Credentials in Respiratory Care
After graduation, there are a series of exams that must be taken to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist. These exams are given by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). Successful completion of the first exam in the series, the entry-level exam, will allow the therapist to obtain a Pennsylvania state license. This exam will grant the therapist the credential of a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). The next two exams must both be completed to obtain the RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) credential. One of these exams is a multiple-choice exam, while the other assesses clinical experience. All of the exams given by the NBRC are computerized exams, to be taken at specific NBRC testing sites.
Further details on credentials is explained below.
CRT - Certified Respiratory Therapist
This credential is awarded by the National Board for Respiratory Care and indicates that the holder is considered knowledgeable in the practice of respiratory care at the entry level. To be awarded this credential, the individual must pass a written examination called the "Entry Level CRT Examination". Successful completion of this examination is required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to practice respiratory care in the state.
In order to qualify to sit for this exam, the individual must be 18 years of age and the graduate of a two-year accredited respiratory therapy program. You can explore the CRT exam at NBRC's web site.
RRT- Registered Respiratory Therapist
This credential is awarded by the National Board for Respiratory Care and indicates that the holder is considered knowledgeable in the advanced practice of respiratory care. To be awarded this credential the individual must pass two examinations, the written registry exam and the clinical simulation exam.
In order to qualify to sit for this exam, the individual must be the graduate of a two or four year, respiratory therapy program. He/She must also have successfully completed the entry-level certification examination. You can explore the RRT exam at NBRC's web site.
RCP - Respiratory Care Practitioner
This credential is awarded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is required to practice respiratory care in the state. The applicant must graduate from an accredited respiratory care program. Upon graduation, the individual must obtain a one-year temporary permit to practice. During this time the person must sit for the Entry Level CRT exam. If the individual passes the exam, he or she is awarded the credential "RCP". If the individual fails the exam, he or she must surrender the temporary permit and cannot practice respiratory care in Pennsylvania until they successfully pass the exam. Most other states in the U.S. follow these same requirements for licensure.
This program has been affiliated with Delaware County Community College since 1972. Over the past ten years, the program has demonstrated a 100 per cent pass rate on the NBRC Certification exam. This is the credential required to obtain a state license. The program continues to have an excellent reputation; in fact, all of the credentialing scores are well above the national pass rate. This is due in part to the reputation of the program. To see more outcomes data from the program, please follow this link directly to the Programmatic Outcomes Data page on the CoARC website.