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How to Become a Nuclear Pharmacist?

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How to Become a Nuclear Pharmacist?

​Did you know that there are only 360 certified Nuclear Pharmacists in the US? That’s an incredibly low amount of Pharmacist that have chosen Nuclear as their speciality. If you are currently considering Nuclear as your speciality, take a read of the below where you’ll find some easy guidance on how to achieve this goal.


Firstly, what does a nuclear pharmacist do?

The title gives it away. You will be dealing with Radioactive medicines which aren’t commercially available to the everyday Joe. You will do some general Pharmacist responsibilities such as dispensing and filling prescription orders- but let’s go specifically into the nuclear responsibilities:

  • Assisting in the transport of radiopharmaceuticals

  • Handling hazardous chemicals and biological specimens properly

  • Undergo testing on all equipment to determine radiopharmaceutical quality

  • Storing the medicine correctly

  • Preparing patients before they are administrated with the radiopharmaceutical medicines

  • Troubleshooting anticipated outcomes

These responsibilities aren’t exclusive to the duties you will undertake as a Nuclear Pharmacist.


How do I become a Nuclear Pharmacist?

To specialise as a nuclear pharmacist, you do need to complete some training in basic areas of radiation protection, radiation biology, some maths that's related to radioactivity decay, radiation physics and instrumentation and radiopharmaceutical chemistry. In addition to course work studies, you will undertake some practical training in a nuclear setting. Below listed are the steps taken to become a nuclear pharmacist:

  • Graduate from Pharmacy School- this will then immediately lead into your state licence

  • You must maintain this licence in the USA

  • Obtain a position in a Nuclear Pharmacy and work a minimum of 2,000-4,000 hours to gain valuable experience

  • You will need to complete a residency accreditation from the ACSHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) This will include an internship to satisfy the requirements of the state boards of Pharmacy.

  • Pass your BPS Nuclear Pharmacy Certification Examination

It all sounds very straight forward, but we all know the hard work that goes into every profession, and nuclear being one of the toughest exams to pass due to the dedication needed prior to the exam.


Is there anyway I can bypass some of this to become a nuclear pharmacist?

There are certain colleges/schools who offer an integrated nuclear study programme. However, this is simply to “give you a really good taste” This comes from a college professor at the PCOM School of Pharmacy.

They allow you to have a feel for the environment from age 18-25 alongside several other pharmacy specialisations to then go on to choose which would suit you best. We think this is a great option for those who simply have no idea which profession would suit them most.

To close this question down, you would still need to complete all the above steps in the previous question to be a fully qualified nuclear pharmacist.

Maybe all colleges should provide this integration and exploration into professions. What are your thoughts on this?


We wish you the best of luck with your Pharmacy career and if you choose to follow a career in Nuclear, you’ll be joining a very strong team of specialist pharmacists.

If you’d like to hear about our nuclear pharmacy roles, be sure to drop Quad Recruitment an email-