Retail Pharmacists

Getting back after many years away from pharmacy


I am interested in resuming my career as a retail pharmacist after many years in another profession. I last worked retail in 1973. I have kept my license current but am not comfortable without some extra training. I have been working in the medical field all of this time so I am fairly up to date on medicine. I have heard that some of the pharmacy schools have concentrated refresher courses for people like me. I have contacted several schools and no one seems to know of any programs. I am interested in any info that anyone can provide. I am also interested in hearing from anyone like me who has resumed their retail career after a long layoff.

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KMiller's picturePharmacy TechnicianKMillerJoined: Aug, 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 152

Charter Oak State College

Charter Oak State College offers an online refresher
it runs $1700.

hunterjim's picturePharmacisthunterjimJoined: Sep, 2009
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 2

Thanks. Even more than I was

Thanks. Even more than I was looking for. It would be overkill but worth it.

spmom6's picturePharmacistspmom6Joined: Aug, 2009
Location: Thomasville, GA
Posts: 1

I did a similar thing a few

I did a similar thing a few years ago. I had let my license lapse, so had to retake the boards again. I'd been away from Pharmacy for 25 years. I worked as a pharmacy tech for 5 months while I studied review books and did CE to "bring me up to date".
After getting my license renewed, I started out in a slow retail and nursing home environment. I have been in a fast paced retail for the last 2 years. Good luck

beckyb025's picturePharmacistbeckyb025Joined: Oct, 2009
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 2

I took nine years off to be

I took nine years off to be with my children. I had also kept up with my CE, but had moved to a different state and needed to apply for a license. I live in CT and took a two part refresher course through the CT Pharmacist's Association. The courses were offered online and were open to any pharmacist. (I had "classmates" in Texas and Massachusetts.) The web address is, and you can follow the Education link to Online Refresher Course. I had not been working, so I found the course very helpful. I also worked as a technician in an independent pharmacy while taking the course. The process took me about six months from start to receiving my license. I am now working part-time for a retail chain and am very happy I made the decision to return. Good luck!

hunterjim's picturePharmacisthunterjimJoined: Sep, 2009
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 2

Thanks for the info. I want

Thanks for the info. I want to do the Charter Oaks program but it appears that there is a glut of retail pharmacists in Georgia and job prospects are slim. My license is current but am curious about how long it would take to to get current on my drugs. How long as a tech did you work before you felt competent? I am worried about taking the refresher course if I can't apply the info.

beckyb025's picturePharmacistbeckyb025Joined: Oct, 2009
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 2

I worked as a tech for about

I worked as a tech for about 11 months. Unlike you, I didn't have previous retail experience. I had worked in pediatric hospitals, but wanted to do something different. It was not easy in the beginning, and I'm still learning. But it has been a good experience for me and I'm enjoying retail. The Charter Oak program was recommended to me by the CT State Board, and I was particularly interested given my lack of retail experience.

I'm sorry to hear that prospects are slim. I've seen similar changes in my area of CT, too. When I began about 3 years ago, my district was always looking to fill shifts. But this is not the case now.

Best wishes.

rcarrer9's picturePharmacistrcarrer9Joined: Apr, 2015
Location: Edmonton,
Posts: 1

I was looking for information

I was looking for information on how to go back to practice pharmacy after a
long absence and I found this blog. I stopped working in 2008
to dedicate to my family after working for the Pharmaceutical Industry in
manufacturing (16 years). I did some part-time jobs in retail but that was 15
years ago. So basically I have no retail experience and in addition don't
feel competent. There are so many new drugs that I never saw in my school
years. I am interested in either retail or hospital due to the flexibility that those types of jobs provide in order to care for my kids (5 & 6 years old).

I am currently in my late 40's and living in Canada, which does not help
because here I can't work as a Pharm Tech because of licensing, and I don't
have Pharmacist license in Canada. I took the Naplex and got my license in
Puerto Rico which is still active. We are planning to move to Texas where me
and my husband have better job opportunities.

I would like to hear about others experience getting back to practice and any