NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The first set of pharmacists to graduate from Lipscomb University's still-relatively-new pharmacy program are walking across the stage but not exactly into a work- world swarming with job possibilities.
"I think about one-third of our graduates don't have permanent positions already aligned in the marketplace," admitted Roger L. Davis, Pharm.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Lipscomb.
Davis said the same pharmacist shortage, nationally, that prompted Lipscomb University to start middle Tennessee's first college pharmacy program back in November 2006 has died down a bit. Davis sat down with NewsChannel 5 on Saturday following commencement exercises to share the fate of his first set of graduates: 71 students now holding a doctorate of pharmacology.
But as bleak as the outlook is, Davis remains optimistic and looks forward to a quick rebound.
"The jobs will open up as the market settles over the next 60 days," he said. "And I'm confident that over this summer, all of our graduates will find places of employment."
However, not all of the 71 Lipscomb grads are seeking a job in the world of pharmacy medications. Kayleen Daly, 26, looks forward to a paid clinical residency in Wilmington, NC. John Jantz, 28, will also be immersing himself in an additional year of on-the-job training in Chattanooga. "
I think I'll be more prepared to compete for those jobs after my residency," Jantz shared.
Finally, new graduate and Nashville native Rachel Crouch, 26, is taking a different trek entirely: another three years of graduate school at Vanderbilt University, so she can ultimately land a job in the field of pharmacy research.