Nutrition Support Pharmacy

Nutrition Support Pharmacy addresses the care of patients receiving specialized nutrition support, including parenteral (IV) or enteral (feeding tube) nutrition. Currently there are over 600 BPS Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacists.

The BPS Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist (BCNSP) program is a credential for pharmacists who have met the eligibility criteria below and who in their unique practice address the care of patients receiving specialized nutrition support, including parenteral (IV) or enteral (feeding tube) nutrition.

The purpose of the BCNSP program is to validate that the pharmacist has the advanced knowledge and experience to optimize patient outcomes by:

  • Promoting the maintenance and/or restoration of optimal nutritional status through design and modification of individualized treatment plans.
  • Providing direct patient care, including patient assessment, type of feeding design, clinical monitoring, dosing of specific nutrients, and compatibility issues.
  • Identifying unusual nutrient deficiencies to guarantee  the safety of the patient.
  • Ensuring that parenteral and enteral feeding formulations are properly prepared and administered.
  • Monitoring and maintaining the patient’s nutritional status during the critical transition to a care facility or home.

Effective January 1, 2019: All applicants intending to demonstrate eligibility for any BPS certification examination utilizing the practice experience pathway must provide an attestation from their employer, on company letterhead, that verifies this experience accurately represents 50% of time spent in some or all of the activities defined by the applicable certification content outline. In addition, this practice experience must have occurred within the seven years immediately preceding the application. For more information, click here.

(All practice eligibility requirements must be met prior to the candidate sitting for the examination)

The minimum requirements for the Nutrition Support Pharmacy specialty certification are:

  • Graduation from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or program outside the U.S. that qualifies the individual to practice in the jurisdiction.
  • A current, active license/registration to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction.
  • Demonstration of practice experience in one of two ways:

Completion of three (3) years practice experience** (i.e., three years of experience after licensure/registration as a pharmacist) including 50% or more of that time spent practicing in the domains described in the Nutrition Support Pharmacy Content Outline

OR

Completion of a (PGY-2) residency* in nutrition support pharmacy; and

  • Achieving a passing score on the Nutrition Support Pharmacy Specialty Certification Examination.

 

*Effective January 1, 2013, only residency programs accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and completed by the applicant within the past 7 years, or new residency programs granted Candidate Status for accreditation by ASHP are creditable for this purpose.

**Practice experience should be from within the past seven years prior to the application date. 

The rationale for the appropriateness of the requirements for BPS certification programs are based upon the following:

  • BPS recognizes individuals who graduate from a recognized school or college of pharmacy within the candidate’s jurisdiction. Those jurisdictions recognize and evaluate programs on the extent to which it accomplishes its stated goals and is consistent with the concept that pharmacy is a unique, personal service profession in the health science field. In the United States, the responsibility for responsibility recognizing schools and colleges of pharmacy falls to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
  • The rationale for requiring licensure or registration of pharmacists within their jurisdiction is based upon the fact that for public protection, all pharmacists must be licensed or registered. This is considered a baseline requirement to be a pharmacist specialist. In the United States, BPS recognizes the licensure process administered by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) aims to ensure the public’s health and safety through its pharmacist license transfer and pharmacist competence assessment programs. NABP’s member boards of pharmacy are grouped into eight districts that include all 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Australia, Bahamas, and all 10 Canadian provinces.
  • The experiential component is required to help assure practical application of components of the specialty knowledge being certified. There are multiple pathways to meet the practice experience requirement.  The faster eligibility pathways recognize accredited residencies through the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP). The ASHP residency accreditation program identifies and grants public recognition to practice sites having pharmacy residency training programs that have been evaluated and found to meet the qualifications of one of the ASHP’s residency accreditations standards. Thus, accreditation of a pharmacy residency program provides a means of assurance to residency applicants that a program meets certain basic requirements and is, therefore, an acceptable site for postgraduate training in pharmacy practice in organized health care.
  • Passing the BPS pharmacy specialty examination helps assure knowledge consistent with the validated content outline for the BPS specialty.

The appropriateness of the BPS program requirements are consistent with the Council on Credentialing in Pharmacy’s Resource Paper titled: Scope of Contemporary Pharmacy Practice: Roles, Responsibilities, and Functions of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians.

Refer to the Nutrition Support Pharmacy Content Outline for details.

      • Domain 1. Clinical Practice: Provision of Patient‐Centered Nutrition Support Tasks (67% of examination)
      • Domain 2. Practice Management and Operations (about 26% of examination)
      • Domain 3. Evidence‐Based Medicine, Scholarship, Education, and Advocacy (7% of examination)

Recertification for Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacists® (BCNSP) is based on the following activities:

Beginning in January 2017, Purdue University College of Pharmacy will assume responsibility as the BPS Professional Development Provider for the recertification of Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacists (BCNSP).  Along with this new addition, BPS would also like to announce an update in the recertification requirement for recertification in Nutrition Support Pharmacy.  Effective in January 1, 2019, all Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacists will have the option of recertifying via:

  • Option One: Recertification Examination
    Achieving a passing score on the 100-item recertification examination (administered by BPS), based on the content outline for the Nutrition Support Pharmacy Specialty in their seventh year following initial certification;

OR

  • Option Two: Continuing Education
    Earning 100 hours of continuing education credit provided by the professional development programs offered by Purdue University College of Pharmacy.

You can download the approved Continuing Education Transition Plan for the Board Certified Nutrition Support Program by clicking here.

More information on Purdue’s professional development program for BCNSP recertification can be found here.

*A list of ACPE-approved providers, can be found via their website.

A current, active license to practice pharmacy is required for recertification.

For full details regarding recertification, please refer to the BPS Recertification Guide.

Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacists® are also required to pay the BPS Annual Certification Maintenance fee of $125 each year for years one through six and a $400 recertification fee in year seven. Individuals with more than one BPS certification will only be assessed one BPS Annual Certification Maintenance Fee each year.

Download PDF Fact Sheet

 

Nutrition Support Pharmacy addresses the care of patients receiving specialized nutrition support, including parenteral (IV) or enteral (feeding tube) nutrition. Currently there are over 600 BPS Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacists.

Pharmacotherapy Specialist Pete Koval

The BPS Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist® (BCNSP):

  • Has the advanced knowledge and expertise to promote maintenance of and/or restore optimal nutritional status through design and modification of individualized treatment plans
  • Has responsibility for direct patient care including patient assessment; type of feeding design; clinical monitoring; dosing of specific nutrients; compatibility issues; and identification of unusual nutrient deficiencies to guarantee the safety of the patient
  • Ensures that parenteral and enteral feeding formulations are properly prepared and administered
  • Is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the patient’s nutritional status during the critical transition to a care facility or home

To become a BPS Board Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist®, a pharmacist must:

  • Graduate from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or a program outside of the U.S. that qualifies the individual to practice in that jurisdiction; and
  • Maintain a current, active license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction; and
  • Complete three (3) years of post-licensure practice experience with at least fifty percent (50%) of time spent in nutrition support pharmacy activities as defined in the BPS Nutrition Support Pharmacy Content Outline; or
  • Complete an ASHP-accredited PGY2 residency in Nutrition Support; and
  • Achieve a passing score on the BPS Nutrition Support Certification examination

Recertification is required every seven (7) years and can be accomplished by:

  • Earning 100 hours of continuing education credit provided by the professional development program offered by Purdue University College of Pharmacy; or
  • Achieving a passing score on the BPS Nutrition Support Recertification examination

Becoming BPS board certified enables pharmacists to:

  • Provide more comprehensive and complex patient care
  • Be prepared to step into pharmacy’s evolving position on the multidisciplinary treatment team
  • Experience increased recognition by other healthcare professionals, employers, patients and insurers
  • Improve their standing in a competitive employment market

 

Board certification through the Board of Pharmacy Specialties® is the gold standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced practice levels. Through the rigorous examination standards mandated by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties®, the BPS board certified pharmacist is uniquely trained and educated to meet the continually expanding expectations of other healthcare team members and the specialized needs of the patients they serve.