Program Description

Purdue University College of Pharmacy offers the Nuclear Pharmacy Certificate Program, which is designed to meet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirement of 200 hours of formal training in basic radioisotope techniques necessary for an individual to be named as an authorized nuclear pharmacist, authorized user, or radiation safety officer. This course offers didactic hours in basic radioisotope handling techniques, in the following NRC specified categories:

  • Radiation Physics and Instrumentation
  • Radiation Protection
  • Math Pertaining to Radioactivity
  • Radiation Biology
  • Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry

The additional NRC requisite of 500 hours of hands-on experience using typical types and quantities of materials is NOT provided by this program, and must be met by working with radiopharmaceutical in San appropriate setting

A new component of the Purdue program is the removal of the 1 week on campus program to help minimize costs. We have incorporated our lab component into the distance based course!

Eligibility

This program is available for a variety of trainees:

  • Nuclear pharmacists: Those pharmacists that are currently employed in a nuclear pharmacy or radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility.
  • Scientists: Scientists who may/may not be pharmacists, but do have an interest or position in which authorized user status is needed.
  • Nuclear pharmacy technicians: Technicians who currently work in a nuclear pharmacy who may be considering moving into a position where authorized user status is required
  • Pharmacy students: Students who are currently enrolled in a pharmacy program, who would like to complete the program over an extended period of time (generally 2 years or less), in order to be prepared at graduation to enter the nuclear pharmacy work force.

NOTE: It is NOT a requirement that you be actively employed in a nuclear pharmacy to enroll in this program!

Self-Study portion

Content for the program will be hosted on the Purdue University learning management system, Brightspace. Upon enrollment, trainees will be required to create an account in our system via a direct link to Purdue Online, which will be provided to you upon submission of the enrollment document (found at the bottom of this page),

Course materials will be provided in a variety of formats, including video lectures with corresponding PowerPoint slides, pertinent readings which supplement the training materials, practice problems for math competency and interactive assignments.

NEW: Previous iterations of this course included a 1 week, on-campus session which focused on critical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills that would be typical in a nuclear pharmacy setting. THERE IS NO LONGER A REQUIREMENT FOR TRAINEES TO TRAVEL TO WEST LAFAYETTE TO COMPLETE THIS PART OF THE PROGRAM! As the trainee moves through the program and completes various didactic course materials, at various points, they will be required to do a series of interactive lab assessments similar to the lab exercises that were previously offered during the campus program. This allows the trainee to see how the topic being discussed in the didactic materials relates to the application that would be seen in a radioactive materials environment. At various points in the curriculum, trainees will be asked to "test" their knowledge by completing a virtual drop-in lab. In these situations, the trainee will schedule a time to meet with a Purdue representative via an online meeting and demonstrate competency in various skills that are essential to understanding the safe handling of radioactive materials. This component provides real-time assessment of the trainees competency and understanding of trainee learning progression as they move though the course.

This program can be completed at the trainee's own desired pace. We have set a two year time limit for trainees to work through the entire course (beneficial for students and trainees who wish to complete the course PRIOR to finding a position in a nuclear pharmacy). Most trainees will be able to finish the material in a much shorter period of time, especially if you need AU status quickly for your job (nuclear pharmacists working in a nuclear pharmacy or nuclear pharmacy technicians).

Examinations/ Course Grades

Throughout the self-study portion of the course, there will be a variety of short quizzes to assess knowledge and understanding of the topics. These quizzes will be short (generally 10 questions or less) and used as a survey to determine competency in the topic. Trainees will have 2 opportunities to pass the quizzes with a score of 70% or greater. If a trainee does NOT pass the first attempt of the quiz, a second version will be made available automatically. If the trainee does not successfully complete the second quiz, they will be required to review the educational materials, and after discussion with Purdue faculty or staff, the quiz can be reopened for you to attempt again. You will note - each module builds on itself - you do not have access to materials later in the course until you successfully complete the materials as you move through the program. Drop-in labs will also be assessed by the faculty at the time of completion. If the trainee does not appear to have a reasonable grasp of the topic, it is the discretion of the faculty to ask the trainee to repeat the exercise after reviewing the content.

Payment of Tuition

The total cost of this program is based on your status at the time of enrollment and includes all didactic online materials, as well as the interactive labs and the drop-in laboratory assessments.

  • Pharmacists and scientists: $8000.00
  • Nuclear pharmacy technicians: $5000.00
  • Students (with proof of academic status) $5000.00

The course is divided into 5 modules, each of which is considered a "course" in the Brightspace system. Each course requires the payment of a tuition fee at time of enrollment - each module will be 1/5 of the total tuition cost of the entire program ($1600 / module for pharmacists and scientists, $1000 for technicians and students). This is the ONLY mechanism by which we can accommodate partial payments though our systems. The courses are divided based on general topics as follows:

  • NPCP - Intro / Health Physics / Instrumentation
  • NPCP - Radiation Biology
  • NPCP - Radiation Safety
  • NPCP - Radiopharmaceuticals Overview
  • NPCP - Clinical Use of Radiopharmaceuticals

You may choose how many courses you wish to enroll in with each enrollment, and you can enroll in all 5 at the same time. The courses MUST be completed in the order listed above, and you will not be able to start a course without successful completion of the previous course in the series.

Faculty / Staff Information

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

  • Kara Weatherman, PharmD, BCNP, FAPhA

RADIOPHARMACEUTICALS LABORATORY SPECIALIST

  • TBD

Contact Information

If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to give us a call! You can reach us at via the following:

Enrollment Form

To enroll in the program, please download and fill out the enrollment form linked below and mail to kdwman@purdue.edu. We will get in contact with you shortly with the link to sign up for the program!