The National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA) is the national peak body for pharmacy students across Australia. NAPSA represents the interests of approximately 3500 members whom are undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at eighteen universities across Australia.
NAPSA is in a unique position to help students engage with the Pharmacist profession in order to bridge the gap between students and the industry. NAPSA provides many professional networking opportunities that students are invited to take part in and works closely within the industry to provide students access to events and resources that can they can utilise to create professional relationships and progress within their careers.
NAPSA also helps students engage in relationships with other like minded students across the nation. As students, the opportunity to connect with fellow peers creates a positive influence and ensures they establish connections early in their career. Events such as the annual NAPSA Congress helps to further foster these relationships.
From 21st to the 28th January, the University of South Australia, Adelaide was home to over 280 pharmacy students and interns from 18 pharmacy schools across Australia. Delegates from Malaysia and New Zealand also joined in on the week of extensive educational seminars, panel discussions and networking events.
Congress is an opportunity for NAPSA delegates to gain exposure to the pharmacy industry and contribute to topical conversations. It is also a platform for the industry to directly engage with the students that are going to be the ones driving the profession in 5-10 years. The career pathways panel session exposed students to a diverse range of pharmacist roles including academia, community, hospital, defence force and rural health. Students were encouraged to recognise the significance of their roles within their communities and to remain pragmatic with regards to the future of pharmacy.
NAPSA also took the conference as a chance to address cultural competence in healthcare, which NAPSA continues to advocate for and urges its members and other professional bodies to do the same.
At present, NAPSA is focusing on the development of a few upcoming events. Firstly, the SHPA-NAPSA Student Symposium that will be occurring again in July. This inaugural one day event will cover all aspects of students joining and thriving in the hospital pharmacy sector, from internships and residency to governance and leadership; and also for those interested in building a pharmacy research career. The NAPSA AGM will also be occurring in July. This is an event whereby NAPSA’s 17 nation-wide branches meet together in Melbourne to discuss NAPSA business and plan ways in which they can create the most successful year ahead for its members. It is also when a new president and National Board are elected.
NAPSA is beginning their preparation for the Annual Pharmacy Awareness Charity Cup campaign, commencing in April. Last year, NAPSA was able to raise a total of $16,534 for the Pharmacists’ Support Services (PSS). This year, NAPSA will be supporting Brain Tumor Alliance Australia. All state branches participate in the event, raising awareness and hosting social and educational events to support this wonderful charity. The International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) have two events occurring this year, the Asian Pacific Pharmaceutical Symposium (APPS) and World Congress. NAPSA is in the process of preparing delegates for these events in which they will represent NAPSA and connect with pharmacy students from pharmacy associations all around the world.
Finally, NAPSA is working on a position statement and contribution to the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Pharmacists Prescribing Discussion Paper, which is an exciting proposed avenue for the future of the profession. This highlights the position of NAPSA within the industry as one of utmost importance as students are the future of the profession, so its development lies in their hands.
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