Pharmacy Assistant

CampusStart DateTuition/Fees
Saint JohnSeptember 2025 (Blended Delivery) Offered every other year / Application opens Fall 2024 Domestic | International
MonctonSeptember 2024 (Blended Delivery) Domestic | International

Program Overview

Local pharmacies are a critical link in the healthcare chain. And in almost every pharmacy, you’ll find pharmacy assistants working as part of a team to make sure people in the community get the medications they need. From managing records to processing prescriptions and providing excellent customer service, we help people feel comfortable and cared for every day. If you’re interested in starting a career in healthcare, there are plenty of paths to achieving your dream. Becoming a pharmacy assistant could be yours. 

In our Pharmacy Assistant program, you’ll learn the medical and administrative skills to contribute to effective pharmacy operations. Specific areas of study include anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, communication skills, pharmacy law and ethics, pharmacy calculations, non-sterile compounding techniques, long-term care pharmacy, receiving and entering a prescription, pharmacy software, inventory, and third-party billing. During your studies, you’ll learn skills in lab sessions that occur on campus, and through a work practicum period in the field. When you graduate, you’ll be ready for anything that comes your way on the job.


The requirements for this certificate may be achieved within one year of full-time study. 

Admission Requirements

    Profile K

  • High School Diploma or Adult High School Diploma or GED Diploma of High School Equivalency or Canadian Adult Education Credential (CAEC) or Essential Skills Achievement Pathway: Post-Secondary Entry High School Diploma
    • Foundations of Mathematics 110
      • Biology 112 or 122
        • Chemistry 112 or 122

          NB Francophone High School Math Equivalencies
          International Student Admission Equivalencies

          Career Possibilities

          Our graduates gain the broad range of skills and knowledge required for success in busy pharmacy settings. You could find employment in a community pharmacy. Some graduates also work directly for pharmaceutical distributors or insurance companies. Others choose to continue their education to become pharmacy technicians.

          Find career possibilities related to this program in Career Coach.

          Specific Considerations

          Prior to, or during an applied workplace experience, Host Agencies may require:

          Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector checks

          Host agencies require students to provide a current criminal record check and/or vulnerable sector check from a recognized police service in order to be considered for an applied workplace experience. Please note: An up-to-date (less than 6 months old) criminal record check is necessary before a student can participate in practicum. Individuals who have been convicted criminally and not pardoned may be prohibited from proceeding to a work placement. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that he or she is eligible to participate.

          College Immunization and Medical form

          Students will be asked to submit proof of specific immunizations prior to commencement of training.  Any associated costs are at the students' expense. The form can be accessed through the following link: (pdf)

          Mandatory Clearance Requirements

          To protect the health and safety of students during their clinical/practicum placements, as well as anyone they may encounter, students will be obligated to complete mandatory clearance requirements as a part of the process of being assigned a placement. There will be a cost associated with completing these requirements, which has been calculated as part of the Material Cost of this program. Students who do not complete the requirements will be unable to attend their clinical/practicum placements, which could impact eligibility for the required courses or industry facility visits needed to complete their program. See Clinical/Practicum Placement Requirements for more details.
          Living accommodations must be secured, and paid for, by the student

          You may be expected to travel to practicum sites outside the campus area, and potentially around the province. Costs incurred for travel and accommodation are at your own expense.
          Student must adhere to a dress code (e.g.: wearing a uniform) Students must adhere to employer policies.

          There are irregular work hours, including evenings and weekends.
          Technology Requirements
          NBCC is a connected learning environment. All programs require a minimum specification, including access to the internet and a laptop. Your computer should meet your program technology requirements to ensure the software required for your program operates effectively. Free wifi is provided on all campuses.

          Note to International Applicants
          International applicants, or those that present with international credentials, must provide proof of English proficiency, as per the benchmarks listed here. Please note that this is a higher standard than most other programs at NBCC.

          Areas of Study

          • Community and Institutional Pharmacy Practice
          • Community engagement
          • Community Practicum
          • Health and Safety
          • Inventory Management
          • Mathematical problem solving
          • Non-sterile Compounding
          • Pharmacology and Therapeutics
          • Pharmacy Computer Software
          • Pharmacy Law and Ethics
          • Professional communication and collaboration
          • Trauma informed, culturally competent professional practice

          Program Courses

          Courses are subject to change.

          This course introduces the basic anatomy and physiology of the human body. For each body system, the normal structure and function of the body will be identified.  


          • HCSS1086AA

          This course focuses on developing the knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to manage healthcare challenges and guide ethical decision-making. The learners explore the professional and ethical expectations for conduct in a pharmacy setting. Utilizing personal reflection and critical thinking, the learners apply ethical principles and theories, the New Brunswick College of Pharmacists (NBCP) Code of Ethics, and national professional standards to guide professional practice.

          This course is designed to introduce the professional language of medical terminology and abbreviations. Learners will decipher terminology in order to understand the meaning and use of language associated with various body systems. 

          This course introduces the learner to reading comprehension and academic writing. The learner will employ foundational reading and writing skills to enhance communication in the academic and workplace setting.   

          This course provides an introduction to alterations in mental health. The learner will explore the history of mental health care, concepts of mental health, common alterations, techniques to prevent and manage aggressive behavior, and strategies to support well-being for the client and self. 

          This course provides the learner with introductory knowledge and techniques for developing professional communication and therapeutic relationships. The learner will explore the skills necessary to communicate within the healthcare environment effectively.  

          This course provides an introduction to the meaning of community service.  Students learn how community service can enhance a student’s educational experience, personal growth, employability, and civic responsibility. Students participate in one day of volunteering to enhance their understanding of civic responsibility and to help the New Brunswick Community College realize its vision of transforming lives and communities. 

          This course introduces the pharmacy team's roles, responsibilities, and competencies related to pharmacy practice. This course prepares learners for pharmacy practice within the Canadian healthcare system. 

          This course is designed to introduce learners to the national legislation that govern pharmacy practice and the regulations associated with pharmaceuticals and related products in Canada. Learners explore the legal framework that shapes the Canadian pharmaceutical landscape, enabling them to navigate and adhere to regulations essential for ethical and compliant pharmacy practices. 

          This course is designed to introduce learners to the provincial legislation that governs pharmacy practice and the regulations pertaining to pharmaceuticals and related products in New Brunswick. Learners will explore the legal framework that shapes the New Brunswick pharmaceutical landscape, enabling them to navigate and adhere to regulations essential for ethical and compliant pharmacy practice.


          • PHAR1078A

          This course is designed to provide learners with the skills required to solve pharmaceutical calculations. Learners practice calculating pharmaceutical dosages with accuracy to ensure the effective distribution of products and optimal client safety within a pharmacy setting. 

          This course provides opportunities for learners to apply essential skills required for daily operations in a community pharmacy setting. Through practical exercises, learners practice maintaining accurate documentation, verifying and inputting prescription details, and executing billing procedures, while ensuring compliance with regulations. Learners develop the skills necessary to provide quality pharmaceutical care to clients and navigate the complexities of daily operations in a community pharmacy setting.


          • SAAL1880A
          • PHAR1083A

          This course is designed to equip learners with a comprehensive understanding of the core aspects of community pharmacy operations. Through exploration of key topics including dispensing procedures, billing protocols, regulatory compliance, and incident management, learners gain essential insights into the daily functioning of community pharmacies. Learners develop the knowledge and skills required to perform community pharmacy-related tasks.


          • PHAR1082A

          This course is designed to provide learners with practical compounding theory in processing and preparing basic, non-sterile compounds in compliance with NAPRA compounding standards, legislation, and established policies and procedures. The learners demonstrate accurate calculations for compounding of various dosage forms.  


          • PHAR1081A
          • PHAR1086A

          This course is designed to provide learners with practical laboratory experience in processing and preparing basic, non-sterile compounds in compliance with NAPRA compounding standards, legislation, and established policies and procedures. The learners demonstrate accurate calculations for compounding of various dosage forms. 


          • PHAR1085A

          This practicum provides an opportunity for learners to apply theory and skills learned in the pharmacy assistant program. All activities will be performed under the direct supervision of a licensed practitioner.   


          • SECU1322B
          • ETHI1070A
          • PHAR1077A
          • PHAR1079A
          • NCSI1182A
          • ANAT1042A
          • MENT1019A
          • PHAR1086A
          • PHAR1085A
          • PHAR1104A
          • PHMC1035A
          • PHAR1103A

          This course introduces provincial legislative guideline practices in long-term care facilities. Various product distribution packaging systems used in care homes are explored with a particular emphasis on special populations. 

          This course supports a blended learning delivery of theory, lab, and field experience that provides learners with the opportunity to manage and process insurance claims, and practice daily inventory operations in a pharmacy setting.  


          • PHAR1083A
          • PHAR1082A

          This course introduces learners to the basic principles of pharmacology, specifically those related to pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Basic anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and terminology associated with the integumentary and immune systems are discussed. Learners are introduced to the effects of medication on the body, conditions that may affect drug actions, and various treatment options. 

          This course is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the current software used in a community pharmacy setting. Learners participate in activities to develop pharmacy computer skills, focusing on data and prescription entry. Emphasis is placed on adhering to industry standards and ensuring accuracy and compliance in a pharmacy-simulated environment. 


          • PHAR1077A

          A safe and healthy workplace is the responsibility of the employer and the employee. This course introduces students to the importance of working safely and addresses how employers and employees can control the hazards and risks associated with the workplace. Students will also learn about the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders including WorkSafeNB, the employer and the employee in ensuring workplaces are safe.

          Disclaimer: This web copy provides guidance to prospective students, applicants, current students, faculty and staff. Although advice is readily available on request, the responsibility for program selection ultimately rests with the student. Programs, admission requirements and other related information is subject to change.

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