A career in the pharmaceutical sciences can be rewarding in terms of both the salary and benefits and also the ability to help people. Whether you are a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician, the licensing and continuing education requirements you encounter will vary from state-to-state. If you are a current resident of Minnesota, or looking to move there and find work as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, then the MN Board of Pharmacy is a key source of information. In this article, we’ll explore the MN Board of Pharmacy, its function, and the continuing education programs and requirements.
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What Is the MN Board of Pharmacy?
The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy is in place to preserve, promote, and protect the public health, safety, and welfare of Minnesota by fostering and supporting the safe distribution of pharmaceuticals. Further, the MN Board of Pharmacy endeavors to promote the provision of quality pharmaceutical care to the citizens of the state. To the public the MN Board of Pharmacy offers a license verification service, a complaint outlet, and additional resources. For the professional, the MN Board of Pharmacy has all the necessary information to apply for a license and to register to practice in the state. Essential news is also reported.
What Is Their Function?
The primary function of the MN Board of Pharmacy is to support the licensing and registration of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the state of Minnesota. For those applying for licenses in the state of Maryland, various requirements must be met. We’ll explore those linked to the new pharmacist, pharmacist renewal, the pharmacist pursuing license reinstatement, and pharmacy in general. As with many other states, MN also allows employers to screen their applicants as they see fit based upon education, experience, and national certifications.
First-time applicants in the state of Minnesota must first undergo a complete fingerprint-based criminal background test, as per state statute. The state also subjects all pharmacists to the law of the state requiring all pharmacists practicing in the state register and maintain an account with the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). License-by-transfer, reciprocity, is available to currently licensed pharmacists from other states. Graduates of ACPE-accredited colleges of pharmacy must meet the following requirements to be considered for licensing by the MN Board of Pharmacy:
- Be of good moral character
- Be 18+ in age
- Have graduated from an ACPE-accredited college or graduate school of pharmacy, or the College of Pharmacy of the University of MN
- Have completed 1,600 hours of internship experience after the completion of the third year of the standard 6-year Pharm D curriculum
- Of the 1,600 hours, 800 in traditional compounding and dispensing
- Pass the North American Licensing Examination (NAPLEX) and the MPJE through the NABF
The renewal of the pharmacist’s license under the MN Board of Pharmacy is dependent upon the payment of the renewal fees, and the achievement of the requisite 30 hours of continuing education over the course of the biennial period. The pharmacist can pay for their renewal by:
- Paying online
- Generating an invoice online then sending in payment via snail mail
- Calling the MN Board of Pharmacy to request for a paper form to be mailed
CEP Monitor Transcript and CE certificates must be received by December 1
Pharmacist License Reinstatement
When a previously licensed MN pharmacist has not paid for renewal for two or more years, they must undergo the license reinstatement process. If their license expires on the last day of February of this year, the pharmacist has until the last day of February in 2 years to reinstate without being required to retake examinations, although if the reinstatement is received beyond March 1 on the next even year, the pharmacist may be required to retake examinations prior to reinstatement.
To reinstate their license, the pharmacist must:
- Call the Board for the renewal
- Pay all the required back renewal and late fees
- Submit documentation of completion of any required CE
In the state of Minnesota, a pharmacy is defined as a place of business wherein prescription drugs are prepared, compounded, or dispensed by or under the supervision of a pharmacist, and from whom related clinical pharmacy services are provided. When an establishment falls beneath this definition, it must be licensed by the state as a pharmacy. Computer records for pharmacies only accept the DBA name of the pharmacy, in addition to the physical address of the facility. Opening a pharmacy in the state of Minnesota as per the MN Board of Pharmacy requires a business to:
- Complete the pharmacy application
- Pay the $225 fee
- Provide a blueprint or sketch of the new facility
- Provide articles of incorporation, partnership papers, or relevant business organization papers
- If the period from application to opening spans two licensing periods, the fee doubles
- Meet local ordinances for sanitation and rules for security, access, minimum equipment requirements, and others
- Agree to report daily to the MN PMP program
- Request inspection from the MN Board of Pharmacy 2 weeks prior to the planned opening date
- Contact the Minneapolis DEA for their instructions
- Do not receive prescription drugs on premises prior to the license being issued
- Apply and pay for other relevant local and state permits and licenses as necessary
For the pharmacy technician to maintain licensing to practice under the MN Board of Pharmacy, they must complete 20 hours of CE each two years. New registrants face different parameters that are available for further inspection through the MN Board of Pharmacy site upon creating an account. The MN Board of Pharmacy does not offer direct options through which CE can be performed. The Board does however turn pharmacy technicians to the following sources for CE hours, some of which require fees:
- American Pharmacists Association
- American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
- Minnesota Pharmacists Association
- Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists
- National Pharmacy Technician Association
- Power-Pak CE
- Pharmacy Technician Certifiction Board (PTCB)
- Pharmacy Tech CE
- Pharmacy Technician Letter
Continuing Education Programs
Prior to exploring the continuing education programs in the state of Minnesota, we’ll first explore the requirements issued by the MN Board of Pharmacy in terms of continuing education hour requirements for pharmacists. Licensed pharmacists in Minnesota are required to complete 30 continuing education (CE) hours for each biennial cycle. The biennial cycle begins on October 1 each even-numbered year and ends on September 30 of the following even-numbered year. Pharmacists must report to the MN Board of Pharmacy the completion of their 30 hours by the end of September each biennial cycle.
It is possible to monitor the number of CE hours entered and the accuracy thereof by logging into the online services portion of the MN Board of Pharmacy website. The Board randomly audits licensees, and upon notice of an audit a licensee has 60 days to submit satisfactory documentation to the Board to prove they have completed the required number of CE credits. Failure to submit such documents can lead to an inability to renew the license to work as a pharmacist in Minnesota. As noted above, the MN Board of Pharmacy does not directly offer CE hours through its website, but has suggestions.
Continuing Education Requirements
While the MN Board of Pharmacy does not directly offer CE hours, it does outline the requirements of the hours that are attained by licensees. The Board will accept programs that are developed specifically for technicians for pharmacy technicians, or for pharmacists for that particular occupation. The CE providers must be approved by either the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or by the Board. Some educational programs that were not put on by either an ACPE- or Board-approved provider may nevertheless still be able to receive some credit, upon application and approval by the Board.
The continuing education requirements of the pharmacist of 30 hours or 20 hours for the pharmacy technician must be completed by July 31st of each odd-numbered year for pharmacy technicians, with the deadline for reporting as indicated above being December 1 at the latest for pharmacists in Minnesota. Pharmacy technicians only receive credit for courses with the letter “T” printed at the end of the CE course number, and pharmacist courses must have their corresponding letter to receive credit. As with pharmacists, pharmacy technicians are audited at random.
For all essential information on what it takes to be a registered and licensed pharmacist or pharmacy technician in the state of Minnesota, the MN Board of Pharmacy is the go-to resource for registration, and resources. Continuing education programs that meet the requirements of the state can be easily sourced through their site, alongside additional resources to further your academic knowledge, and practical skills. Whether you have required minimum hours per year, or are choosing to pursue elective hours to meet your own imperatives, the MN Board of Pharmacy has a solution.
For more information on the best pharmacy programs, and the licensing requirements from the various state boards of pharmacy, check back to Best Pharmacy Technician for ongoing articles and updates.