Jenny Tilleman, PharmD, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, discusses how she views her role as president of the Nebraska Pharmacist Association (NPA), and her outlook for students and the profession.
What is your role and what are your goals for the Nebraska Pharmacist Association?
My current role at the Nebraska Pharmacist Association is president, and in December I will transition to immediate past president. As president, I represent the pharmacists of the organization, and day-to-day responsibilities include running board meetings and communicating with the NPA office.
How does your work at NPA benefit the work you do for SPAHP and the students?
To me, being involved with the NPA is a benefit for the work I do at Creighton and specifically for the students. It helps me to stay current on the varied pharmacist practice environments, legislation that impacts patient care, and educating others about the new requirements of pharmacy school. I also think it is important that our students see us (faculty) as mentors who are also doing the things that we are asking of them. Students should see faculty members in our profession holding leadership positions and taking an active role in the profession.
What is one major piece of advice you would give a pharmacy student?
The most important advice I give my students is to experience all they can during pharmacy school and to get out of their comfort zones. This could be by taking leadership roles, serving communities that are different than theirs, taking a class that seems intimidating, etc. I want the students to know what they are getting themselves into when entering the profession, and the only way to do that is by experience.
Is there a message that you want other pharmacists and student pharmacists to know?
I would like to thank pharmacists and student pharmacists for their willingness to enter a profession that directly serves the community. Because of their accessibility, pharmacists and student pharmacists are the front line for many people who are sick. We are trained to help people understand their medicines as well as their general health. There is a trust that is built when people can come and speak to the pharmacist/student pharmacist and get the answers they need without feeling judged. It is an honor to help train future pharmacists!
Overall, what is your hope for the future of the pharmacy profession? What is your hope for future pharmacists?
My hope for the future of pharmacy is that we continue to hold the patient as the center of the profession, and that we do all that we can to make sure that patients have what they need to be healthy. It may require us to get out of our comfort zones and work with our states to advance our scopes of practice to accomplish this goal. Pharmacists are well trained and should be using their knowledge to benefit our communities.