Program Overview

Respiratory Therapists (RT’s) also known as Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP’s) evaluate, treat, and care for patients with breathing problems (asthma, emphysema, etc.) or other cardiopulmonary disorders (cardiac or respiratory arrest, trauma from an accident, stroke, or heart attack). Successful completion of the program will enable you to take a series of national board exams to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

Respiratory Therapy Application

Program Structure

The Respiratory Care Program is a blend of classroom, lab, and online classes. Students start as a class during the fall semester and graduate together 20 months later. Upon completion of your associate degree, you are eligible to take board exams and begin work.

Many respiratory therapists go on to higher degrees such as a bachelor's or a master's degree. The program of study includes the areas of human anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, chemistry, physics, microbiology, pharmacology, and mathematics. Other courses deal with therapeutic and diagnostic procedures and tests, equipment, patient assessment, CPR, mechanical ventilation, critical care, and the application of Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Job Opportunities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists respiratory therapy as third in "The Best Jobs with an Associate Degree." The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates employment growth of about 19 percent by 2022.


The mission of the National Park College Respiratory Care Program is to offer a high-quality respiratory care education in a learning environment that fosters critical thinking, encourages professional leadership, and instills a strong appreciation of ethical values and human diversity. Utilizing the standards established by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), the established curriculum provides students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be outstanding patient care providers.


The Respiratory Care Program at NPC holds an accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The link to CoARC's main webpage is 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. NPC's Respiratory Care CoARC Program number is 200592. You may view NPC student outcomes at CoARC's accredited program outcomes website.  You can find more information about NPC's accreditation on our accreditation page.

Certificates and Degrees

Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care

The Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care is a 77-credit hour program of study.

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Associate of Applied Science in Respiratory Care to UAMS Bachelor of Science in Cardio-Respiratory Online Completion Program

The University of Arkansas Medical Sciences A.A.S. to B.S. Degree Completion Program is designed to allow graduates of associate degree programs the opportunity to meet their educational and professional goals as practicing professionals. The thirty-semester credit professional program is offered in a 100% online format, which is perfect for working therapists who need flexibility to complete their bachelor’s degree while meeting family, professional, and personal obligations.

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