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Nuclear Pharmacist Training Program

Nuclear Pharmacy

This UTHSC College of Pharmacy Nuclear Pharmacist Program course is offered to post graduate pharmacists who want to practice in a nuclear pharmacy. Nuclear pharmacy activities are conducted under the supervision and direction of an authorized nuclear pharmacist (ANP). In order to be an ANP, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires 700 hours of structured education consisting of 200 hours of didactic training and 500 hours of experiential training. This educational program satisfies the educational requirement of 200 hours via online training and onsite laboratory training. The remaining 500 hours are obtained while practicing in a nuclear pharmacy under the supervision of authorized nuclear pharmacist preceptor.

The online portion consists of viewing online lectures and successfully completing written exercises and examinations. The pharmacist can schedule telephone meetings with the instructor to discuss questions and ensure the pharmacist has a sound foundation for proceeding. The individual is eligible for the onsite component once all distance education requirements have been fulfilled. The seven day onsite component consists of laboratory exercises and quizzes. After successful completion of the training, the individual will receive a certificate of completion documenting that the requirements for didactic training have been met. One of the strengths of this program is the ability to complete laboratory exercises in a teaching facility rather than in an operational nuclear pharmacy.

ACPE logo

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.  Successful completion of this application-based program will provide a statement for thirty (30.0) live contact hours credit (3.0 CEUs) and will be mailed within 3 weeks following the program.  Successful completion includes attending and satisfactorily completing the self-assessment for each of the ten laboratory exercises, and completion of the program evaluation form.

CE credit will also be submitted to the NABP CE Monitor.

vivian lovelessVivian Loveless, PharmD, BCNP, FAPhA is an associate professor in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy. Her career in nuclear pharmacy began with a Residency in Nuclear Pharmacy at the UTHSC College of Pharmacy. After 14 years as Nuclear Pharmacist-in-Charge at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, she left Baptist to enter centralized commercial nuclear pharmacy operations. In this role she continued to be active in pharmaceutical care as well as education. In 2005, she became a full time faculty member at the UTHSC College of Pharmacy where she is in charge of the training and education of pharmacy students interested in being Authorized Nuclear Pharmacists.  

She has been active in the APhA by serving as an elected officer as well being a member of several committees. Dr. Loveless served two terms on the Specialty Council on Nuclear Pharmacy, two terms on the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, and one term as the APhA representative member on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. She is also a past member of the USP Ad Hoc Advisory Panel for Radiopharmaceuticals as Compounded Sterile Preparations in General Chapter <797>. In 2012 she received the APhA William H. Briner Distinguished Achievement Award in Nuclear Pharmacy Practice. She has been a board-certified nuclear pharmacist since 1982.

The course is divided into two components: distance and onsite.

Distance education requirements include the following topics:

  • Radiation Physics and Instrumentation
  • Radiation Biology
  • Radiation Protection
  • Mathematics pertaining to the use and measurement of radioactivity
  • Chemistry of radioactive material for medical use

The seven course days on-site will be structured as follows:

  • Day 1 - 4: Instrumentation and Radiation Safety
  • Day 4 - 7: Radiopharmaceutical Preparation and Quality Control

Thirty hours of the on-site training is ACPE accredited for live continuing education.

Overall Goal

The overall goal is to prepare pharmacists to effectively and safely work in a nuclear pharmacy. This program satisfies a segment of their required training to be on a nuclear pharmacy radioactive materials license as an authorized nuclear pharmacist.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the pharmacist should be able to:

  • Prepare radiopharmaceutical kits and doses using aseptic technique while incorporating radiation safety practices
  • Ship and receive radioactive packages in compliance with regulations
  • Perform checks of proper operation of instrumentation used in a nuclear pharmacy
  • Prevent or minimize contamination and use proper decontamination procedures as needed

Target Audience

Pharmacists who are interested in working in a nuclear pharmacy and desire to meet the didactic educational requirements to be listed on a nuclear pharmacy radioactive materials license

Course Faculty

  • Vivian Loveless, PharmD, BCNP, FAPhA University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, College of Pharmacy, Associate Professor
  • Thad Wilson, PhD, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, Radiology, Associate Professor
  • Bryan Lemieux, MS, CHP, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Instructor

Guest Faculty

  • Kathy T. Hunt, MS, CNMT, Program Chair, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Baptist College of Health Sciences, Memphis, TN

Recommended Textbooks to the Course

  • Kowalsky RJ, Falen SW (Eds). Radiopharmaceuticals in Nuclear Pharmacy and Nuclear Medicine, 3rd Edition, American Pharmacists Association, Washington, D.C. 2011, ISBN 978-1-58212-118-5
  • Cherry SR, Sorenson JA, Phelps ME. Physics in Nuclear Medicine, 4thEdition, Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, PA 2012, ISBN 978-1-4160-5198-5


  • March 12-17
    March 13-16 (ACPE CE)
  • April 23-28
    April 24-27 (ACPE CE)
  • July 9-14
    July 10-13 (ACPE CE)
  • August 6-11
    August 7-10 (ACPE CE)
  • December 10-15
    December 11-14 (ACPE CE)

Course Location

Course activities will be held in the General Education Building of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN.  The address is 8 South Dunlap, and this is located in the medical district of downtown Memphis.

Parking on campus is limited, but complimentary parking information will be provided when you register.

Follow the respective links to learn more about the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy,  University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and the City of Memphis.


Course participants must make their own hotel reservations for the duration of the course. Three hotels are recommended based on their proximity to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center campus (1.5 miles) and their willingness to provide UTHSC room rates:

The Peabody, Memphis
149 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 529-4000

UT Special Rate: $149 per night plus tax (limited number of rooms).  In order to receive this rate, you must call the hotel and request the University of Tennessee Corporate Rate.

The Double Tree Memphis Downtown
185 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 528-1800

UT Special Rate Training: $102 per night plus tax.  In order to receive this rate, you must visit the UTHSC Double Tree Memphis Downtown link.

The Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis-Beale Street
175 Peabody Place, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 260-4008

UT Special Rate Training: $135 per night plus tax.  In order to receive this rate, you must call the hotel and request the University of Tennessee Health Science Center rate.

Please fill out the registration form and forward it to the provided address by regular mail and include a check for the registration fee.

Registrationn Fee: $7,000*

* $3,500 is paid prior to initiation of the online program. The remaining $3,500 must be paid prior to attending the onsite program.

Cancellation Policy: There are no refunds for the online course segment. The enrolled participant can reschedule the onsite program for a later date (if space is available) or receive a refund for the onsite portion, minus a $200 administrative fee.  Notification of rescheduling must be received by email within 48 hours of starting date of on-site program.

Registration fee includes access to all course sessions, printed course material, lunch and coffee breaks.

For questions, please contact:

David Clark
Administrative Specialist
Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
881 Madison Ave, Room 557
Memphis, TN 38163
Office: (901) 448-7530
Fax: (901) 448-6828

Last Published: Jun 11, 2018