RESEARCH ARTICLE: Choice of pharmacy, professional perceptions, and career plans of students in three Nigerian schools of pharmacy
Keywords:Career choice, Nigeria, Perception, Pharmacy, Profession, Students, University
Background: A progressive increase in the number of students admitted to study pharmacy in Nigeria has not been met with sufficient documented evidence of their preferences and motivations. Studies on this would aid in designing a programme that matches student expectations, whilst maintaining regulatory requirements.
Aim: This study evaluated students’ preferences in wanting to study pharmacy, perceptions of the profession and career choice.
Method: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted among students of all study years across three Nigerian Schools of Pharmacy after obtaining approval from their managements. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: The response rate of the study was 87.5%. Most students from the three universities reported a preference for pharmacy as their first choice of course: 733 (86.0%) for University of Nigeria (UNN), 66 (71.7%) for Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) and 48 (45.3%) for Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). The students’ mean perception of pharmacy was 77.6±13.5%. However, 69.1% (UNN), 64.1% (NAU) and 59.4% (ESUT) students preferred academic pharmacy to other practice areas in pharmacy.
Conclusions: Pharmacy was the preferred course of choice for most students currently enrolled in the programme. The students had generally positive perceptions towards the profession.
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