Nutrition Support Pharmacy addresses the care of patients receiving specialized nutrition support, including parenteral (IV) or enteral (feeding tube) nutrition. Currently there are over 1,020 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; and
- Monitoring and maintaining the patient’s nutritional status during the critical transition to a care facility or home.
An applicant for board certification in Nutrition Support Pharmacy must demonstrate all of the requirements listed below prior to sitting for the initial certification examination. Once all of the requirements below are met, an applicant will be deemed eligible to sit for the Nutrition Support Pharmacy specialty certification examination. If an applicant achieves a passing score on the Nutrition Support Pharmacy specialty certification examination, they may use the designation Board-Certified Nutrition Support Pharmacist, or BCNSP.
- Graduation from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) or a 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 the following ways:
- At least three years of Nutrition Support Pharmacy practice experience1 within the past seven years, with at least 50% of time spent in the scope defined by the exam content outline; or
- Successful completion of PGY2 pharmacy residency in Nutrition Support Pharmacy within the past seven years.
1All 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 at least 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. A sample employer verification letter is available here: Sample.
2American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)-accredited/candidate status PGY1 pharmacy residency, residencies accredited under the ASHP Accreditation Standard for International Pharmacy Practice Residency Programs, or Canadian Pharmacy Residency Board (CPRB)-accredited Year 1 pharmacy residency.
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 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, 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 found in the BCNSP Examination Specification document 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 January 1, 2017, 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;
- Option Two: Continuing Education
Earning 100 hours of continuing education credit provided by the professional development programs offered by Purdue University College of Pharmacy.
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.