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Certifications for Pharmacists

A professional certification is a formal recognition by a respected, recognized, and established professional organization that an individual has demonstrated a proficiency within, and comprehension of, a specified body of knowledge. Certifications are often confused with Certificates of Training which is a certificate of training completion and postnominal letters (abbreviations listed after the name) don’t apply.

Many pharmacists who choose a specialty become certified in that area to display their expert knowledge.

Licensed pharmacists are not required to be certified in a certain specialty by law. For example, it is not necessary to be a board certified oncology pharmacist (BCOP) to work in an oncology pharmacy department. However, certifications instill professionalism and make the pharmacist more attractive to prospective and current employers. Certified pharmacists may earn a salary differential over their non-certified colleagues. Indeed some pharmacies and other health care facilities are willing to pay certified pharmacists extra when they work within their specialty.

There are currently two categories of certifications for pharmacists.

  • Pharmacist certifications apply only to licensed pharmacists, therefore, other healthcare professionals are excluded from that category. For example, a licensed dentist is not eligible to apply for the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery board certification. Pharmacist licensure is a requirement in that category and credentials are always reflected by postnominal letters.
  • Multidisciplinary certifications are open to more than one type of healthcare professional. For example, physicians, nurses and pharmacists can be certified by the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Moreover, multidisciplinary certifications don’t necessarily lead to credentials with postnominal letters. For example, a pharmacist certified in Pediatric Cardiovascular Life Support (PALS) cannot use postnominal letters. Licensure is usually not required in that category. For example, a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) is only required to have experience.

Pharmacist Certifications

Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist (BCACP)
Board Certified Cardiology Pharmacist (BCCP)
Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist (BCCCP)
Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (BCGP)
Board Certified Infectious Diseases Pharmacist (BCIDP)
Board Certified Medication Therapy Management Specialist (BCMTMS)
Board Certified Nuclear Pharmacist (BCNP)
Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist (BCNSP)
Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist (BCOP)
Board Certified Pediatric Pharmacy Specialist (BCPPS)
Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS)
Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist (BCPP)
Certified Specialty Pharmacist (CSP)

Multidisciplinary Certifications

Accredited in Applied Pharmacology (AP)
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
Board Certified-Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM)
Certified Anticoagulation Care Provider (CACP)
Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C)
Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS)
Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)
Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC)
Clinical Lipid Specialist (CLS)
Credentialed Pain Educator (CPE)
Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS)
Diplomate of the American Board of Applied Toxicology (DABAT)
HIV Pharmacist (AAHIVP)
Pediatric Cardiovascular Life Support (PALS)

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