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Board of Pharmacy Specialties
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April 19, 2011

Ryan Abel

BPS Approves Ambulatory Care Designation; Explores New Specialties in Pain and Palliative Care, Critical Care and Pediatrics

Washington, DC - The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) today announced that the official designation for pharmacists who pass the ambulatory care pharmacy specialty certification exam will be Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist and these pharmacists will carry the initials BCACP. The decision was reached during BPS's April meeting and the designation follows the general format of other BPS specialties.

Ambulatory Care Pharmacy is the newest BPS specialty and the first examination will be administered on October 1, 2011 at over 45 locations worldwide. Candidates for the Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Specialty will be tested on five domains including direct patient care, practice management, public health, retrieval, generation, interpretation and dissemination of knowledge and patient advocacy. The complete content outline for the Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Specialty Certification Examination can be obtained online at http://bpsweb.org/specialties/AmbulatoryCarePharmacy.pdf

Recently, BPS also approved role delineation studies in Pain and Palliative Care, Critical Care and Pediatrics. Conducting a role delineation study is a critical step in evaluating a proposed specialty.

The purpose of the role delineation study is to determine whether these three practice areas are based upon specialized knowledge of the pharmaceutical sciences, as well as specialized functions routinely performed by practitioners in these proposed specialties.

If the role delineation studies in these three areas yield information suggestive that Pain and Palliative Care, Critical Care and/or Pediatrics should be recognized as a specialty practice in pharmacy, the criteria outlined in the BPS Petitioner's Guide for Recognition of a Pharmacy Practice Specialty will be followed in the petition for new specialty recognition. The complete process leading to the administration of a certification exam in a new specialty takes approximately three years to complete.

BPS has appointed the following individuals to the practice analysis task force for pain and palliative care pharmacy:
  • Suzanne A Nesbit, PharmD, CPE, Clinical Specialist, Pain Management, Department of Pharmacy, and Research Associate, Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.
  • Jennifer M. Strickland, PharmD, BCPS, Palliative Care Program Manager, HPC Healthcare, Tampa, Fla.
  • Chris Herndon, PharmD, BCPS, CPE, Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Ill, and Pain and Palliative Care Specialist, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Belleville, Ill.
  • Phyllis Grauer, RPh, PharmD, CGP, Specialty Practice Pharmacist, Pain and Palliative Care, Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital and Center for Palliative Care, Columbus, Ohio
  • Jeffrey Fudin, R.Ph., B.S., Pharm.D., DAAPM, FCCP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Pain Management, Samuel S. Stratton, VA Medical Center, Albany, N.Y.
  • Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, Professor and Vice Chair, University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, Md.
  • Scott Strassels, PharmD, PhD, BCPS, Assistant Professor, Division of Pharmacy Practice, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
  • David Craig, BS, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist Specialist, Psychosocial, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine Department, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Tampa, Fla.
  • Lee Kral, PharmD, BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Pain Management, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Douglas Nee, PharmD, MS, Clinical Specialist Consultant, OPTIMED, Inc., San Diego, Calif.
BPS will post a call for nominees to constitute a practice analysis task force of 10 subject matter experts in the proposed specialties of critical care and pediatrics. Appointments to each practice analysis task force will be made in June. The role delineation studies for critical care and pediatrics will begin in July.

BPS Executive Director, William M. Ellis commented; "The conduct of the three role delineation studies demonstrates the active commitment of BPS to recognize pharmacy specialties and certify pharmacists' knowledge and skill at the advanced practice level. The exploration of new specialties is consistent with the increased interest and recognition of BPS specialty certification over the past five years where the number of board certified pharmacists has doubled."

For more information on BPS activities including applying for the 2011 examination visit www.bpsweb.org

About the Board of Pharmacy Specialties
The Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) is an autonomous Division of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), founded in January 1976 to recognize specialties and certify pharmacists in specialized areas of pharmacy practice. Six specialties are currently recognized by BPS, including: 1) nuclear pharmacy, since 1978; 2) nutrition support pharmacy, since 1988; 3) pharmacotherapy, since 1988; 4) psychiatric pharmacy, since 1992; and 5) oncology pharmacy, since 1996. The latest BPS specialty, focused on ambulatory care pharmacy, was approved in June 2009, and is scheduled for its first examination in 2011. More than 10,500 pharmacist specialists are currently certified by BPS.