Analyzing the Trends in North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) Pass Rates
Overview of NAPLEX Pass Rates
The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) is a pivotal milestone for aspiring pharmacists in their journey to licensure. A recent report released by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) revealed that the first-time pass rates for the NAPLEX have been experiencing a slight dip over the past two years. In 2021, the first-time pass rate was 81.3%, which declined to 77.1% in the following year, before experiencing a mini resurgence to 77.5% in 2023.
Interestingly, the report also spotlighted the top 20 pharmacy schools, ranked by their first-time NAPLEX pass rates. Hampton (Va.) University School of Pharmacy took the lead with a perfect score of 100% (4 attempts), followed by the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy with 88.5% (113 attempts).
The Positive Turn for NAPLEX 2023 First-Time Pass Rates
The NAPLEX 2023 first-time pass rates present a glimmer of hope for aspiring pharmacists, showing a slight increase from the previous year. The overall pass rate was 92%, a sign indicating a high level of preparedness among candidates. This upward trend reflects positively on the quality of education and training provided to future pharmacists, marking a crucial step in the licensure process.
Pharmacy Schools and NAPLEX Pass Rates
Pharmacy schools play a significant role in shaping the success rate of NAPLEX. The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, for instance, registered a first attempt NAPLEX pass rate of 88.5%, the highest in Texas. Additionally, it had a first attempt MPJE pass rate of 87.6%, surpassing the national average. Such pass rates are indicative of the quality of the Pharm.D. programs at UT Austin.
Comparison of First-Time and All-Time Pass Rates
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy released the NAPLEX passing rates for 2023 graduates across 144 schools. The report compared first-time and all-time pass rates over the last three years, revealing an average all-time pass rate of 75.7% in 2023, a slight increase from the year prior. However, the first-time pass rate in 2021 was 81.3%, dropping to about 77% in the subsequent years.
Notably, Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy achieved its highest-ever licensing exam first-time pass rate, with its graduates scoring 87.9% on the NAPLEX, almost 10 points above the national average.
Concerns About NAPLEX Pass Rates
While the overall increase in pass rates is a positive sign, there are still concerns about the impact on recent graduates and the pharmacy profession. Some schools have had scores below 70% in the past three years, and the average first-time and all-time pass rates have been below 80% for the second year in a row. These statistics underscore the importance of continuous improvement in the quality of pharmacy education and training to meet the ever-evolving demands of the pharmacy profession.