Respiratory Care Associate Degree | In-demand health care field
Program Overview

Program Overview

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 evidenced-based, ethical and collaborative practice among our graduates and student. View our 2017 program outcomes.

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Upcoming Respiratory Therapy Info Sessions

Upcoming Respiratory Therapy Info Sessions

Interested in NVCC's Respiratory Therapy program? We will be holding more info sessions in the Spring. Check back here for updates. Missed our Fall, 2018 information sessions? View the presentation from these sessions to learn more about our program. We are accepting applications for our program until January 15, 2019. 

Margaret Guerrera
203-596-8662 (p)
Room: E600b
Career Possibilities

Career Possibilities

In your area, people working as

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Some career opportunities may require additional education beyond an associates degree.

Quick Facts

Respiratory Care Quick Facts

Student Success
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Graduates of the NVCC respiratory care program have achieved a 100% pass rate on the licensing credential exam.

A Variety of Transfer Opportunities
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The program has several opportunities for transfer to BS degree programs including Southern CT State University, University of Hartford, and Charter Oak State College

Excellent Job Opportunities
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Over 90% of NVCC respiratory care program graduates are employed in the field of Respiratory Care.

Additional Details

Join a Field With Excellent Job Opportunities


Respiratory therapists evaluate, treat and care for patients who have breathing disorders. If you join this growing field, you'll work under the supervision of a physician administering respiratory therapy to patients with chronic illnesses such as asthma or emphysema. You'll also assist in emergencies when life-support treatment is needed. Respiratory therapists set up, operate and monitor devices that provide oxygen or medicine in the form of a mist or gas to patients. You must be able to see and hear well, have mechanical ability and manual dexterity to work with machines and be able to be on your feet most of the day.


Career Opportunities

You'll care for a wide variety of patients that can be found in many areas of the hospital including:

  • emergency room 
  • adult, pediatric and newborn intensive care units 
  • open heart units 
  • cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  • air transport 

There are also many opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in settings outside the hospital which include: 

  • home care 
  • medical sales 
  • sleep laboratories

Clinical Preparation and Experience

Respiratory care graduates are prepared to take the National Board for Respiratory Care Entry Level (CRT) and the Advanced Practitioner (RRT) Examinations.

Students also receive clinical experience at the following agencies:

  • Bridgeport Hospital 
  • Charlotte Hungerford Hospital 
  • Connecticut Children's Medical Center 
  • Danbury Hospital 
  • Gaylord Speciality Health Care 
  • Hospital for Special Care
  • Waterbury Pulmonary Associates  
  • St. Mary's Hospital 
  • Waterbury Hospital 
  • Yale New Haven Hospital

To learn more about the Respiratory Care profession, view the Life and Breath video

Program Admissions Requirements

Respiratory Care Application Process:

All applications and supporting documents must be submitted to NVCC's Admissions Office by the application period deadline.

  1. Apply to NVCC.
  2. Submit your Respiratory Care application.

Please be sure to thoroughly read the admissions requirements prior to applying.

    Apply to NVCC and the Respiratory Care program


    Respiratory Care Admission Requirements:

    PREREQUISITES: Proof of having met or exceeded the following prerequisites prior to the application deadline. Applicants who are enrolled in prerequisites during the spring semester may also apply, but will only be considered after all other eligible candidates have accepted or declined their position. If applicable, copy of high school transcript and/or official college transcripts for credits earned outside NVCC must be provided by the application period deadline:

    • MATH:Minimum of having completed, within the last 5 years*, high school algebra II with a grade of “C” or better AND a placement or SAT/ACT score above intermediate algebra; or MAT*H136 or MAT*H137 or college level equivalent with a grade of “C” or better.
    • BIOLOGY: BIO 105, BIO 115, BIO 121 or equivalent completed within the last 5 years* with a grade of “C” or better.
    • ENGLISH: Minimum of having completed developmental English with a grade of “C” or better (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.

    GPA: Minimum 2.5 GPA based only on the college courses that meet the Respiratory Care Admission and program curriculum requirements.

    INFORMATION SESSION: Consideration for admission requires  all qualified applicants to attend a mandatory program information session. In late February/early March, applicants will be contacted via their college assigned email address to schedule attendance at a session. The deadline to register for, and attendance at an information session is strictly enforced.

    CLINICAL JOB SHADOW:  A clinical job shadow is strongly recommended.  Click here for the job shadow form.  Contact the program director for more information on how to schedule a shadow.

    * ”within the last five (5) years” is defined as having completed the courses in the Fall of 2013 or later.

    NOTE: Applicants who are enrolled in and plan to complete prerequisites during the winter may apply. Applicants who are  enrolled in and successfully complete prerequisites during the spring semester may also apply, but will only be considered after all other eligible candidates have accepted or declined their position.

    Program Requirements

    Respiratory Care A.S.

    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
    FIRST SEMESTER (fall)
    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
    SECOND SEMESTER (spring)
    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
    THIRD SEMESTER (summer)
    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
    FOURTH SEMESTER (fall)
    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
    FIFTH SEMESTER (spring)
    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 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.

    Related non-credit workforce training courses:

    Certified Nurse Aide


    Patient Care Technician



    Respiratory Care- Related Programs

    Student Success

    Where does this take me?

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    Academic & Transfer

    Want to take your career one step further? NVCC's respiratory care program offers several local opportunities for transferring. 

    The Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). More information regarding the accreditation process is available at: https://www.coarc.com/

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