A Qualitative Study Designed to Build an Experiential Education Curriculum for Practice-Ready Community Pharmacy-Bound Students

Am J Pharm Educ. 2017 Dec;81(10):6055. doi: 10.5688/ajpe6055.


Objective. To design an experiential education curriculum that sequentially and deliberately prepares community pharmacy-bound graduates to practice at the level of the care provider and display the skills needed to be a pharmacist-in-charge. Methods. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with community pharmacy stakeholders. Transcriptions from the interviews were analyzed to identify common themes in needed community pharmacy training for core and elective advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). The themes were used to distinguish key elements of a community pharmacy experiential education curriculum that would meet the project objective. Results. Forty-two individuals were interviewed: 11 were interviewed individually and 31 in focus groups, with each group comprising two to six individuals. There were 11 focus groups. Theme analysis allowed differentiation of activities and performance levels for the community pharmacy introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE) and the core APPE as well as the goal of the core APPE for all program graduates. Participants identified two important elective APPEs for students planning to practice in community pharmacy after graduation: an advanced patient care experience and a management experience. Participants emphasized the importance of sequencing the core and advanced elective APPEs so that the advanced electives could build upon the skills demonstrated in the core APPE. Participants identified knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for practice-readiness upon graduation. Conclusion. The identified experiential education curriculum for students planning to practice in the community pharmacy setting upon graduation will prepare them to provide care to complex community-dwelling patients and function as a pharmacist-in-charge in this setting.

Keywords: curricular assessment; experiential learning; qualitative research.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Curriculum / trends
  • Education, Pharmacy / standards*
  • Education, Pharmacy / trends
  • Humans
  • Pharmacists / standards*
  • Pharmacists / trends
  • Problem-Based Learning / standards*
  • Problem-Based Learning / trends
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Students, Pharmacy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards