Doctor of Pharmacy Program

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE)

Office of 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.

IPPE Purpose

IPPE, is designed to progressively develop the professional insights and skills necessary to advance into responsibilities in APPE. Colleges and schools use a variety of IPPE delivery mechanisms to ensure students are ready to meet the expectations of APPE. IPPE involves interaction with practitioners and patients to advance patient welfare in authentic practice settings, and provides exposure to both medication distribution systems and high-quality, interprofessional, team-based patient care.      

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 2016 Standards

Service Learning

PHP 340 Service Learning: A Health Care 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: Any time during P1 year is preferred. Summer before P1 year may be considered. Students will meet with the PHP service learning coordinator to discuss options.
  • 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 350 Service Learning: Introductory Geriatric Practice Experience

This 1-credit course is intended to provide students with the foundation necessary to deliver pharmaceutical care to older adults and to encourage intergenerational interaction and understanding. Students will be assigned to an assisted living facility and subsequently assigned to a resident. Students will visit their resident throughout the semester to provide social support, medication therapy management, and improve their communication skills.

  • When: Spring semester of P1 or fall semester of P2 year. Students will meet individually with the PHP service learning coordinator prior to placement.
  • Where: Assisted living facilities coordinated by the office of experiential education.
  • Length of time:40 hours

* Students are required to complete either PHP 340 or PHP 350

PHP 450 Introductory Community Pharmacy Practice Experience

This 2-credit 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, 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 451 Introductory Institutional Pharmacy Practice Experience

This 1-credit 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 undertaken during the summer months between your P1 and P2 year and between your P2 and P3 year. Depending on the situation, IPPE rotations may be 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, location and availability.

What if I live out of state? 
The majority of IPPE experiences are undertaken 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 background checks or drug screenings?
Background checks are done annually through the College and certain experiences may require additional 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. There is a New Site Request Form for students to complete and submit to the office. The request will be reviewed by a committee and the student will be notified of the outcome.

The Request Form is located in the CORE ELMS document library.

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 the PHP service learning coordinator 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.