Growing the next generation: New pharmacy student initiatives announced

A new era of collaboration to help Australian students enter and navigate a career in hospital pharmacy kicked off today as the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) and the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) announced a raft of new events and projects to support the next generation of leading pharmacists, technicians and pharmacy assistants.

Three new initiatives were revealed this morning at the NAPSA Congress Sydney 2018: SHPA President Professor Michael Dooley together with NAPSA President Sandra Minas, announced a joint student symposium to be held in Melbourne in July to coincide with NAPSA’s AGM. In addition, NAPSA Director of Research and Transformation Vasilios Sotiropoulos announced the release of a student-focus issue of Pharmacy Growth, Research, Innovation and Training (GRIT), SHPA’s member publication, and a new research study focusing on baseline benchmarking of the prevalence and quality of pharmacy student hospital placements in Australia, the results of which will feature in this special issue released ahead of the new symposium.

Professor Dooley says the joint symposium will complement existing initiatives equipping Australian students for the evolving and dynamic world of hospital pharmacy.

‘The contribution and impact of pharmacists in hospitals continues to grow rapidly and, with this, comes even greater career opportunities, The SHPA-NAPSA Student Symposium will sit alongside SHPA’s free student membership and associated benefits – including event discounts and access to 26 Specialty Practice interest groups – in preparing students for the ever-evolving and emerging pharmacist roles of the near future.

‘The symposium’s three themes of exploring career paths, planning practitioner development and entering the world of research will provide a strong foundation for entry into hospital pharmacy, the preferred destination for 44% of Australia’s pharmacy students.’

NAPSA President Sandra Minas says the special student-focus issue ahead of the July symposium, will reinforce Pharmacy GRIT’s role as a valuable platform for publishing early student research.

‘As evident in the maturing of Australia’s pharmacy profession and return of Advancing Practice credentialing to Australia, research is increasingly regarded as an essential component of a satisfying and successful career in pharmacy and we look forward to showcasing more student projects to peers.

‘The special Pharmacy GRIT issue will pave the way for NAPSA to create a new student-led, peer-reviewed journal, to be launched in the near future.

‘NAPSA is also excited about the new joint Workforce Study as it will provide essential quantitative and qualitative data on how hospital placements are currently accessed and experienced by students, to ensure this pivotal experiential learning is as valuable as possible.’

NAPSA Congress Sydney 2018 runs until Sunday.

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