NACDS PHARMACY RECRUITMENT PROGRAM GENERATED OVER 21,000 RESPONSES IN SEVEN MONTHS; ASSN. IS SEEKING BROAD PHARMACY SUPPORT TO HELP CONTINUE THE PROJECT
The Natl. Assn. of Chain Drug Stores' (NACDS) pharmacy recruitment program generated over 21,000 responses from interested students in its first seven months. "As of today," NACDS President Robert Bolger reported April 28 at the assn.'s annual meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., "we have received over 21,000 responses, all of which have been sent additional informational materials on pharmacy as a career." The assn. has "also provided the college of pharmacy deans with the names of these respondents so that they may follow up with their own recruitment programs," Bolger said. The program, launched in September 1984, is aimed at high school and junior college students and is intended to help reduce the shortage of pharmacy students. The campaign, built around the theme, "Pharmacy -- America's Most Respected Profession" -- includes direct mailings and print ads in high school scholastic magazines. "More than 180,000 high school, junior college students and career counselors have received our direct mailing packet," Bolger told the meeting. "In total, we expect to be able to reach over 8-1/2 mil. people and introduce them to the exciting profession of pharmacy." Based on the initial results, NACDS intends to continue the program indefinitely, the assn. president explained. Asserting that the project merits support from all groups within the profession, Bolger said NACDS is encouraging other assns. such as the American Pharmaceutical Assn., Natl. Assn. of Retail Druggists, Pharmaceutical Mfrs. Assn., and American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, to participate in the effort. "Due to the success we have experienced in our first campaign, we are commited to providing this as an ongoing program," Bolger told the assn. "I must emphasize, however, that this is an extremely costly undertaking, one which will require an investment of over one million dollars in the next four years and one which will require additional financial assistance. Therefore, I stress the need for sustained financial as well as moral support so that we may continue this very important and worthwhile effort." The project is currently funded through the NACDS Education Foundation. Discussing other assn. efforts in the pharmacy education area, Bolger noted that, in part due to NACDS comments, the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) has decided to review its membership policy. Bolger noted that during the past year NACDS communicated to both the council and the U.S. Education Dept. the assn.'s position that the ACPE membership should include "representation by other professional and industry segments concerned about the direction of education" at the colleges of pharmacy. "As a result of these efforts, ACPE has announced it will conduct a review of its membership in order to determine if it does, in fact, reflect the contemporary practice of pharmacy as we know it today," he reported. In his prepared remarks, the NACDS exec pointed out that many of the assn.'s concerns about ACPE curriculum standards have been addressed in the council's recently issued eighth edition of its accreditation standards and guidelines. The revised guidelines include a greater emphasis on pharmacy administration, qualitative rather than specific quantitative requirements for practical pharmacy experience, and continued recognition of both the BS and PharmD degrees. The assn. president reported that during the previous year NACDS' Education Foundation awarded $1,000 scholarships to 22 colleges of pharmacy. Since its establishment in 1978 the foundation has awarded over $125,000 in scholarships, Bolger said. He also told the meeting that NACDS awarded $10,000 to the American Assn. of Colleges of Pharmacy "to help fund a study to determine the entry level management knowledge and skills required by today's pharmacy graduates."
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