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Respiratory Care

Breathe Easy with A Commonwealth University Education Do you want to help others get and stay well? Respiratory therapists are essential in improving the quality of life for individuals with respiratory conditions and in providing critical care in emergency situations. They play a crucial role in helping individuals of all ages who may have difficulty breathing due to various conditions. With the knowledge and skills taught in our program, you will prevent, identify, and treat illness in your patients with confidence.

Degrees & Offerings
  • B.S.
Location
  • Bloomsburg
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
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The Commonwealth University - Mansfield Respiratory Therapy Program is a full-time, four-year, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program. It is a collaborative program with the CU - Mansfield Department of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences and Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital. Students spend the first two years on the campus in any Commonwealth campus (Mansfield, Lock Haven, or Bloomsburg) completing program pre-requisites and general education courses. After meeting 

the program pre-requisites, students will spend their second two years plus one summer engaging in respiratory specific didactic course, clinical courses, and hands on experiences at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA, where they complete classroom and clinical experience. Students will also have the opportunity to rotate to several other clinical affiliates, gaining valuable hands-on clinical experiences.

Respiratory Therapy Program Guthrie

The respiratory therapy courses consist of tightly coordinated classroom, laboratory and clinical training conducted Monday through Friday primarily during the day. In all clinical courses, the clinical instructor provides ongoing feedback to the student through weekly written performance evaluations. Each student provides the program with weekly feedback through completion of online clinical instructor and rotation evaluation surveys. Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital is the primary site of clinical training. Each student's clinical experience assignments will also include rotations to Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY; Corning Hospital, Corning, NY; United Health Services Wilson Regional Medical Center, Johnson City, NY; Danville Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA; Troy Community Hospital, Troy, PA; and Guthrie Med Supply Depot, Sayre, PA.

At the end of their studies, students are awarded the BS in Respiratory Care and are immediately eligible to sit for the Therapist Multiple Choice Exam (TMC) and the Clinical Simulation Exam (CSE) given by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) to obtain their Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. 

Courses and Curriculum

Degree RequirementsDegree Works

For specific course and program requirements, please consult the current undergraduate catalog.

Note: Please see the CU degree requirements effective Fall 2023. All enrolled students can also review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion in Degree Works.

Visit also the Guthrie Respiratory Therapy Program website and Guthrie's Program Catalog (pdf).

The respiratory therapy courses consist of tightly coordinated classroom, laboratory and clinical training. Learn more about the full program curriculum details by clicking on the below button.

Program Curriculum

 

This program is designed to prepare the student to become an advanced-level Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).  Graduates of this program are qualified to take the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) exams.  The specific objectives of the program are listed below:

  • Prepare students as registered respiratory therapists.
  • Prepare competent respiratory care practitioners for advanced level careers in respiratory care (educators, researchers, managers, clinical specialist, respiratory care equipment sales representatives, and in other roles throughout the healthcare system.
  • Prepare students for leadership roles, professionalism, and a commitment to lifelong learning in respiratory care related fields.

Admission

New students may apply for admission to the program in the fall semester or spring semester.  Students not already enrolled at Commonwealth University must apply for admission to the Commonwealth University Admission office.  Early application is encouraged since class size is limited.  The application form is available online here, or students should call Admissions 1-800-577-6826 or 570-662-4243 or email admissions@mansfield.edu.

Once the application, application fee, and high school and/or college transcripts have been received, the Admission Office reviews the application

Academic high school preparation for the Respiratory Care Program should include at least 3 credits of math and one credit each of biology and chemistry, with a minimum 2.7 grade point average in the math and science courses.  In additional, prospective students must be able to:

  • Communicate in oral and written English.
  • Hear normal speech.
  • Work with both hands simultaneously. Walk unassisted for hours at a time.
  • Assist with moving patients.
  • Work with blood and body fluids.
  • Work with critically ill patients of all ages.
  • Analyze information and make appropriate decisions.
  • Work as a team.
  • Demonstrate compassion and dependability.
  • Give of themselves.

Commonwealth University students wishing to change their major to respiratory care should contact the Program Director at the Sayre campus (telephone 570-887-4513 or email Sheila.Merrill@guthrie.org).  Change in major candidates must have a minimum grade point average of 2.7 and meet the same requirements specified above for other candidates for admission.

Admission Requirements

Click on the button below to view the Respiratory Care program Admission Requirements.

Program Admission Requirements

The Robert Packer Hospital provides personalized instruction and extraordinary hands-on practice with equipment and procedures. Because of the program's strong emphasis on clinical competence, graduates are highly rated and aggressively recruited by employers.  

Learn more about the instruction at Robert Packer Hospital and what to expect after graduation.

Learn More

Students in the Respiratory Therapy program are subject to all the academic requirements of the University.

See the full list of requirements for progression in the program.

Click here

Clinical experiences begin when the student arrives on the Sayre campus the beginning of the junior year. While most of the clinical rotations occur at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, each student will have a limited number of rotations to other program clinical affiliates.

Learn about the different clinical affiliates as well as the policies and responsibilities that must be met by the student.

Click here

There are two exams for respiratory care practitioners.  The first is the TMC exam which has a low and high cut score.  Achieving the low-cut score award the CRT credential and state license. Achieving the high cut score allows the graduate to sit for the Clinical Simulation Exam (CSE). Passing the TMC at the high cut score and the CSE earns the graduate the RRT credential.

For the previous three years, our program has had 100% pass rate for both the TMC exam and the CSE exam.  Our graduates continually perform above the national pass rate on both exams. 
The CU - Mansfield Respiratory Care program has been awarded the Distinguished RRT Credentialing award four times (2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018). 

  1. Respiratory care program graduates will demonstrate the clinical knowledge, professional attributes, and interpersonal and inter-professional communication skills relevant to the role of a registered respiratory therapist.
  2. Respiratory care program graduates will demonstrate technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill the role of a registered respiratory therapist.
  3. Respiratory care program graduates will demonstrate personal behaviors consistent with professional and employer expectations for a bachelor’s degree registered respiratory therapist.
  4. To prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content objectives related to the acquisition of skills in management and research. 

Why Choose the Respiratory Therapy Program

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According to the 2023 American Association for Respiratory Care Human Resources Study, the projected average annual earnings of respiratory therapists in the U.S. was $75,562.  

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the demand for respiratory therapists will increase by 19% during the period 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all other professions.
  • The primary site for clinical training is the nationally recognized Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital.
  • In the last 5 years, 100% of this program's graduates have been employed as respiratory therapists within 6 months after graduation.
  • In the last 5 years, the pass rate for program graduates on the National Board Certified Respiratory Therapist Exam and the National Board Registered Respiratory Therapist Exams has been 100%. Three-year outcomes data is available at www.coarc.com.
  • Employer and graduate surveys report 100% satisfaction with graduate preparation to begin work.
  • Respiratory Therapy classes are small, typically 10-12 students.
  • Clinical rotations provide students with closely supervised, hands-on practice with a student/faculty ratio of 2:1 or 1:1
  • Classrooms and laboratories are newly renovated and equipped with the latest up-to-date teaching equipment.
  • Program faculty are registered respiratory therapists and board-certified pulmonary physicians with extensive experience in respiratory care education.
  • This program has been honored repeatably with both the Distinguished RRT and the President’s Award Credentialing Success Awards from the professional accrediting agency, the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) 

The CU - Mansfield - Robert Packer Hospital Respiratory program has been recognized by COARC (Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care) for "Distinguished Respiratory Therapist Success" in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The program has been honored for the “President’s Award for Excellence in Credentialing Success” in 2021, 2022 and 2023. In the recognition, COARC stated that the program achieved success in "inspiring its graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations."   

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Transform Your Education

Careers

Respiratory therapists usually work in hospital intensive care units, caring for patients on life support and making decisions that directly impact the patient’s outcome. In addition to working in hospitals, many respiratory therapists work in physician offices, outpatient clinics and home health agencies. Some specialize in specific areas such as adult critical care, newborn or pediatric care, laboratory diagnostic testing, clinical research, patient transport, pulmonary rehabilitation, or home care. 

Clinical Experiences

Clinical rotations provide students with closely supervised, hands-on practice with a student/faculty ratio of 2:1 or 1:1. The primary site for clinical training is the nationally recognized Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital. Each student's clinical experience assignments will also include rotations to Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY; Corning Hospital, Corning, NY; United Health Services Wilson Regional Medical Center, Johnson City, NY; Danville Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA; Troy Community Hospital, Troy, PA; and Guthrie Med Supply Depot, Sayre, PA. 

Facilities

Classrooms and laboratories are newly renovated and equipped with the latest up-to-date teaching equipment. Respiratory Therapy classes are small, typically 10-12 students. 

Accreditation

The Mansfield University Respiratory Therapist program is nationally accredited by: 
The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) 
www.coarc.com 

CoARC Outcomes data from the Annual Report of Current Status includes retention, job placement and success on the national credentialing exams. 
https://coarc.com/students/programmatic-outcomes-data/ 

CoARC Program Number: 200019 
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. 

Professional Preparation

Employer and graduate surveys report 100% satisfaction with graduate preparation to begin work. 

The Uncommon Difference

100%
Pass Rate
For the previous three years, our program has had 100% pass rate for both the TMC exam and the CSE exam.
100%
Job Placement Rate
In the last 5 years, 100% of this program's graduates have been employed as respiratory therapists within 6 months after graduation.
4x
Award Winning
The CU - Mansfield Respiratory Care program has been awarded the Distinguished RRT Credentialing award four times (2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018).
100%
Satisfaction Rate
Employer and graduate surveys report 100% satisfaction with graduate preparation to begin work.

Careers

Many graduates of this program go on to pursue careers in specialty areas of respiratory care such as:

Potential Job Opportunities

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Patient Transport
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Home Care
  • Patient Care and Education
  • Pediatrics
  • Neonatal Care

Learn More about the Respiratory Therapy Program

Connect with the Respiratory Therapy Department

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