Sign In
How to Make the Most of Your Continuing Pharmacy Education

How to Make the Most of Your Continuing Pharmacy Education by Elements magazine |

July 26, 2017

Pharmacy school may be over, but your pharmacy education never ends.

Even if you want it to.

For busy independent community pharmacists, it’s easy to get frustrated by the annual continuing education (CE) requirements needed for state licensure.

After all, you’ve already dedicated so many years to school to get where you are now. And with everything you have to manage every day at your pharmacy, CE classes add an extra burden.

But continuing education can benefit your pharmacy and your patients. It can generate new business ideas, help improve patient outcomes, and keep your pharmacy up-to-date with industry trends and regulations.

Continuing education doesn’t have to be something you simply check off your list; it can make a real difference to your pharmacy business.

Here a few easy ways make your continuing pharmacy education a benefit to look forward to instead of a burden to begrudge.

Build your network

Continuing education classes bring together pharmacists from different backgrounds, specialties and experiences. They’re a great opportunity to establish and broaden your professional relationships.

Use CE classes as opportunities to build a network for your independent community pharmacy.

Maybe you’ll learn a successful strategy for gaining new patients, or you might hear about a new point-of-sale vendor you didn’t know existed. You never know what you might take away from a conversation.

Make it an event

Many organizations provide continuing education classes as part of bigger events, such as industry conferences.

Attend a conference that offers CE classes, like the Annual NCPA Convention by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) or the American Pharmacists Association’s (APhA) Annual Meeting & Exposition. You can complete several classes in only a couple of days, broaden your professional network, and participate in fun activities that the conference offers.

Convening with your peers at an exciting event will make CE classes something you look forward to instead of dread.

Learn something new

What you learn isn’t always up to you, but sometimes it is.

When you attend a class simply to get it over with rather than to grow your knowledge, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your patients.

Albert Einstein famously said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” That couldn’t be more true for an independent pharmacy business that has to survive in the ever-evolving health care marketplace.

Attend classes open to learning and even willing to let others challenge your opinions. You’ll find the classes more enjoyable and you may learn something you didn’t expect.

Choose topics that interest you

You’re more likely to enjoy a class when you’re interested in the topic. Choose a CE course that fits both your professional and personal interests to help you get the most out of the program.

For example, if you’re interested in the provider status movement, consider attending a continuing education discussion on the topic.

But don’t only attend classes because they’re good for your business. Change it up by taking a class that piques your interest, possibly a topic that you’ve never heard about before. Those classes will prevent CE burnout and may even spark new ideas for your pharmacy business.

Attend with friends

Everything is better with a friend.

If you attend CE classes with a friend, you’re more likely to enjoy the class, share ideas and discuss how you can put those ideas into practice at your pharmacy.

Make the classes into an outing by planning other activities with friends between and after classes. You’ll be more motivated to attend.

Apply what you learn

How many times have you attended a class, taken notes, and then never looked or thought about them again?

It’s easy to leave a class excited to apply new ideas but to immediately get overwhelmed by the daily requirements at your pharmacy and forget about what you learned.

The first day you return to work, dedicate time to implement changes or innovations that you learned at your CE sessions.

You may not be in pharmacy school anymore, but you can still enjoy learning.


Want more pharmacy business tips and advice? Sign up for our e-newsletter.



Sign up for a FREE subscription to Elements magazine!



Sign up to receive the weekly Elements e-newsletter for bonus business tips and advice.

find out more