Respiratory Care Degree | Naugatuck Valley Community College

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Download the 2019-20 College Catalog in PDF format.

Allied Health, Nursing & Physical Education Division

Respiratory Care

Program Description

The Respiratory Care Program prepares students to enter a dynamic and progressive health care profession. Respiratory Therapists work with advanced technology making it possible to help patients with respiratory and cardiac disorders in ways that were impossible years ago. The Respiratory Care program provides hands-on education in diverse clinical settings such as adult and neonatal critical care, emergency care, long-term care, pulmonary rehabilitation and diagnostic services. Respiratory Therapists are vital members of the health care team who work closely with physicians providing education and support to patients with acute and chronic lung conditions.

Admissions Requirements:

  1. The Respiratory Care Program has a selective admissions process. The applicant must meet the following requirements in addition to the general admission policies: High school diploma or equivalency and submission of all application materials including high school transcripts, immunization records, and college transcripts, if applicable, no later than the January 15 deadline.
  2. Prerequisites: Proof of having met or exceeded the following prerequisites prior to the application deadline of January 15, 2019. Applicants who are enrolled in and plan to complete the prerequisites during the winter term may apply. If applicable, a copy of a high school transcript and/or official college transcript for credits earned outside of NVCC must be provided by January 15, 2019.
    • Minimum of having completed, within the last 5 years, high school algebra II with a grade of “C” or better AND an Accuplacer or SAT/ACT score above intermediate algebra; OR MAT*H136, OR MAT*H137 or college level equivalent with a grade of “C” or better.
    • BIO*H105 or BIO*H115 or BIO*H121 or equivalent within the last 5 years with a grade of "C" or better.
    • Minimum of having completed with a "C" or better developmental English (ENG *H063, ENG*H096 or equivalent); OR Accuplacer placement test results recommending ENG *H101; OR SAT/ACT results for either Reading or Writing at or above the score for placement into ENG*H101 English Composition.
  3. Minimum GPA of 2.5 based only on the college courses with grades that meet the Respiratory Care Admission and program curriculum requirements.
  4. Complete a program application by the January 15, 2018 deadline.
  5. Information session: Consideration for admission requires all qualified applicants to attend a mandatory program information session. In late February/early March, qualified applicants will be contacted via their college email address to schedule attendance at a session. The deadline to register for, and attendance at the information session is strictly enforced.
  6. Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology I and II taken prior to admission into the program must have been taken within the following timeframe and the student must have achieved a grade of “C” or better for each of the courses:
    • Anatomy and Physiology I and II within the last 5 years
    • Chemistry within the last 8 years
  7. Algebra, Chemistry, and Biology (including Anatomy and Physiology I and II) taken at other colleges must be equivalent to NVCC courses in order to fulfill the program science and math prerequisites and program science requirements.
  8. Once your application is received, all communication regarding that application status will be sent to your college assigned email account issued at the time of your acceptance to NVCC.
  9. Once admitted to the program, students are required to undergo a criminal background check and/or drug screen. Students that do not pass the background check may be excluded from clinical practice and may not meet the competencies required for the program.

Due to the extensive time requirements for classes, clinical, and studying, the program faculty strongly recommends that respiratory care students work no more than 20 hours a week. Faculty strongly advises applicants to consider this before applying and/or before accepting an offer of admission.

Special Admission Requirements for Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT s)

Graduates of a one year certificate program who seek admission to the program and have successfully completed the Certification Exam for Respiratory Therapists by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) will be admitted into the program as a second year student. Proof of certification required in order to receive credit for the following technician level courses:

  • RSP*H112 Fundamentals of Respiratory Care
  • RSP*H131 Applied Pharmacology
  • RSP*H121 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology
  • RSP*H141 Principles of Respiratory Care
  • RSP*H151 Cardiopulmonary Pathophysiology
  • RSP*H180 Clinical Practicum
  • RSP*H181 Clinical Practicum II
  • RSP*H281 Advanced Clinical Practicum (transfer credit requires approval from the Director of Clinical Education).

Students entering the program as a CRT must complete all of the general education courses prior to graduation. All applicants will be required to take a self-assessment exam by the NBRC prior to admission to the program. This test is not used for admission into the program, but for internal purposes only.

Readmission and Transfer Requirements:

Please contact the program director for details or questions.

Student responsibilities:

Once a student has been accepted into the program, the student must assume the following responsibilities:

  • Perform the skills necessary to function as a respiratory therapist as outlined in the program's technical standards.
  • Provide proof of a Health Care Provider course in Basic Life Support (BLS).
  • Submit a current physical examination which describes the student’s health and proof of immunizations.
  • Purchase required books, manuals and clinical supplies.
  • Purchase required uniforms for clinical practice which conform to the program dress code.
  • Transportation to and from clinical facilities.
  • Follow established college policies and procedures.
  • Follow established program policies and procedures as outlined in the Respiratory Care Student Handbook.

Please contact the program director for details or questions.

Learning is planned as a progression of increasing complexity. Therefore, in order for a student to progress to the next semester, a minimum grade of “C” is required in all respiratory courses. BIO*H211 and BIO*H212 must be completed with a grade of “C” or better before a student can progress to the second year of the program. Electives and other core courses may be taken prior to the designated semester. Students must achieve a “C” or better in all required courses including respiratory, science and general education courses. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Therapist Multiple Choice and Clinical Simulation examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

The NVCC Respiratory Care Associate Degree Program (Waterbury Campus) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care ( The CoARC number is 200460.

Program Requirements

General Education Core course listings and definitions appear on pages 53-54. Placement testing will determine the sequencing of courses. Additional courses may be required. The suggested sequence for full-time students is shown below.

Competency or Program Requirement Course Number and Title Required Credits
Critical Analysis and Logical Thinking/Written Communication ENG*H101 Composition 3
Historical Knowledge Choose any Historical Knowledge listed 3
Scientific Knowledge? BIO*H211 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
Program Requirement RSP*H112 Fundamentals of Respiratory Care 4
Program Requirement RSP*H121 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology 3
Oral Communication COM*H100 Introduction to Communication 3
Program Requirement RSP*H131 Applied Pharmacology 3
Program Requirement RSP*H141 Principles of Respiratory Care 4
Program Requirement RSP*H180 Clinical Practicum 1
Program Requirement BIO*H212 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Written Communication1 ENG*H102 English Composition and Literature or ENG*H200 Advanced Composition1 3
Program Requirement RSP*H151 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology 3
Program Requirement RSP* H181 Clinical Practicum II 2
Continuing Learning and Information Literacy/Ethics RSP*H281 Advanced Clinical Practicum 2
Scientific Reasoning◊ CHE*H111 Concepts of Chemistry 4
Social Phenomena PSY* H111 General Psychology I 3
Program Requirement RSP*H270 Hemodynamic and Critical Care Monitoring 3
Program Requirement RSP*H 262 Advanced Principles of Respiratory Care 4
Aesthetic Dimensions/Written Communication Choose any Aesthetic Dimensions/Written Communication listed 3
Continuing Learning and Information Literacy/Ethics RSP*H282 Advanced Clinical Practicum II 2
Program Requirement RSP*H271 Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Diagnostics 2
Program Requirement RSP*H291 Perinatal and Pediatric Respiratory Care 2
Program Requirement RSP*H201 Future Trends 2

Total Credits: 67

Any given course may only be used to satisfy one of the competency areas even if it is listed under more than one.

1ENG*H200 is recommended for those students who plan on pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree

At least one Scientific Knowledge and Understanding OR Scientific Reasoning course must have a lab component.

Clinical experiences are provided at the following facilities: Bridgeport Hospital Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Danbury Hospital Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Gaylord Specialty Healthcare Hospital for Special Care St. Mary’s Hospital Waterbury Pulmonary Associates Waterbury Hospital Yale New Haven Hospital


Program Mission: The Respiratory Care Program at Naugatuck Valley Community College is designed to prepare students to enter the field of Respiratory Care with the skills necessary to practice as proficient and competent Respiratory Therapists. Our program is designed to meet the evolving health care needs of our diverse community and our faculty are committed to a student-centered approach to teaching and learning that focuses on the development of evidence-based, ethical, and collaborative practice among our students and graduates.

Program Outcomes: Upon graduation from the program, the graduate must be competent in the following areas: Psychomotor skills, Affective skills and Cognitive skills. Each area will be evaluated while enrolled in the program on a semester by semester basis. Learning is planned as progression of increasing complexity. The goal of the Respiratory Care program is to prepare graduates to function as competent respiratory care practitioners. Upon successful completion of the program the graduate will:

  1. Assist physicians/licensed independent practitioners in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of patients affected by cardiopulmonary disorders.
  2. Collect and evaluate clinical information relevant to their role as a respiratory therapist.
  3. Participate in the inter-disciplinary plan of care.
  4. Provide patient education concerning health management and prevention of respiratory disease.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in all skills and competencies required of a respiratory therapist as described by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  6. Promote evidence-based practice by using established clinical practice guidelines and evaluating published research for its relevance to patient care.
  7. Collaborate and communicate effectively with all members of the health care team to enhance patient care.
  8. Adhere to AARC statement of ethics and professional conduct.
  9. Apply principles and practices of patient safety and process improvement in all aspects of respiratory care.

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