Respiratory Therapy, B.S.

Return to: College of Health and Human Services

http://www.uncw.edu/shahs

Mr. Chulak, program coordinator. Mr. Nietman, director of clinical education

Graduates in respiratory therapy (RSP) will be prepared to become highly competent healthcare practitioners who display professional excellence, integrity and skills for life-long learning. Respiratory care requires not only technical expertise, but also humane, empathetic and professional behavior directed towards patient-centered care in an interprofessional healthcare setting. The program prepares graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRT’s).

Respiratory therapists are part of an interprofessional health care team that promote the health outcome for patients served in acute care hospitals, diagnostics labs, physician offices and additional health care settings. Respiratory therapists work under the direct supervision of a physician and compliment other allied health professions and therapies to address cardiopulmonary wellness & rehabilitation through education, equipment and expertise. In addition, graduates in respiratory therapy can pursue graduate degrees in respiratory care leadership, education, and clinical residency.

The purpose of the baccalaureate program in respiratory therapy is to prepare students for the scope of practice in the respiratory therapy profession. In addition, the program is designed to provide a foundation for graduate respiratory therapy education. Through interactions with clients–individual persons, families and communities–and other health care professionals, respiratory therapy graduates will contribute toward meeting the wide-ranging needs of the region, state, and the larger community. The program of study for the Respiratory Therapy as described in this catalogue, is consistent with national accreditation standards outline by CoARC in pursuit of full accreditation.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Synthesize information from interprofessional healthcare practice to provide effective care for diverse patient populations.
  • Comprehend the impact of quality care on patient outcomes with compassion for the patient, family and caregivers.
  • Apply skills to deliver respiratory therapy safely in a healthcare setting that promotes patient autonomy, empowerment, and education.
  • Analyze patient data to make informed decisions about patient care in an interprofessional setting that is collaborative, culturally sensitive, and adheres to professional standards.
  • Synthesize patient data to develop a care plan for patients with comorbid conditions including management of risk reduction, prevention, education and disease management.
  • Evaluate the practice of evidence-based medicine within the scope of respiratory care.

In order to be eligible to practice respiratory therapy, graduates must be credentialed by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT), at a minimum, but be ready to obtain the standard professional credential as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). Licensure is obtained by applying the earned national credential, CRT or RRT, to a state licensing board. Specialty credentials are offered by the NBRC as a pulmonary function technologist, adult critical care specialist, neonatal/pediatric specialist and sleep disorder specialty.

Program Admission

All students wishing to major in Respiratory Therapy must meet the minimum criteria for admission and follow the Respiratory Therapy application procedure which includes timely submission of the Respiratory Therapy application packet.

Minimum criteria for acceptance into the program include:

  1. 2.5 cumulative GPA at UNCW or transfer institution; and
  2. Completed
    • BIO/BIOL 201 and (or equivalent courses with a “C” or higher)
    • MAT 111 and (or equivalent courses with a “C” or higher)
    • EXS/EXSL 216 or BIO/BIOL 240 (or equivalent courses with a “C” or higher)

Admission Procedure

Completed application packet must be submitted to chhs@uncw.edu 

Application packet must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Two-page essay
  • Current degree audit or transcript if student is a transfer student

The admission procedure also requires an interview with a Respiratory Therapy faculty member.

Priority Application Deadlines

  • For Fall admission, Feb. 15th

Requirements for the B.S. Degree with a Major in Respiratory Therapy:

Complete core courses in the following sequence:

Year I- Fall Term

  • RSP 300 Fundamentals of Respiratory Care
  • RSP 330 Fundamentals of Respiratory Care Lab
  • RSP 301 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology
  • RSP 302 Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology
  • RSP 303 Patient Assessment
  • RSP 333 Patient Assessment Lab
  • RSP 351 Clinical Practice I

Year I- Spring Term

  • RSP 304 Cardiopulmonary Diseases & Diagnostics
  • RSP 306 Introduction to Mechanical Ventilation
  • RSP 356 Introduction to Mechanical Ventilation Lab
  • RSP 410 Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare
  • CHHS 411 Research and Evaluation Methods in Human Services
  • RSP 352 Clinical Practice II
Year II- Fall Term
  • RSP 402 Advanced Techniques in Mechanical Ventilation
  • RSP 307 Advanced Critical Care Management
  • RSP 309 Advanced Critical Care Management Lab
  • RSP 308 Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care
  • RSP 401 Evidence-Based Practice in Respiratory Care
  • RSP 353 Clinical Practice III

Year II- Spring Term

  • RSP 412 Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care
  • RSP 403 Healthcare Management and Leadership
  • RSP 470 Capstone Project
  • RSP 320 Exam and Career Preparation
  • RSP 454 Clinical Practice IV

Total: 60 hours

Student progression in the program is contingent upon the following:

  1. Students must maintain at least a 2.50 overall GPA and a minimum grade of “C” (2.00) in all core courses.
  2. Students found to have been in violation of the university’s Academic Honor Code will be subject to disciplinary action as set forth in the current Code of Student Life.
  3. Students found to be in violation of the Respiratory Therapy Program Policies outlined in the Student Handbook will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program.
  4. Students found to be in violation of the American Association for Respiratory Care’s Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program.

Because many of the required courses are sequential and have prerequisites, it is vital for students to complete them successfully in the proper sequence. In addition to university studies requirements and Respiratory Therapy requirements, students must take elective courses to satisfy the university requirement of a minimum of 120 hours.


Respiratory Therapy, B.S. Degree Advancement

Program Admission

All students wishing to major in Respiratory Therapy must meet the minimum criteria for admission and follow the Respiratory Therapy application procedure which includes timely submission of the Respiratory Therapy application packet.

Minimum criteria for acceptance into the program includes

  • Meet UNCW’s transfer eligibility requirements
  • Produce official transcripts from all post-secondary work
  • Earned an associate degree from a CoARC-accredited respiratory therapy program
  • Proof of current NBRC RRT credential and be in good standing
  • Proof of current and valid respiratory care practitioner state license
  • Proof of current BLS/CPR for health care providers certification

Priority Application Deadlines

  • Rolling Admissions

Requirements for the B.S. Degree with a Major in Respiratory Therapy:

Complete core courses:

  • RSP 324 Disease Management for Respiratory Therapists
  • RSP 422 Advanced Critical Care Respiratory Therapy
  • RSP 425 Advanced Cardiovascular Pathophysiology
  • RSP 420 Health Law and Ethics
  • RSP 426 Advanced Pulmonary Physiology
  • RSP 424 Advanced Cardiopulmonary Pharmacology
  • RSP 427 Advanced Renal and Endocrine Pathophysiology
  • EXS 310 Research Methods in Exercise Science
  • RSP 423 Healthcare Policy and Administration
  • RSP 428 Neonatal/Pediatric Critical Care Pathophysiology
  • RSP 432 Subacute Care and Telemedicine in Respiratory Care
  • RSP 421 Information Literacy in Respiratory Care 

Total: 36 hours

Complete courses:

  • Transfer up to 64 credits from associate degree
  • Credit by examination for Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential at 34 elective credits
  • Satisfy University Studies/Electives requirements

Degree Total: 120 hours

Student progression in the program is contingent upon the following:

  1. Students must maintain at least a 2.00 overall GPA.
  2. Students found to have been in violation of the university’s Academic Honor Code will be subject to disciplinary action as set forth in the current Code of Student Life.
  3. Students found to be in violation of the Respiratory Therapy Program Policies outlined in the Student Handbook will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program.
  4. Students found to be in violation of the American Association for Respiratory Care’s Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the program.

Important Information