Respiratory Therapy - Associate Degree
As a graduate of the Respiratory Therapy program, you’re prepared to evaluate, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate patients with chronic and acute diseases of the heart and lungs. Typical careers include hospital staff therapist, pulmonary function technologist, sleep disorder center technician, shift supervisor, department manager, home care therapist/manager, nursing home therapist, respiratory care educator, and medical equipment and supplies sales representative. Respiratory Therapy program graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination.
How do I get started in this program?
Requirements for Program Entry
- For instructions on how to get started, download the application checklist for this program.
A waitlist often forms for this program. Learn more about program waitlists.
What are my courses?
Students following the study plan below will complete the Respiratory Therapy associate degree in the number of semesters shown.
Summer Before First Semester
Summer Before Third Semester
8 Week 1
- Curriculum Note: Students must earn a "C" or higher in all 10-501-XXX and 10-515-XXX courses. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a "C" in a program course may apply for re-entry into the program. Consideration for re-entry will be at the discretion of the re-entry team and will be dependent on clinical availability.
- Students must earn a "B" or higher in General Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology. A student who withdraws or receives a grade lower than a "B" in these courses may apply for re-entry into the program. Consideration for re-entry will be at the discretion of the re-entry team and will be dependent on clinical availability.
- The credit for 10-890-101, College 101 is an Institutional Requirement for graduation. Consequently, it is not part of the program credit requirements, but must be passed with a "C" or better.
- Apply respiratory therapy concepts to patient care situations.
- Practice respiratory therapy according to established professional and ethical standards.
- Demonstrate technical proficiency required to fulfill the role of a Respiratory Therapist.
What careers are in my future?
with 80% in field
Source: NWTC 2020 Grad Outcome Survey
A graduate of this program will have the potential for employment in a hospital, nursing home, and homecare setting as a:
- Staff Therapist
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapist
- Perinatal/Pediatric Therapist
- Pulmonary Function Technologist
- Sleep Disorder Center Technician
- Shift Supervisor
- Department Manager
- Home Care Therapist/Manager
- Nursing Home Therapist
- Respiratory Care Educator
- Medical Equipment and Supplies Sales Representative
What's next after graduation?
Start here. Finish at a four-year.
NWTC transfer programs are offered through collaborative agreements with our four-year college and university partners. See where your associate degree credits will transfer.
What else do I need to know about the program?
The Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) 1248 Harwood Road Bedford, TX 76021-4244 (817) 283-2835
Graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care Credentialing Examinations.
- Students will be required to purchase a uniform, provide their own transportation to assigned sites, and cover any expenses related to clinical experiences. Students may be expected to travel distances, participate in p.m. clinicals, or weekend rotations.
- Students will be required to show proof of an annual flu vaccine.
- Students will be required to submit immunization documentation. A fee is charged for this service. Additional information will be provided upon acceptance into the program.
- Students are required to take an ACLS Provider course prior to the start of Clinical 4.
Wisconsin Caregiver Law
NWTC is required to comply with the Wisconsin Caregiver Law (1997 WISCONSIN ACT 27). The completion of a caregiver background check includes the review of criminal records for convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behavior. Students accepted into this program must complete a background check through www.castlebranch.com AND complete a Background Information Disclosure (BID) form disclosing any acts, crimes, or convictions prior to program entry. The information provided in the BID form must be truthful and match any findings on the criminal record check. Information regarding this process is provided to students immediately upon acceptance into the program. Students with a criminal history may be denied access to placement at the discretion of the clinical or practicum site. Consequently, should a student have a history of convictions of serious crimes or a history of improper behaviors, NWTC cannot guarantee clinical/practicum placement or guarantee graduation within typical program timing.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The International Programs staff continually seeks opportunities for students to travel abroad for educational experiences that may be offered in association with program courses.
CoARC Number 200350
Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care Programmatic Outcomes
CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an 'outcomes based' process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.
Classes wherever you have an internet connection.
- An in-person career experience, such as an internship, practicum, or credit for prior learning, may be required.
- Some online courses may be held at specific dates/times.
- Classes between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- Classes between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
- A combination of online classes and Saturday and/or Sunday classes.
- 12 or more credits per term.
- Fewer than 12 credits per term.