U.S. News & World Report ranks respiratory therapist #20 among the Best Health Care Jobs and #32 among the Top 100 Jobs. To become a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT), one must complete an accredited respiratory therapy program and obtain certification. With more than 440 accredited respiratory therapy programs, how do you choose the best? Listed below are the 5 best schools for respiratory therapy.
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
UAMS is the only college in the state with outreach programs in every country. Its College of Health Professions offers a four-semester Bachelor of Science in Cardiorespiratory Care program. The curriculum includes Internet, interactive video, live computer lectures, lab studies and clinical education at local clinics and hospitals. The program is also offered in a part-time option. Graduates are eligible to take both the CRT and the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) certification exam. This program can boast of a 100% pass rate on both the CRT and RRT exams and 100% job placement after graduation.
- Ohlone College in Newark, CA
With two campus locations, this school offers a two-year associate degree program in respiratory therapy. Upon graduation, you're eligible to take the CA state licensing exam and the national certification exams. This college also boasts a 100% pass rate on both the CRT and the RRT exams. In 2012, the college’s respiratory program earned special recognition from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). The job placement rate for graduates of this program is higher than 90%. The school also encourages community participation among students by allowing them to monitor respiratory rates of participants in a local “Walk for Life” marathon.
- Drury University in Springfield, MO
This private school was ranked 8th among the best Midwestern regional universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2013 and also One of the Best in the Midwest category by Princeton Review. The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies at DU offers an accredited Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy program. Students who complete the first year of the program can take the Respiratory Therapy Practitioner exam through the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC). Graduates of this program are eligible for positions as respiratory therapists or respiratory technicians.
- Boise State University
The school offers a respiratory care bachelor’s degree program on campus and an online respiratory therapy program for RRTs who already have an associate’s degree. Located in Boise, BSU was ranked among the best Western regional colleges by U.S News & World Report in 2012. The job placement rate for graduates of this program is higher than 95% with pass rates for the CRT exam at 98%. The respiratory care program at BSU also boasts of small class size and faculty members with more than 120 combined years of experience.
- Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI
Also ranked highly by U.S. News & World Report, FSU offers a respiratory therapy associate degree program that includes theory, lab and clinical courses. Prior to doing the clinicals in a real work environment, you can practice in the laboratory. Clinicals are done throughout the program. This program, which offers both on-campus and online courses, prepares you to take both the CRT and RRT certification exams.