Wilkes University


Wilkes University’s Nesbitt School of Pharmacy Marks 20 Years of Pharmacy Education With Oct. 22 Event

Wilkes University’s Nesbitt School of Pharmacy rededicates its CVS Pharmacy Care Lab at a special event on Saturday, Oct. 22. The event also marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the pharmacy school at Wilkes. The ribbon cutting and rededication will be at 4:30 p.m. at the lab on the first floor of the Stark Learning Center, followed by a reception. 

The first class of pharmacy students began studying at the school in 1996. Saturday’s event coincides – almost to the day – with the formal dedication of the school on Oct. 23, 1996, affirmed by a congratulatory note from then-President Bill Clinton that still hangs in the school.  It is northeast Pennsylvania’s only pharmacy school.

The Care Lab has been an integral part of training for over 1,100 Nesbitt School of Pharmacy graduates and will serve future students with a state-of-the-art, collaborative learning space. The rededication is the culmination of significant renovations that have taken place over the past nine months at a cost of over $85,000.

According to Bernard Graham, dean of the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, facilities such as the care lab reflects the pharmacy schools’ commitment to adapt to changes in health care and in the pharmacy profession.

“As the profession of pharmacy continues to evolve so does our educational methods and programs. Pharmacists are an integral part of the Heath care team and our students of pharmacy must be collaborative and continued learners,” Graham said. “This newly reconfigured space will help to facilitate the learning process by encouraging the students to learn together as team and use the current available technology.”

The Care Lab represents the backbone of the curriculum within the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy. Students learn to apply the knowledge gained in other classes to patient care. Within the five-semester lab series that are required, student pharmacists develop skills in preparing intravenous medications in accordance with United States Pharmacopeia standards, learn to counsel patients on prescription and over-the-counter medications and acquire knowledge of the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process.

The lab classes also:

  • help students gain skills in applying the principles of evidence-based medicine,
  • become familiar with the use of an electronic health record,
  • perform medication therapy management consultations,
  • participate in the American Pharmacists Association immunization training program,
  • work as a member of an interprofessional healthcare team
  • and learn to provide patient-centered care in a variety of practice settings, such as ambulatory care, acute care, and managed care pharmacy.

The Nesbitt School of Pharmacy was first imagined by the late Umid R. Nejib, then dean of the Wilkes’ College of Science and Engineering. Nejib saw the need for a pharmacy school in northeastern Pennsylvania, advanced the idea at Wilkes and in 1994 hired Graham from Idaho State University to serve as dean. 

The first pharmacy students entered Wilkes in fall 1994, and the professional pharmacy program started in fall 1996. Two years of pre-pharmacy education lead to guaranteed seating for the four years of study leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In 1999, the school was named the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy in honor of Abram Nesbitt 2nd, the late husband of Geraldine Nesbitt Orr, who made a generous gift to the University.