Critical Care Pharmacy Fact Sheet

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Critical Care Pharmacy specializes in the delivery of patient care services by pharmacists, as integral members of interprofessional teams, working to ensure the safe and effective use of medications in critically ill patients. Currently there are more than 1,600 BPS Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacists.

The BPS Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist® (BCCCP):

  • Has the advanced knowledge and expertise to quickly assess clinical data and deliver direct patient care to the critically ill and injured patient who may require specialized pharmacologic or technological interventions to maintain blood pressure, respiration, nutrition and other homeostatic functions, in addition to the patient’s primary condition
  • Reviews, analyzes and frequently reassesses multifaceted clinical and technological data to make reasoned decisions for patients with life-threatening conditions and complex medication regimens whose pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters differ substantially from the non-critically ill patient

To become a BPS Board Certified Critical Care Pharmacist ®, a pharmacist must:

  • Graduate 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 that jurisdiction; and
  • Maintain a current, active license to practice pharmacy in the U.S. or another jurisdiction; and
  • Complete four (4) years of post-licensure practice, with at least fifty percent (50%) of time spent in critical care pharmacy activities as defined in the BPS Critical Care Pharmacy Specialty Content Outline; or
  • Complete a PGY1 residency accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or new residency program granted Candidate Status for accreditation by ASHP plus two (2) additional years of post-licensure practice, with at least fifty percent (50%) of time spent in critical care pharmacy activities as defined in the BPS Critical Care Pharmacy Specialty Content Outline; or
  • Complete a PGY2 Critical Care Pharmacy residency accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or new residency program granted Candidate Status for accreditation by ASHP; and
  • Achieve a passing score on the BPS Critical Care Pharmacy Examination.

BCCCPs are be required to maintain their certification over a seven-year period by completing one of the following professional development activities:

Critical Care Pharmacy Preparatory Review and Recertification Courses offered by any of the approved providers may only be completed for recertification credit up to two times, in nonconsecutive years, during the 7-year recertification cycle.

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
  • Improve their standing in a competitive employment market
  • Be recognized for their expertise by other healthcare professionals, employers, patients and insurers

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 care for.