The aim of this study is to determine the impact of Grade Point Average (GPA), multiple clinical rotations, and the sequence of the clinical rotation on graduates’ of college of pharmacy performance on the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX test). Clinical rotations are defined as those clerkship experiences that are not based solely on order entering, or dispensing of medication but requires pharmacist-patient contact and patient monitoring. Examples of clinical experiences that meet the requirement of a clinical rotation include internal medicine, ambulatory care practice, and specialty areas such cardiology, infectious diseases, critical care unit and emergency medicine. Multiple clinical rotations are when a student is assigned to 3 or more clinical rotation within that academic year. Rotation order or sequence is defined as student completing three or more rotations in a sequence without interruption. In this case a student will have three or more clinical rotations in sequence for example in month one - internal medicine, month two - infectious disease and moth three - critical care rotation. The college of pharmacy GPA of 3.0 or better is considered a high GPA, while a GPA of 3.0 or less is considered low GPA. A score of 75 is considered a passing score in the NAPLEX test, a score below 75 is considered a failing score. Therefore, the study hypothesis is that the composite of multiple clinical rotation and sequence of the clinical rotation will have greater correlation to the student performance on the NAPLEX test compared to GPA alone.
Numerous pharmacy and medical literature have investigated the impact of various academic variables on students’ performance in the doctor of pharmacy program and the doctor of medicine program including passing the board exams. Some of the common independent variables that have been well studied include Grade Point Average (GPA), Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT), California Critical Thinking skills Test (CCTST), and types of clinical rotation and sequence of the clinical rotation
A study conducted by Chisholm and colleagues explored the value of pre-pharmacy GPA, PCAT score and attainment of a bachelor’s degree in determining the academic ranking performance of first year pharmacy students. The study was conducted in the University of Georgia College Of Pharmacy, and included a total of 214 students in the final analysis. Students whose first year pharmacy GPA was above the 25th percentile were stratified in the high group while those at 25th percentile or below were stratified in the low group. As part of the analysis, the math /science GPA was analyzed separately to determine if there was any effect on students’ performance. The author found that math/ science GPA and attainment of bachelor’s degree indicated the strongest correlation to first year pharmacy student performance (p<0.001), (Chisholm, Cobb, & Dipro, 1999). A similar study conducted...