Submitted Andrew J. Skerritt
The Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (CoPPS, IPH) Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) Class of 2021 made unprecedented gains in their performance on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination® (NAPLEX®) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE).
In 2021, students took the NAPLEX and the MPJE exam between June 1 and December 31 for the first time.
On the NAPLEX, the Doctor of Pharmacy class of 2021 earned an 89.9 percent first-time pass rate. This pass rate is an increase of approximately 7 percentage points over the 2020 results. These NAPLEX results also surpassed the current state average of 85.3 percent and the national average of 83.7 percent for first-time test takers.
The NAPLEX® measures a candidate’s knowledge of the practice of pharmacy. The exam is developed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. It is one component used by the state boards of pharmacy for assessing a candidate’s ability to practice pharmacy.
On the MPJE, the Doctor of Pharmacy class of 2021 earned a 74 percent first-time pass rate. This pass rate is also an increase of approximately 7 percentage points over the 2020 results and only 4 percentage points below the national and state averages.
The MPJE is designed to assess a candidate’s application of laws and regulations for the specific states/jurisdictions and is taken by a recent college of pharmacy graduate shortly after receiving their degree.
“I am ecstatic about the performance of the Class of 2021. The College has been diligently working over the past five years on increasing the first-time candidates’ licensure pass rates, and we have met our goal,” said Jocelyn D. Spates, PharmD, CoPPS, IPH Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs.
Spates said CoPPS, IPH has implemented several components to prepare students for success, including a new curriculum and seminar course revision that help our learners stay on a strict study schedule. In addition, RxPrep, Pass NAPLEX Now, and Pre-NAPLEX board preparation materials are provided to professional year 4 (P4) students. The Pre-NAPLEX is the official practice exam for the NAPLEX. It gives student pharmacists a realistic experience to help them prepare for test day, she said.
“It is obvious that these tools are working to prepare our graduates for success,” Spates said.
Dean Johnnie L. Early II, Ph.D., RPh., said the PharmD is the first doctorate offered by CoPPS, IPH before it introduced the Doctor of Philosophy, first conferred in 1989, or the Doctor of Public Health in 2008. He said these degree programs position the college as a comprehensive, complex graduate professional unit. Early also credits the new faculty-driven curriculum and the Licensure Task Force championed by Provost Maurice Edington, Ph.D., for the substantial performance gains.
“Our scores show the result of a committed and skilled professional staff and faculty who are transforming graduates into student pharmacists and practitioners,” Early said. “The progress of the College is exceptional.”