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PharmD Nuclear Pharmacy Certificate Program Information

About the Program

University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Pharmacy has provided the Nuclear Pharmacist Training Program for over 20 years. This program provides the hours and training necessary for the didactic requirements set forth in the NRC regulation 35.55: training for an authorized nuclear pharmacist. The regulations state that a user complete 200 hours of classroom and laboratory training  in areas of radiation physics/ instrumentation, radiation protection, math related to measuring radioactivity, radiation biology, and chemistry of radioactive material. There is an additional requirement for 500 hours of practical experience in a nuclear pharmacy under supervision of a nuclear pharmacist; those hours are to be obtained outside of the training program. See NRC Reg. 35.55 for specific regulations.

UTHSC College of Pharmacy has a nuclear pharmacy lab where students will perform laboratory work in a hood and on equipment used in nuclear pharmacies. This lab training will allow students to gain hands on experience using radioactive material while in a controlled setting. This environment will allow real time feedback as well as opportunity for practice and troubleshooting. Opportunities to visit multiple nuclear pharmacies, a nuclear medicine department in a hospital, as well as observe cameras and imaging equipment in use, are available during the courses.

Requirements

In order to participate in this series of courses, a student must complete the following:

  1. Meet with Dr. Morgan to discuss interest and career in nuclear pharmacy.
  2. Shadow a nuclear pharmacy or PET facility at a time and location convenient for the student.
  3. Fill out shadowing form and return to Dr. Morgan
  4. Meet with Dr. Morgan as a final interview before acceptance into program.
  5. It is strongly recommended that students have a 3.0 GPA or better before starting the program. 
  6. Final approval for admittance into the program is determined by the Office of Academic Affairs.

The Nuclear Pharmacist training consists of three courses that will start the summer after P2 year. Students will complete all three courses by the end of the fall semester of P3 year and they must be taken in sequence. Students must achieve a minimum grade of B- before advancing to the next course. Attendance in both lecture and lab is required to receive course credit. 

Note: Students must be in Memphis during the course work but may leave Memphis after Fall P3 semester for rotations in other areas of the state.

Tentative Schedule

Nuclear Pharmacy I (4 hours of credit)

  • Spring semester P2 year
  • 48 lecture hours, 30 hours lab/recitation
  • 4 tests

Nuclear Pharmacy II (3 hours of credit)

  • Summer semester (June to end of July) P2 year
  • 32 lecture hours and 48 lab/recitation hours
  • 4 tests

Nuclear Pharmacy III (2 hours of credit)

  • Fall semester P3 year
  • 16 lecture hours and 48 lab/recitation hours
  • 2 tests

UTHSC College of Pharmacy also offers nuclear pharmacy rotations where students can gain experiential hours during their P3 and P4 year.  Rotations are located in Memphis and Knoxville.

Nuclear Pharmacy was the first specialty practice of pharmacy and information can be found about the requirements on becoming board certified using the following link: BPS Board Certified Nuclear Pharmacists

Last Published: Jun 29, 2020