Published on December 17, 2020 by Sarah Waller  

The preliminary results are in. The graduates in Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy class of 2020 who have taken the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination® (NAPLEX®) achieved a 97.6% first-time pass rate. The official results will be provided in early 2021 after all members of the class have taken the exam.

“Our Class of 2020 will always be a special one. Despite a global pandemic, they showed tenacity and determination to finish their final semester, pursuing excellence in all they do,” said Michael Crouch, dean of McWhorter School of Pharmacy and associate provost of Samford’s College of Health Sciences.

“The NAPLEX® is just one step, though an important one, in becoming a pharmacist," he said. "We know the impact of these results go beyond a number—for on the other side of every one of our licensed graduates is ultimately a patient.”

In many ways, this outcome reflects the supportive nature of McWhorter School of Pharmacy’s faculty and staff and their commitment to student success—going beyond the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum to prepare students to thrive as graduates.  

Professional development and career awareness are key components of this preparation, which the school’s faculty and staff champion. Beginning in their first year, students complete an online assessment created by the American Pharmacists Association to identify areas of pharmacy practice in which they may be compatible; and then, through events like career roundtables, students can explore these pathways further with faculty, staff and alumni. 

Of course, many students come to pharmacy school having already chosen their career path, and by doing so, they can get involved as early as their first semester in mentorship programs, like the school’s Community Pharmacy Mentorship Program and Post-Graduate Mentoring Program, or specialty-specific student organizations.

Faculty and staff lead workshops in résumé and CV writing, and in students’ third and fourth years, they participate in mock job interviews. Additionally, students who are interested in postgraduate pharmacy residencies have access to preparation tools provided by the school’s Post-Graduate Education Resource Committee.  

Finally, McWhorter School of Pharmacy provides a plethora of resources to students as they prepare to take the NAPLEX® and Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination® (MPJE®) following graduation. The school provides digital review guides and preparation books to students through the university library, and students complete live review courses. The school covers the cost of these review sessions as well as two practice NAPLEX® exams and one MPJE® exam offered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.  

“Essentially, we provide numerous resources and mentorship opportunities to ensure all of our students receive the support they need,” said Renee DeHart, professor and associate dean for student affairs. “This work is our school’s mission on display: to prepare students to be exemplary pharmacists and improve health worldwide.”