West Virginia Northern Community College

Programs of Study

Respiratory Care, A.A.S.

Associate in Applied Science Degree

2 + 2 Bachelors Degree Transfer Option Available in partnership with Wheeling Jesuit University 

Respiratory Therapists are health professionals responsible for assessment, treatment, and prevention of cardiopulmonary disorders and the education of patients and their families. Graduates are eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Examination to become Registered Respiratory Therapists. The West Virginia Board of Respiratory Care (WVBORC) is responsible for granting professional state licensure for eligible graduates.

Respiratory Therapists are employed in hospitals, skilled patient-care facilities, physician offices, home health agencies and industry. Classroom instruction, laboratory simulations and clinical experiences provide students with the knowledge, technical and professional skills required of a Respiratory Therapist. Employment is predicted to grow rapidly due to substantial increases of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD), currently the 4th leading cause of death in the United States and other respiratory related diseases.

Students successfully completing the program are prepared to:

  • Apply scientific knowledge and theory to clinical problems
  • Evaluate clinical information using critical thinking skills
  • Develop patient care plans related to respiratory care
  • Operate equipment safely and efficiently
  • Communicate effectively to the health care team, patients and family members
  • Provide education to the health care team, patients and family members
  • Conduct therapeutic procedures related to respiratory care
  • Promote individual wellness and prevention of cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Recognize patient needs and individual diversity
  • Demonstrate appropriate personal and professional behaviors

Prior to admission, students must complete a Health Science Application  and demonstrate proficiency in Reading, English, Mathematics and Reading either by obtaining a satisfactory score on the West Virginia Northern Placement Tests or the ACT test. Transitional courses must be completed before the student can enroll in Respiratory Care.

NOTE: This program has specific acceptance criteria and standards of progress requirements. Students must complete the required sequence of courses listed with a "C" or better in each course. For more information go to Respiratory Care Additional Information.

Students interested in the 2+2 program can complete the first 2 years at West Virginia Northern Community College to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist and may transfer to Wheeling Jesuit University to obtain the Bachelor of Science Degree in Respiratory Therapy. Students interested in this option should contact an advisor at WJU early in their program regarding specific admission requirements.


First Year – Fall Semester

Cr. Hours
BIO   114   Anatomy and Physiology I                          3           
RCT 104   Introduction to Respiratory Care        3
RCT 106   Clinical Practice I        2
RCT 110   Respiratory Care Sciences        3
RCT 125   Therapeutic Procedures                                3

 First Year – Spring Semester

Course                                                                        Cr. Hours
BIO 115     Anatomy and Physiology II       3
ENG 101   College Composition I       3
MATH        MATH Core                 2             
RCT 127    Clinical Practice II       2
RCT 134    Critical Care I                                                        3

 First Year – Summer Term

Course Cr. Hours
RCT 136    Clinical Practice III                                       3             
RCT 214    Respiratory Care Specialties                              3

Second Year – Fall Semester

Cr. Hours
PSYC 105   Introduction to Psychology                         3             
RCT    204  Advanced Respiratory Care       3
RCT    216  Critical Care II       3
RCT    218  Clinical Practice IV                                               4

Second Year – Spring Semester

Course Cr. Hours
HUM Restricted Elective *                                                                       3                    
HUM Restricted Elective **                           3
RCT 201    Respiratory Care Preceptorship  (optional)    (1)
RCT 221    Respiratory Care Seminar     3
RCT 223    Clinical Practice V     6

Total Hours in Program – 60


* Restricted HUM Electives: SPCH 101, SPCH 105, ENG 102
** Restricted Electives: CIT 117, BIO 117, SOC 125, PSYC 208, CHEM 108, MGT 250


NOTE: Students planning to complete the 2+2 Bachelors Transfer Option at Wheeling Jesuit University are advised to complete MATH 210, MGT 250, ENG 102, CHEM 108.

Please contact the Respiratory Therapy Department at Wheeling Jesuit University for information regarding requirements for acceptance into the transfer program.







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