From July this year, students undertaking their first pharmacy degree, leading to provisional registration as a pharmacist with the Pharmacy Board of Australia, will have access to free membership of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia, CEO Kristin Michaels has announced.
“The SHPA Federal Council has decided to waive membership fees for all students undertaking an Australian degree to become a pharmacist. This will ensure they have early access to SHPA services and support,” Michaels says.
“By removing financial barriers to membership we are signalling to pharmacy students the importance of being connected to their profession and keeping abreast of developments and innovations that may have an impact on their career options.”
Michaels says the decision to offer free membership was a response to the fact that there is significant change occurring within the profession.
“SHPA has recently announced a range of key initiatives that will have a significant impact on future developments and career options within the profession. A key project is the Residency Project that will see accredited structured two-year residencies made available to early career pharmacists from 2017.
“SHPA membership not only opens the door to a range of services that will support them throughout their career but will also allow them to stay informed of initiatives to influence government decision making related to medicines usage and management,” Michaels says.
Professor Michael Dooley, SHPA President, says, “This is a time of significant challenge within pharmacy and there are wonderful and exciting opportunities for the profession to contribute even more to the health care of Australians.
“It is imperative that students are actively involved and engaged in contributing to the future direction of our practice.
“Students undertaking a pharmacy degree need to be fully informed of the developments within their profession and the latest advances and opportunities in clinical practice so they can make the most of their new career,” he says.
“SHPA is pleased to offer this opportunity to student pharmacists. We have been working closely with the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association over the last six months and are keen to support the next wave of Australian pharmacists to lead excellence in medicines management,” Prof Dooley says.