Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Design and evaluation of a new National Pharmacy Internship Program in Ireland

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posted on 2021-08-05, 15:35 authored by Judith StrawbridgeJudith Strawbridge, James BarlowJames Barlow, Aisling O'LearyAisling O'Leary, Muirne SpoonerMuirne Spooner, Eric ClarkeEric Clarke, Richard ArnettRichard Arnett, Chris Langley, Keith Wilson, Paul Gallagher

Objective. To design, deliver, and evaluate a National Pharmacy Internship Program that met the educational requirements of pharmacy graduates to register as competent pharmacists and earned graduates a master's level degree.

Methods. The National Pharmacy Internship Program was designed as a 12-month, full-time, blended-learning, competency-based program leading to a master's degree. Intern performance was assessed academically and by pharmacy preceptor (tutor) appraisals. Interns who demonstrated competency were invited to sit for the Professional Registration Examination (PRE). Feasibility and performance were evaluated and a longitudinal approach allowed intern and preceptor views to be compared to the former preregistration year.

Results. Overall performance in the PRE was good and relatively consistent with almost all interns proceeding to register as pharmacists. Interns believed that the program had enabled them to develop the knowledge, skills, and overall competencies required for future independent practice as a pharmacist. Preceptors considered the program to have built on prior learning and provided a sufficiently rounded experience for professional practice. Preceptors also stated that the program was an improved educational experience over the former, less structured, preregistration training.

Conclusion. The National Pharmacy Internship Program was perceived to be an improvement on the previous preregistration year. The program quality assured pharmacy education outcomes at the entry-to-practice level on a national basis, and uniquely recognized the students' accomplishment by awarding them a master's degree.



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Published Citation

Strawbridge J et al. Design and evaluation of a new National Pharmacy Internship Program in Ireland. Am J Pharm Educ. 2019;83(4):6678.

Publication Date

1 May 2019

PubMed ID



  • School of Medicine
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Health Professions Education
  • Population Health and Health Services


American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education


  • Published Version (Version of Record)