To compare the regulations of state boards of pharmacy for pharmacist intern supervision and review publications of service-learning experiences in pharmacy curricula for methods of supervision.
Online state pharmacy statutes and board of pharmacy regulations were searched to characterize which states' regulations included provisions for the supervision of pharmacist interns, permitted nonpharmacist supervision for student volunteers, and included provisions on interns participating in the practice of pharmacy. Additionally, a PubMed search was conducted for articles describing the supervision of service-learning experiences of pharmacy students at various colleges and schools of pharmacy.
The state boards of pharmacy in all 51 jurisdictions included regulations for the supervision of pharmacist interns. Regulations specifically permitted only pharmacist supervision of interns in 45 (88%) jurisdictions, and 3 (6%) states included provisions allowing nonpharmacist supervision of pharmacist interns. Provisions allowing nonpharmacist supervision on a case-by-case basis existed in 6 (12%) jurisdictions. Among the 32 identified reports of service-learning experiences offered in pharmacy curricula, 14 contained the words “supervision” or “supervise,” and 9 indirectly described methods of student supervision.
State boards of pharmacy regulations largely prohibited nonpharmacist supervision of pharmacy students, and reports of pharmacy student service-learning experiences frequently omitted descriptions of student supervision. Boards of pharmacy should consider revising existing regulations to address the growing need for service-learning in pharmacy curricula.