Laura O’Loan MSc, MA(Ed), MRPharmS, MPSNI


Laura O’Loan was appointed Assistant Director for Vocational Programmes in February 2008. She spent the first ten years of her career as a hospital pharmacist in England, before moving to London Pharmacy Education and Training (LPE&T) in 1997. Her remit at LPE&T was vocational training for student and qualified hospital pharmacy staff, and she developed and implemented numerous distance learning and live education and training programmes. Laura won the 2006 Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists/UKCPA IVAX Leadership Award for her work at LPE&T.

Since moving to Northern Ireland in 2005, Laura has helped out at NICPLD, covering both the distance learning and live programmes. As Assistant Director for Vocational Programmes, Laura has worked with hospital pharmacists from across Northern Ireland to develop and implement a new vocational training (VT) programme for junior hospital pharmacists, which is due to start in October 2008. The main focus of the VT programme is on experiential learning in the workplace, encompassing rotations in the dispensary, technical services, clinical / medicines management, and clinical effectiveness. Rotational competencies and practice activities will help pharmacists to develop and demonstrate their competence. Following implementation, Laura intends to evaluate and adapt the VT programme, and to consider the potential for extending it to other areas of practice, such as community pharmacy.