Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE)
Dr. Brett Feret, Director, Experiential Education
Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) are essential for students in the professional curriculum to acquire an overview of pharmacy practice and its role and responsibility in health care. Students will complete IPPE experiences in three different areas—service learning, community practice, and institutional practice—for a total of 252 hours. Additional introductory experience hours (48 hours) will be awarded in the integrated laboratory sequence through the use of simulation.
PHP 340: IPPE I: A Health Care Service Learning Experience
According to the Learn and Serve America’s National Service Learning Clearinghouse, service learning “is a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” Service learning is also designed to promote learning through active participation and allow time for personnel reflection.
This longitudinal practice experience allows students to engage in health-related community service activities that will allow them to address the needs of the community and individuals. This course will also allow students to extend their learning from their professional curriculum and apply it to real-life situations.
- When: Spring semester of P1 or fall semester of P2 (summer between P1/P2 may also be considered, as well as the summer before P1).
- Where: Health care related organizations or facilities that have been approved by the Office of Experiential Education. Examples include assisted living facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, free clinics, and non-profit healthcare organizations. All new site nominations must be approved to make sure it meets specific criteria.
- Length of time: 40 hours
PHP 450/451: Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) in Community Pharmacy
This course focuses on the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists practicing in a community setting. Students will observe and participate in the day-to-day operations of a community pharmacy, including the dispensing of drug products, adjudication of pharmacy claims to third party payers, and patient counseling, both prescription and over-the-counter.
- When: Summer after your P1 year or the summer after your P2 year depending on scheduling.
- Where: Chain community pharmacies (CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite Aid, Target, etc) or independent pharmacies.
- Length of time: 132 hours over the summer, the specific dates are usually flexible. Students work with the preceptor to develop a mutually agreed upon schedule.
PHP 450/451: Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) in Institutional Pharmacy
This course focuses on the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists practicing in an institutional setting. Students will observe and participate in the day-to-day operations of a health systems pharmacy, including the dispensing of drug products and review of sterile product preparation. Students may also have the opportunity to work in interprofessional teams in a clinical setting.
- When: Summer after your P1 year or the summer after your P2 year depending on scheduling. Students may also complete this experience over winter break. This option is typically reserved for out-of-state students.
- Where: Hospitals in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. A limited number of hospital sites are also available in other areas.
- Length of time: 80 hours over a specific two-week block.
Can I get paid?
Based on accreditation standards that the College of Pharmacy adheres to, students are not allowed to be paid as an employee or receive any stipends for any experiential experience that is part of the curriculum.
When do I do my IPPE rotations?
Most IPPE rotations are done during the summer months between your P1 and P2 year and between your P2 and P3 year. Depending on the situation, IPPE rotations are also offered during winter break.
When do I receive notification of my rotation?
The majority of student placements will be made by March so students can plan accordingly.
Do I choose my own sites?
No, the Office of Experiential Education will assign you to your site. Dr. Feret will work with each student individually for the best fit based on career goals and location.
What if I live out of state?
The majority of IPPE experiences are done near your home address. There may be instances; especially for institutional IPPE experiences where this may be difficult. In those instances, we recommend students complete their institutional IPPE hours over winter break in Rhode Island where housing may be available.
Do I need to get backgrounds checks or drug screenings?
Certain experiences may require background checks, drug screenings, or both. The office of Experiential Education will relay all requirements to each student before their experience.
Can I nominate a new pharmacy or practice site near my hometown?
The Office of Experiential Education will consider nominations of both community and hospital sites currently not affiliated with the College of Pharmacy. Sites will only be approved if both parties sign a legal affiliation agreement and the site offers a quality educational experience.
Are there other requirements before I start my IPPE?
All students must be in good academic standing and have a valid Rhode Island pharmacy intern license. The pharmacy intern license of the state you will be doing your experience in will also be required. In addition, all students must complete the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) training.
May I complete an IPPE experience where a family member may be employed?
No, students may not complete any IPPE experience where a family member may work or own the pharmacy.
Can I complete an IPPE experience at the same pharmacy or hospital I am employed?
No, students may not complete an IPPE experience where they are employed. You may complete an IPPE experience in the same chain, but not the specific store you work in.
Can I nominate my own site for service learning?
Yes you can. Any nomination must be health related in some capacity and must be approved by Dr. Feret before you can begin accruing hours. A description of the site, the preceptor, and a brief narrative of your activities and job description will be needed.