Become a Senior Care Pharmacist

Before you can become a consultant or senior care pharmacist, you’ll need to spend some time exploring your options and getting ready for your career change. Below are some suggestions, tools and resources to help guide you along the path. Also check out: What is a Senior Care Pharmacist?

Where can I find a job as a consultant pharmacist for a nursing facility?

Roles vary from consulting only, dispensing only and both dispensing and consulting. Consultant pharmacists can acquire a job in a nursing facility by:

  • Employed by a pharmacy and contracts with a facility
    • Independent pharmacies
    • Community pharmacies
    • Closed-door pharmacies
  • Self-employed and contract directly with:
    • Nursing facility
    • Other facility
    • Patients
  • Self-employed and sub-contract with dispensing pharmacies

As with all areas of pharmacy work, there is a learning curve with consulting, including the need to understand the regulatory mandates that skilled nursing facilities must follow. First steps can be to check with local community pharmacies in your area to ask whether they service nursing facilities and hire consultant pharmacies. Even if they don’t, they often know of other independent pharmacies that are serving institutions and/or are in need of consultant pharmacies.

Check out ASCP’s website where employers post jobs and those seeking jobs can post their resume/interest. ASCP has chapters in many states and in Canada, and individuals involved with those chapters can serve as a helpful resource or contact when getting started. Learn more about ASCP’s chapters here.

Where can consultant pharmacists practice?

  • Academia
  • Adult day service center
  • Ambulatory care facilities
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Continuing care retirement communities
  • Dialysis Centers
  • Group homes
  • Home health cares
  • Hospice
  • Hospitals
  • Independent pharmacies
  • Long term care facilities
  • Mental Health Facilities
  • Nursing facilities
  • Prisons
  • Residential homes
  • Residential substance abuse facilities
  • Retail pharmacies
  • Senior centers
  • Subacute
  • Surgical centers
  • Other facilities

How much do senior care pharmacists get paid?

  • Pharmacists employed by pharmacies are typically paid hourly or yearly salaries
  • Self-employed pharmacists typically charge a rate with contracted facilities or pharmacies
    • Payment methodologies:
      • Hourly rate regardless of services
      • Paid per bed, resident or month
        • Extra fees for additional services include committee meeting, regulatory oversight like observing med passes, med room and med cart inspections and verifying narcotic records

The actual dollar amounts charged vary depending on the consultant’s experience and educational background.

Is the Board-Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (BCGP) credential required to work as a consultant pharmacist in a nursing home or assisted living facility?

No, the BCGP credential is not required to practice as a consultant pharmacist. While the BCGP credential is completely voluntary, the credential certainly provides pharmacists with an advantage when seeking consulting jobs!

Bouns: Obtaining the BCGP credential may or may not count towards state-required training requirements; consult with your state Board of Pharmacy for more information.

Is there some other or additional license I need to become a consultant pharmacist?

All states require pharmacists to be licensed in the US to practice. Some states go above and beyond requiring an additional license for consultant pharmacists!

States with different requirements include:

  • Alabama
    • Additional form on board of pharmacy website
  • Arkansas
    • “Nursing Home Consultant Pharmacist” Application and exam
    • Additional 3 hours of continuing education
  • Florida
    • “Consultant Pharmacist” Application on board of pharmacist website
    • Additional 24 hours of continuing education
  • New Jersey
    • Certification for consultant pharmacists on Joint Board of Certification
    • 24 hours of continuing education prior to exam and additional 10 hours of continuing education post-exam
  • South Carolina
    • Additional form on board of pharmacy website
  • West Virginia
    • “Consultant Pharmacist” Application on board of pharmacy website
    • Additional 3 hours of continuing education

There may be additional requirements in other states or jurisdictions for consultant pharmacists. Please consult your local or state Board of Pharmacy for the most accurate and up to date information regarding pharmacist and pharmacist consultant licensure, certification, and/or registration requirements.

How can becoming an ASCP member support my pursuit of becoming a pharmacist in the Senior Care field?

  • Local Chapters
    • ASCP’s membership is located in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and 18 countries
  • Meet a Senior Care Pharmacist
    • ASCP’s peer reviewed award winning journal, The Consultant Pharmacist, has profiled several senior care pharmacist
  • Get the Resources You Need
    • Substantial discounts on our many publications and products designed specifically for consultant pharmacists at the ASCP store
  • Read the Senior Care Pharmacist
    • Award winning, peer-reviewed journal of ASCP that is dedicated to the medication needs of older adults
  • Attend an ASCP Meeting
    • Attending a national or regional ASCP Meeting for networking and more learning
  • Attend and ASCP Webinar
    • Members of ASCP enjoy the reduced entry into our robust series of webinars

If you aren’t already a member, joining ASCP is perhaps the single most important thing you can do! The Society is an outstanding resource for learning more about senior care and consulting career paths. There is no other pharmacy organization more focused on the senior care population, including the pharmacotherapy skills needed to treat these patients.

No other pharmacy organizations to manage the regulatory and legislative challenges that clinicians in the senior care sector face.

SeniorRx Solutions

SenioRx Solutions is a suite of tools from ASCP tailored to enhancing entrepreneurial consultant pharmacists who want to be competitive in the future senior care landscape. SenioRx Solutions includes ASCP's Senior Care Pharmacy Business Certificate, online directory, Virtual Pharmacy Network, pathway to BCGP, and focus groups. Learn more at ascp.com/seniorx.

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