Pharmacy students at a lab bench taking notes during a lecture

The Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy (RUCOP) had the highest passing rate of any pharmacy school in the Chicago area on the North American Pharmacist's Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) in 2018.

A little more than 89 percent of NAPLEX test takers from RUCOP's Class of 2018 passed the rigorous standardized test on the first try last year. This is on par with the 2018 national passing rate of 89.5 percent.

It is also the highest passing rate for first-time test takers among the five Chicago-area pharmacy schools. To learn more, see the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy 2018 test scores and results.

"The NAPLEX exam is the final step after completing a rigorous PharmD program and is a gateway to the profession. You cannot be a pharmacist unless you pass NAPLEX, which is why this result is so significant," said Melissa Hogan, dean of RUCOP.

"Based on the detailed results provided by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), we have learned that 98 percent of graduates from the Class of 2018 have now passed the NAPLEX. Although a few students had to take the exam more than once, nearly all of these graduates have passed this exam," said Hogan.

News on RUCOP's most recent NAPLEX results comes at a time when reputation of the college's faculty and enrollment of its students have been rising.

Of note, Illinois' pharmacy professionals named two RUCOP faculty members as distinguished professors and leaders in the field in 2017. The 2018 year also proved to be fruitful for RUCOP faculty members who were recognized with Educator of the Year and Pharmacist of the Year awards. Also, the college enrolled its largest class to date last year, with demand by prospective students to enter the program continuing to increase.

"Our faculty and staff are committed to excellence and to the success of each of our students.  This commitment is seen in every aspect of our program, especially in the work our faculty do with our students every day, and it is evident in results including this Boards passing rate," said Hogan.

One of the benefits of attending a small pharmacy school like RUCOP is the individual attention that students receive from faculty members.

"Professors knew me by name and it made going to class rewarding," said Jaclyn Rinehart, a Class of 2018 graduate who today is a Walgreens pharmacy manager.

"When I saw my score on the NAPLEX, which was higher than I would have imagined, I realized that I did prepare enough. I credit the long hours of studying, the daily interactions with my professors and the encouragement I received from every staff member at RUCOP for my success on the exam.  Without them, I would not be the pharmacist I am today," she said.

Now entering its eighth year, RUCOP offers a Doctor of Pharmacy program that allows students to complete their degree in three years instead of the traditional four years. On average, the program receives more than 500 applications annually. From that pool, approximately 65-75 candidates are selected annually for the program, which emphasizes competency, compassion and commitment by all students preparing to become pharmacy professionals.

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