TitleThe NAPLEX: evolution, purpose, scope, and educational implications
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsNewton, DW, Boyle, M, Catizone, CA
JournalAmerican Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
Date PublishedApr 15
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1553-6467 (Electronic)0002-9459 (Linking)
Accession Number18483600
Keywords*Educational Measurement, Education, Pharmacy/*standards, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, Humans, Licensure, Pharmacy/history/*legislation & jurisprudence, North America, Pharmacists/*legislation & jurisprudence, Software

Since 2004, passing the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) has been a requirement for earning initial pharmacy licensure in all 50 United States. The creation and evolution from 1952-2005 of the particular pharmacy competency testing areas and quantities of questions are described for the former paper-and-pencil National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NABPLEX) and the current candidate-specific computer adaptive NAPLEX pharmacy licensure examinations. A 40% increase in the weighting of NAPLEX Blueprint Area 2 in May 2005, compared to that in the preceding 1997-2005 Blueprint, has implications for candidates' NAPLEX performance and associated curricular content and instruction. New pharmacy graduates' scores on the NAPLEX are neither intended nor validated to serve as a criterion for assessing or judging the quality or effectiveness of pharmacy curricula and instruction. The newest cycle of NAPLEX Blueprint revision, a continual process to ensure representation of nationwide contemporary practice, began in early 2008. It may take up to 2 years, including surveying several thousand national pharmacists, to complete.