Boom in Pharmacy Schools Lead to Saturated Market in TN

In Tennessee, there are six full pharmacy schools producing new and talented pharmacists this year and in the immediate future. Some claim that even though there was at one time only one pharmacy school, graduates from the newest schools might find it tough to compete over traditional jobs in the state.

Some say that there aren’t enough pharmacy jobs to go around, but others claim that the jobs are there. It is a controversial argument in circles close to the industry, but graduating classes of pharmacists in the state are hopeful – even if it means moving to an area where pharmacists may be more in demand.

(Nashville Public Radio) May 4th, 2012 – There was a time when getting a pharmacy degree paved the way to permanent employment. But a projected shortage has evaporated since universities – particularly in Tennessee – rushed to meet the demand for druggists.

Pharmacy schools have popped up all over the country in the last decade, but nowhere quite like Tennessee. Until 2006, the state had only one school of pharmacy. Now there are half a dozen.

Belmont University’s facilities are state-of-the-art and helped attract students to a brand new program. So did the stories of signing bonuses and six-figure jobs.

“There aren’t many jobs out there like just popping out at us,” says Benson Chiong. “You know, I really wanted to go back home to Chicago, however, I’ve heard that people are driving two to three hours out from Chicago, and I don’t know that I want to exactly do that. So I’m just hoping.”

Urban areas are more flush with pharmacists than rural regions.

Tennessee, which ranks high nationally on prescription drug use, is one of the top three states still in need of pharmacists, according to a recent survey. But even here students report difficultly finding openings…. Read more.

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