Wilkes University

Pharmacy

Dean: Dr. Scott Stolte, Pharm.D
Assistant Deans: Dr. Jennifer Malinowski, Dr. Julie Olenak
Chairperson, Department of Pharmacy Practice: Dr. Judith DeLuca
Chairperson, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences: Dr. Marie Roke-Thomas
Director of Assessment: Dr. Meagan Mielczarek
Director of Experiential Programs: Ms. Shelli Holt-Macey

Faculty

Professors: DeLuca, Olenak, Stolte, Witczak
Associate Professors: Bolesta, Bommareddy, J. Ference, K. Ference, Franko, Jacobs, Malinowski, Manning, McManus, Roke-Thomas, Trombetta, VanWert
Assistant Professors: Gruver, Hong, Kheloussi, Kieck, Lewis, Mielczarek, Nguyen, Pezzino, Shah, Warunek
Instructors: Conlogue, Holt-Macey, Powers
Professor Emeritus: Kibbe
Dean Emeritus: Graham

The School of Pharmacy offers a program of professional study leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. The purpose of the program is to prepare graduates for a successful, lifelong career providing contemporary, patient-centered care in a variety of healthcare settings.

The U.S. healthcare system continues to undergo rapid change. The role of pharmacists and medication therapy in the healthcare system is evolving. We strive to prepare graduates who have the knowledge and skills to engage in innovative practice today and the desire for lifelong learning that will prepare them for what comes in the future.

We instill a strong foundation of knowledge in the basic sciences (e.g., pharmaceutics, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, anatomy and physiology), clinical sciences (e.g., therapeutics, pharmacokinetics, pathophysiology), and social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, economics, health, policy, management) while honing the skills that are needed to provide optimal care for patients (e.g., physical assessment, patient counseling, clinical decision-making).

Our vision is to develop meaningful interprofessional education (IPE) activities where all students participate in both experiential and didactic settings. Through IPE, students understand the roles and responsibilities of health care professionals that are essential to patient care, gain first-hand experience in interdisciplinary collaboration, and develop their own individual professional identity as part of a larger team. These competencies are designed so that graduating students are trained to work as a team in optimizing patient health and outcomes. The goal of the IPE curriculum is to provide students with a set of skills and attitudes necessary to practice in an interprofessional environment.

While knowledge and skills are essential, we also ensure that our students develop as responsible citizens with highly professional demeanors who advocate, serve, care, and lead.

Our Mission

Our mission is to develop pharmacists who will provide high quality health care and to make meaningful contributions to the science and practice of pharmacy.

Our Vision

We will be recognized as an exceptional pharmacy program through innovative education, contemporary practice, and valuable scientific contributions.

Our Values

Teamwork, Professionalism, Lifelong Learning, Cultural Competency, Personalized Attention, Community Engagement

Accreditation

Wilkes University's Doctor of Pharmacy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 190 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60603-3410; 312-664-3575; FAX 312-228-2631; www.acpe-accredit.org.

Professional Program

The Professional Program is four years and leads to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree after successful completion of a pre-professional program typically completed in two years. Graduates of the program are eligible for state examination to become licensed pharmacists. The four years of education consist of three years of mostly in-class (i.e., lecture, laboratory, discussion group) and one full year of experiential education.

Professional Standards

Students enrolled in the program of the School of Pharmacy are expected to endorse professional standards by subscribing to the Oath of the Pharmacist. Students are also expected to abide by the American Pharmacists Association's Code of Ethics of the Profession.

Technical Standards

Students applying to and enrolling in the School of Pharmacy are expected to read, acknowledge, and understand the Technical Standards. These Technical Standards describe non-academic abilities that are required for admission to, continuation in, and graduation from the School of Pharmacy to obtain a Pharm.D. degree.

A candidate must have abilities and skills in the following five areas: 1) observational skills; 2) communication skills; 3) motor skills; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative skills; and 5) behavioral and social skills. Detailed descriptions of the Technical Standards are provided in the School of Pharmacy Application or by contacting the School of Pharmacy Dean's office.

Observation necessitates the functional use of all senses. Students are expected to utilize such senses in order to make observations at a distance and close at hand. Throughout the pharmacy curriculum, students will be required to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and pharmaceutical sciences, in addition to displayed medical illustrations. With respect to patient care, students must be able to observe verbal and non-verbal signals. Observational abilities include discerning sounds related to patient assessment and treatment, as well as evaluating physical patient signs and symptoms.

Effective communication involves utilizing knowledge acquired during the pharmacy education process to elicit, convey, clarify, and communicate information in oral and written English quickly, effectively, efficiently, and sensitively. Students are expected to partake in such communication with patients, health care providers, educational staff, and fellow students. Students must possess the ability to appropriately recognize and respond to nonverbal and emotional communication cues. Furthermore, students must provide educational and instructional information to patients and caregivers in an appropriate manner, considering health literacy, cultural, and socioeconomic factors.

In order to execute gross and fine muscular movements, students must possess necessary hand eye coordination and neuromuscular control. Students must be able to execute motor movements, in a timely fashion, necessary for routine care and emergency situations, including but not limited to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid. Necessary motor functions include capabilities utilized to perform physical assessment activities, such as auscultation, percussion, and other diagnostic maneuvers. Students are expected to perform basic lab tests, such as lipid and blood glucose screenings, as well as administer immunizations. In order to fulfill the functions of a pharmacist, students must be able to execute the motor movements necessary to compound, prepare, and dispense sterile and non-sterile dosage forms. Motor skill requirements include the utilization of current computer-based technology for drug information retrieval and evaluation, as well as the preparation and presentation of oral and written reports.

In order to successfully navigate a rigorous and intense didactic and experiential curriculum, students must be able to effectively learn through a variety of educational modalities such as didactic classroom instruction, small group discussion, and independent study. A rigorous and intense curriculum necessitates the ability to think quickly and accurately in an organized manner, while mastering the broad and complex body of knowledge that comprises pharmacy education. Students are expected to synthesize, analyze, interpret, integrate, process, measure, and calculate scientific and clinical information, as well as comprehend three dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures, which are embedded in laboratory and clinical settings. In order to ensure self-assessment and improvement, students must be able to recognize personal knowledge deficits and limitations, and identify situations in which such deficits or limitations require further study as well as develop and carry out an improvement plan.

Students are expected to exhibit professional demeanor at all times and adhere to the Code of Ethics, with emphasis on integrity and honesty. In order to progress through a rigorous didactic and experiential curriculum, students must possess a high level of motivation. Furthermore, students are expected to be able to endure and function effectively during physically, intellectually, and emotionally taxing workloads and situations. The nature of pharmacy education necessitates the ability to adapt to changing environments and display flexibility in various educational settings, while accepting constructive criticism maturely and modifying future behavior accordingly. Students must demonstrate empathy, patience, respect, and genuine interest in the well-being of others while providing care to a diverse patient population. Students will communicate and care for persons whose cultural, sexual orientation, or spiritual beliefs are different from their own in a non-judgmental way. The development of strong interpersonal skills is expected in order to build meaningful relationships with patients. 

During the Pharm.D. curriculum, students will be required to provide health and vaccine records, complete tests to assess the health status for communicable diseases (i.e. PPD testing), submit and clear (per individual site requirements) all required criminal background checks and drug testing. The Compliance Requirements for Professional Student Experiences Policy contains additional information. It is located online in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy Handbook or may also be requested by reaching out to the Pharmacy Dean's Suite at 570-408-4298. Students are responsible for their transportation to clinical experiential sites.

Candidates must acknowledge, upon acceptance of admission to the School of Pharmacy, that they understand the technical standards and additional requirements for experiential education.

The School of Pharmacy is committed to helping students with disabilities complete the course of study leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree by reasonable means or accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are services provided to individuals with disabilities that remove or lessen the effect of the disability-related barrier. Individuals without documented disabilities are not eligible for accommodations.

Candidates with disabilities, in accordance with Wilkes University policy, and as defined by section 504 of 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1993, who may seek accommodations in order to meet the technical standards are encouraged to contact University College to discuss what reasonable accommodations, if any, the School of Pharmacy could make in order for the candidate to meet the standards. A student with a disability who requests accommodations will be required to submit this request in writing and provide pertinent supporting documentation in accordance with Wilkes University policies. Candidates are not required to disclose any information regarding technical standards to the Admissions Committee.

Progression Requirements

All students in the Professional Program of the School of Pharmacy are required to meet minimum standards for progression. Academic progression requirements include a minimum semester and cumulative pharmacy GPA of 2.0. In addition, no student shall be allowed more than 3 course grades less than 2.0 grades in required professional courses both inside and outside of the school. Any course with a grade of 0.0 must be repeated. At the end of each semester the progress of each student in the Professional Program will be reviewed. Students failing to meet minimal academic standards at the end of any semester must petition the Student Review Subcommittee through the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs to progress further in the School. More inclusive policies, including, but not limited to, Technical Standards, acceptable classroom and experiential site behavior, alcohol and substance abuse, and other issues impacting the image of the professional program and the student, adopted within these guidelines are distributed annually to all students in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy Student Handbook. Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) progression is described in the APPE Course Manual.

The Nesbitt School of Pharmacy (NSoP) does not replace grades for courses in which a 2.0 or higher passing grade has been earned. If the first time taking a course results in a passing grade of 2.0 or higher, this grade will be used to calculate prerequisite and overall GPA for all purposes in the NSoP This policy applies to the pre-professional and professional programs.

Experiential Curriculum Component

Experiential learning is a critical component of the curriculum at Wilkes. Before being placed in an experiential setting, all students are required to:

  • possess an active Pennsylvania Pharmacy Intern License;
  • possess professional liability insurance,
  • have documentation of immunizations,
  • pass a physical examination,
  • be certified in Basic Cardiac Life Support (healthcare provider) and Basic First Aid,
  • have a criminal background check complete and clear, per site requirements, by an approved provider; and
  • complete and clear other site-specific requirements, such as FBI fingerprint check, PA child abuse background check, drug screen etc.

These criteria are fully described throughout the curriculum, including deadlines and ramifications of non-compliance.

The Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE)consists of a number of different experiences. During the summer following successful completion of the P-1 year, students will complete a 2-week (80 hours) Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE I). The second professional year (the P-2 year) includes 40 hours of IPPE II during the fall and/or spring semester. In addition, students will complete a 2-week (80 hours) IPPE III during the summer after the P-2 year. In the third professional year (P-3) of the professional program, the curriculum includes a two-semester course in service learning (longitudinal care), and 24 hours of IPPE IV (Clinical Telepharmacy). IPPE V is a self-directed IPPE and consists of 20 hours of independent pharmacy-related, service-oriented learning earned during the P1 through P3 years. IPPE's occur at practice sites and in the community in locations not on campus.

The Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) occurs during the fourth professional year (the P-4 year) of the professional program. Each student will be assigned to 7 rotations (5-6 weeks each) comprising a total of 1440 hours, some of which may be at some distance from the Wilkes-Barre area. As much as possible, The School of Pharmacy will assist in locating safe, affordable housing for APPEs. Since patient care is a continuous activity, some experiences may be conducted outside of regular school/business hours. Note also that APPE start and end dates do not adhere to the regular university calendar. The student is responsible for paying all transportation, site requirement, and housing costs for all experiential components of the curriculum, except where noted.

Graduation, Degree and Licensure Requirements

It is the student's responsibility to meet all graduation requirements, and it is expected that all students accepted into the Pharm.D. Program will meet regularly and frequently with their advisors to ensure timely progress toward their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Graduation is dependent on successful completion of all required and elective course requirements in the School of Pharmacy (see Progression Requirements) AND completion of all General Education Requirements mandated by Wilkes University.

A student entering the Professional Program with a bachelor's degree from a four-year accredited college or university is exempted from the University's General Education Requirements, but is not exempted from the prerequisite entry requirements prescribed by the School of Pharmacy for entry into the Professional Program.

Students applying with degrees or courses from foreign colleges or universities will be evaluated to ensure significant portions of the General Education Requirements are satisfied. Prerequisite course requirements must still be met.

All non-degreed students entering the Professional Programs are encouraged to complete the General Education Requirements prior to beginning the Professional Curriculum. As mentioned, a student may be deficient in two General Education requirements and be granted admission into the program. Student will receive consultation and documentation from their advisor that these courses must be completed prior to graduation. Students with more than two deficient General Education courses may appeal to the Student Affairs Committee of the School of Pharmacy for consideration. This requirement is in place since there is no room within the professional curriculum, including summers, to complete the courses. As a matter of record, non-degreed students who have successfully completed the second professional year (P-2) in the School of Pharmacy AND completed all General Education Requirements will be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Science degree. The pass-through B.S. degree does not meet eligibility requirements for licensure as a pharmacist; it is only intended to acknowledge the academic achievement of students completing four years of university-level education.

Pharmacy licensure is governed by state law. All states require graduation from an accredited School or College of Pharmacy. Additional requirements for licensure should be requested from the state in which licensure is sought. It is the student's responsibility to fulfill all requirements for the state in which they seek licensure. Students must contact that State Board of Pharmacy for all appropriate paperwork. For further information, please contact the Dean's Office in the School of Pharmacy.

The School of Pharmacy reserves the right to revise the Pharmacy Curriculum at any time in order to prepare students for future practice roles, meet new accreditation requirements and to incorporate innovations in instruction.


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