“Respiratory therapy is an up-and-coming field; it’s one of the top five fastest-growing medical fields. There are some great jobs out there. Armstrong really helps prepare you for success.” --Robert May, class of 2011
- Median annual salary $54,280
- 21% job growth rate
- Job opportunities especially good with bachelor's degree
Respiratory Therapy BS Degree Career Ladder Program
About the Respiratory Therapy Career Ladder Program
Note: There are no on-campus requirements. All students establish a preceptor at their home hospital/clinic to facilitate project completion for courses within the program.
The Department of Respiratory Therapy offers a four-year program leading to the bachelor of science degree in respiratory therapy, as well as a career ladder program for those already registered as respiratory therapists to obtain their undergraduate degree. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited respiratory therapy program qualifies graduates for entry into the advanced practitioner credentialing system, leading to the highest professional credential available in the field of respiratory therapy. The credentialing process is a two-part, nationally administered examination. Part one, a comprehensive written exam, is taken prior to graduation. Graduates who pass this exam will earn the entry level credential “Certified Respiratory Therapist” (CRT) from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), and will be eligible to enter the registry credentialing system. Candidates who pass both registry exams will earn the credential “Registered Respiratory Therapist” (RRT). Students must earn their CRT credential prior to graduation.
The Career Ladder Program allows Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT) to advance their education while minimizing duplication of knowledge and skills. Other goals of the career ladder program are to educate individuals who will be able to contribute to the growth and development of respiratory care as a profession; educate respiratory care providers in a scientific approach to problem solving and patient care; provide the interpersonal and communication skills needed to work effectively as a member of the interdisciplinary healthcare team; and foster respect, critical thinking and a genuine desire for knowledge. RRTs may receive advanced placement via equivalency credit. (Equivalent credit will be awarded individually, based on the candidate’s academic transcript and professional portfolio.) Applicants who graduated more than three years before admission will need to validate current practice.
A representative sample of alumni from the Respiratory Therapy Program and Career Ladder Program are currently working at the following institutions:
Tia Cook, BS, RRT - Career Ladder Program
Director, Cardiopulmonary Services, Liberty Regional Medical Center, Hinesville, GA
Linda Dominy, MHSA, RPFT, RRT-NPS
Director, Respiratory Therapy, Memorial University Medical Center, Savannah, GA
Heather Labor, BS, RRT
Supervisor, Cardiopulmonary, Palms West Hospital, Boynton Beach, FL
Celine Le, MHS, RRT
Health Project Coordinator, Tulane Community Health Center, New Orleans, LA
Daniel Mock, BS, RRT - Career Ladder Program
Director, Cardiopulmonary Service, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Beaufort, SC
Harold Oglesby, RRT
Manager, Respiratory Therapy, Candler Campus, St. Joseph’s Candler Health System. Savannah, GA
Andrew Williams, BS, RRT
Manager, Respiratory Therapy, St. Joseph’s Campus, St. Joseph’s Candler Health System, Savannah, GA
Armstrong is authorized to offer online programs in many states. Authorization is currently pending in additional states as Armstrong continues to research and respond to the requirements for each state. For information regarding state authorization, please contact Dr. Dean Earlix in the Office of Online & Blended Learning by email at Dean.Earlix@armstrong.edu or 912.344.2584.