Nuclear Pharmacy

The BPS Board Certified Nuclear Pharmacist (BCNP) program is a credential for pharmacists who have met the eligibility criteria below and who in their unique practice seek to improve and promote public health through the safe and effective use of radioactive drugs for diagnosis and therapy.

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

  • Managing the procurement, compounding, quality control testing, dispensing, distribution, and monitoring of highly toxic radiopharmaceuticals used for PET scans and other diagnostic procedures.
  • Preparing medications and troubleshooting problems with scans.
  • Consulting on health and safety issues concerning radiopharmaceuticals as well as the use of non-radioactive drugs and patient care.
  • Playing an important role in quality control and cost management by thoroughly testing products before delivery.
  • Minimizing error and patient exposure to radiation.
  • Identifying whether a patient is on any interfering medications.

BPS Nuclear Pharmacy Brochure

Eligibility Requirements (all practice eligibility requirements must be met prior to the candidate sitting for the examination)

The minimum requirements for certification in nuclear pharmacy 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. Foreign trained pharmacists must pass the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Examination Committee (FPGEC) examination.
  • Current, active license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction
  • 4,000 hours of training/experience in nuclear pharmacy practice
  • Achieving a passing score on the Nuclear Pharmacy Specialty Certification Examination

The required 4,000 hours of experience may be earned in a variety of settings.

Academic-up to 2,000 hours:

  • Undergraduate courses in nuclear pharmacy: up to 100 hours experience for every quarter credit hour or 150 hours experience for every semester credit hour, to a maximum of 1,500 hours
  • Postgraduate courses in nuclear pharmacy: up to 100 hours experience for every quarter credit hour or 150 hours experience for every semester credit hour, to a maximum of 1,500 hours
  • MS or PhD degree in nuclear pharmacy: 2,000 hours
  • Successful completion of the Nuclear Pharmacy Certificate Program offered by Purdue University (217 hours) or The Ohio State University (214 hours), or the Nuclear Education Online (NEO) Program offered by the Universities of New Mexico and Arkansas (250 hours). Credit for other courses will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Training/Practice-up to 4,000 hours:

  • Residency in nuclear pharmacy: hour-for-hour credit to a maximum of 2,000 hours
  • Internship to satisfy requirements of state boards of pharmacy: hour-for-hour credit in a licensed nuclear pharmacy or facility authorized to handle radioactive materials, to a maximum of 2,000 hours
  • Nuclear pharmacy practice: hour-for-hour credit in a licensed nuclear pharmacy or health care facility approved by state or federal agencies to handle radioactive materials, to a maximum of 4,000 hours.

Examination Content

  • Domain 1: Procurement, Storage, and Handling (16% of examination)
  • Domain 2: Preparation, Compounding, and Dispensing (38% of examination)
  • Domain 3: Quality Assurance (17% of examination)
  • Domain 4: Health and Safety (19% of examination)
  • Domain 5: Drug Information and Professional Consultation (10% of examination)


Recertification for Board Certified Nuclear Pharmacists® (BCNP) will be accomplished through one of two methods:

  • Option One: Examination
    Achieve a passing score on the 100-item, multiple choice objective recertification examination based on the content outline. (Refer to the Nuclear Pharmacy Content Outline for details.)
  • Option Two: Continuing Education
    Beginning January 1, 2016, BPS has designated Purdue University College of Pharmacy as the new continuing education provider for professional development in nuclear pharmacy.

A BCNP recertifying via CE is required to earn 100 hours over the seven-year certification period. There are no restrictions as to which lessons in which years may be used to obtain the required number of hours.

At the time of recertification, the BCNP is also required to certify the (s)he is not currently under suspension by either the U.S.Nuclear Regulatory Commission or a State Radiation Control Organization.

All candidates for recertification must have a current active license to practice pharmacy.

Board Certified Nuclear 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.