Butler Pharmacy Graduates Earn Highest Pass Rate on the NAPLEX® Licensure Exam

Butler Pharmacy Graduates Earn Highest Pass Rate on the NAPLEX® Licensure Exam


If student outcomes ultimately define the quality and rigor of a college’s curriculum, as many people assert, then Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) has a claim to being the best of its kind in the nation.

Graduates of Butler University’s prestigious Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program passed the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX®) in their first attempt at a higher rate than graduates of any other university in the country. Of the 91 Butler graduates who took the exam for the first time in 2021, 97 percent passed. Of the 144 PharmD programs located in the United States, none had a higher first-time pass rate than Butler University.

“In the face of the pandemic, our faculty and staff remained committed to ensuring that our students received the education they deserved, were able to complete rotations, and stayed on track toward graduation,” Dr. Robert Soltis, Dean of COPHS, said. “Despite site closures and other challenges, every single student in that class graduated on time, and they had the highest pass rate in the nation on the licensure exam. It’s an amazing achievement, and speaks volumes about our commitment and dedication as an institution. I could not be prouder of, or happier for, our faculty and our students.”

According to its website, the NAPLEX® is designed to evaluate general practice knowledge and is taken by recent college of pharmacy graduates shortly after they receive their degree. The NAPLEX® is just one component of the licensure process and is used by the boards of pharmacy to assess a candidate’s competence to practice as a pharmacist. The six-hour exam is composed of 225 questions that are delivered in a computerized, fixed form. The exam results are reported as pass or fail, and candidates are allowed five attempts to pass the exam.

Butler PharmD graduates have a history of scoring well on the NAPLEX®. In each of the past three years, at least 93 percent of Butler graduates passed the exam on their first attempt.

The results come at a critical time; in Indiana and across the nation, there is a significant shortage of pharmacists, especially among the national chains. Some pharmacies have had to reduce hours or even close for one day a week due to reduced staffing. Both CVS and Walgreens have announced they are increasing salaries in hopes of recruiting more pharmacists to their locations.

“Just five years ago, we were talking about a surplus of pharmacists in this country, but the pandemic quickly changed that situation,” Dr. Soltis said. “Now, the increased demand for vaccinations has resulted in increased demand for pharmacists. Graduates of Butler’s pharmacy program are going to find an improving job market and more opportunities to use their skills to serve patients.”

When I decided to attend Butler University and major in pharmacy,  I had been told that NO BUTLER GRAD HAD FAILED TO PASS THE ” Indiana Pharmacy board”  My class was the first year that the  North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX®) was usedThere was nothing available to prepared for the exam, there was no one to ask what was on the board the previous year…  My Butler class had ONE that didn’t pass the boards, but that year was the first year for the MILITARY DRAFT LOTTERY and this poor fellow drew a very low number and his draft board had been after him to be drafted but the Indiana pharmacy board wasn’t until Sept or Oct after the graduation in May.  Perhaps the stress and distraction of trying to keep the draft from drafting him.  After all, the Vietnam was on going and soon after this time.. it started ramping up.

Yours truly’s lottery number was 360 – SIX FROM THE BOTTOM… since the lottery pool was every male between 18 and 35 y/o… the number of “bodies” in that lottery pool was VERY LARGE.


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