and/or hold Board of Pharmacy Specialties certification has risen steadily since 2008.

“The survey indicates that even though the number of pharmacist positions continues to increase in hospitals and health systems, the supply of pharmacists is able to keep up with the demand,” said Douglas J. Scheckelhoff, M.S., ASHP vice president of practice advancement. “ASHP will continue to monitor these trends and work hard to help ensure pharmacists are trained and prepared for the types of roles needed in these and other evolving positions and practice models.”

This report is part of ASHP’s annual National Survey of Pharmacy Practice in Hospital Settings, which surveys directors of pharmacy on a wide range of questions related to pharmacy practice.