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Introduction To Internship For Pharmacy Students In Nigeria

Pharmacy Student Internship In Nigeria
Pharmacy Internship
From Industrial Training (I.T) to clerkship (clinical rotation) down to internship, the pharmacy curriculum in Nigeria is designed in such a way to build the student up.
The reason for all this is to develop the thinking and research skill of the student to focus on pharmaceutical care of the patient. We have discussed on IT and Clerkship. It is proper we also discuss on the internship for pharmacy students in Nigeria.

The reason for all this is to develop the thinking and research skill of the student to focus on pharmaceutical care of the patient. We have discussed on IT and Clerkship. It is proper we also discuss on the internship for pharmacy students in Nigeria.

The internship is a compulsory one-year program for all pharmacy students that did B. Pharm. or Pharm. D. in Nigeria. After the induction ceremony of pharmacy students, forms that will enable them to gain an internship placement will be given to them. This form includes a temporary certificate. It is used for internship placement. It can only be done in an approve centres by Pharmacists Council Of Nigeria (P.C.N). An internship centre must have a pharmacist as the supervisor.

Interns have the freedom to choose centres where they want to practice. However, due to the difficulty in getting one, interns student really have many choices. The choices range from Hospital pharmacy, industry sector, community pharmacy and regulatory bodies like National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (N.A.F.D.A.C).

It is after the completion of the internship that a student can be fully registered as a pharmacist in Nigeria. However, for students who want to go for National Youth Service Corps (N.Y.S.C) will still spend one more year.

Factors To Consider For Internship Venue

To apply for a placement, several factors need to be considered by the student. They include;
  • If the centre is recognised by PCN or approved
  • If they are selling internship form at that time
  • How is their salary structure
  • Nature of work if it is stressful or you will learn what you want
  • Security during the internship period (Boko Haram)
  • Proximity to family members (North And South)
  • Staff welfares by the centre

For those who are looking for internship venues, it is a good thing to join social media groups where such discussion are carried out. Pieces of information such as the centres that are selling form and outcome of interviews with the result will easily be discussed in such groups. A good place to find them is in and

However, most students are very conversant with the hospital settings. A lot still have doubt what goes on in the industry and the rest. This post will try to explain the pros and cons of each sector

Hospital Pharmacy

During IT and clerkship, we were used to the hospital pharmacy. It is made up of units such as;
  • Inpatient: Here the interns will be privileged to go for ward round with fellow pharmacist in charge. They will be exposed to patient profile documentation observing clinical services.

Others are:
  • Outpatient
  • Emergency
  • Etc.


  • There are so many hospitals approved for internships.
  • They pay well for pharmacy interns in terms of salary
  • Housing may be provided especially if it is a public hospital
  • Security is better
  • Work load is low
  • There may be shift
  • You can learn from other health care providers such as medical doctors


  • They are difficult to get

Unfortunately, interns may not practice as a pharmacist in many hospitals. They will only be allowed to do the technical work of pharmacy technicians. The duty of interns in hospitals is to check for possible harmful interactions among drugs for patients. They also keep records and administer. Do ward round with a pharmacist and observe how orders are verified. Since most teaching hospital practice pharmaceutical care, it will be easy for Pharm. D students. unlike B. Pharm students.

Community (Retail) Pharmacy

This is one of the best places to learn about drugs. They are the specialist in prescribing and treating minor problems. Learning about pharmaceutical care here is limited. One of the advantages of this place is that after graduating, the student can learn about pharmacy business such as stocktaking, purchasing medications from wholesale companies, and how to verify orders.

In addition, the basic test can be carried out by the interns such as blood pressure, temperature, unlike the hospital where doctors and other health care professionals provide such service.
  • They accept students very easy because they receive few applications
  • They may be close to your family

  • Work stress is much
  • There is hardly shift
  • Salary is very low
  • Work hours may be longer than in hospital
  • You work in most cases alone since other pharmacy interns may not be there

Pharmaceutical Industry

This is not very common in Nigeria. Many of them take interns. It involves working a particular job for some time. It involves following a recipe manual at all time. There are so many units or departments in the industry where a student can work. In this centre, pharmacy student can learn everything they carry out there, as they are actively involved in the production process. Things to learn include marketing strategies, compounding etc.
  • Those that take interns accept many students
  • Students learn almost everything on production because they are easily rotated among units
  • Housing may be an added advantage
  • Security is high in some centres

  • Work injury
  • Salary may not be as high as in hospital pharmacy but is usually higher than those in community pharmacy
  • A lot of work involve

Pharmacy Regulatory Bodies

Pharmacist here learns about laws governing pharmacy practice in Nigeria. Other activities interns will involve themselves with is learning how to investigate the claims of manufacturing companies on drugs or other consumables such as creams. Registration of new consumables and renewal is also part of the activities interns will involve in. some even go out for inspection of premises and other inspections. A good example is NAFDAC and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (N.D.L.E.A).
  • Work is less
  • Salary is one of the highest in Nigeria
  • Work time is less with shift
  • work environment is conducive in most centres
  • Very very difficult to get in

In all the centres, one thing is that a registered pharmacist must be there to supervise the activities of the interns’ student.

To apply, most centres ask for a fee that must be paid before students can submit their credentials. after application, the student is expected to wait for the day of the interview. An interview can be written and oral or in some cases combination of both. Short listed candidates will be contacted. there are some centres that paste the names of successful candidates on their notice board. In such a case, the student must always be on the look at for information. It is better to drop a note with someone around for further details especially if the centre is very far from where the student lives.

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  1. A pharm.D graduate with foreign certificate who already did a One year internship service abroad. Is he/she required to do internship in Nigeria ? Please reply

  2. The answer is no. However, you will be required to register and write an examination organised by Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (P.C.N) for foreign trained graduates


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