Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Internships
Q: Who is responsible for signing/filing the practical pharmacy experience affidavit?
A: Each spring sees an influx of Practical Pharmacy Experience Affidavits submitted by graduating pharmacy students. Under North Carolina law, a pharmacist must obtain 1,500 hours of practical pharmacy experience as a condition of licensure. 21 NCAC 46.1503(a). For North Carolina licensure, the Board deems the 1,500 hour requirement to be satisfied by completion of an accredited Doctor of Pharmacy program as certified by the school. 21 NCAC 46.1503(a).
Some states, however, require licensure applicants to demonstrate practical pharmacy experience obtained outside of the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. Where the applicant obtained some or all of that practical experience in North Carolina, the Board of Pharmacy must certify the experience. To certify that experience, the applicant must provide one or more Practical Pharmacy Experience Affidavits, found here: http://www.ncbop.org/Forms%20and%20Applications%20-%20Pharmacists/PracticalPhcyExperienceAffidavit.pdf
It is critical to note that the pharmacist submitting the affidavit is stating, under oath, that he/she is a North Carolina licensed pharmacist in good standing and that the “applicant will have my immediate and personal supervision and can render no pharmaceutical services except when under my immediate and personal supervision . . . .” In other words, the pharmacist submitting the affidavit is not simply confirming that an applicant worked a number of hours in a pharmacy with various pharmacists, but, rather, that the applicant obtained a number of hours of practical experience under the “immediate and personal supervision” of the pharmacist. This may, of course, require the applicant to get affidavits from several pharmacists who provided “immediate and personal supervision.”
Any pharmacist or license applicant with questions about the Practical Pharmacy Experience Affidavit should contact Stacie Mason, firstname.lastname@example.org, (919) 246-1050.
Q: May foreign pharmacy graduates work as pharmacy interns or technicians in North Carolina?
A: The Board of Pharmacy frequently receives questions about Board requirements concerning foreign pharmacy graduates who work as pharmacy interns. These inquiries are frequently in connection with applications for H-1B visas.
Under North Carolina law, an individual who has received the foreign equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy may not work as a pharmacy intern without having obtained the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee Certification (“FPGEC”). A pharmacy intern does not require a license from the Board of Pharmacy, but all interns seeking practical pharmacy experience toward licensure as a pharmacist must register with the Board’s internship program on forms provided by the Board. These forms must be filed with the Board of Pharmacy within five (5) days of the beginning of any training period. The practical pharmacy experience forms may be found at this link: http://www.ncbop.org/Forms%20and%20Applications%20-%20Pharmacists/PracticalPhcyExperienceAffidavit.pdf. Any person working as a pharmacy technician must register with the Board within thirty (30) days of beginning employment. The technician registration form may be found at this link: http://www.ncbop.org/technicians_forms.htm.
To ultimately obtain a license to practice pharmacy in North Carolina, the foreign graduate would have to pass the FPGEE, the Test of English as a Foreign Language, the Test of Spoken English, the NAPLEX, and the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam. The Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (“NABP”) administers the FPGEC Certification Program, and foreign graduates should contact the NABP directly for further information.
The foreign graduate would also have to complete 1500 Board-approved practical pharmacy experience hours as a Pharmacy Intern as a condition for licensure. As noted above, all interns seeking practical pharmacy experience must register with Board’s internship program on forms provided by the Board.