As a respiratory therapist, your work will focus on assessing, treating and managing patients with acute or chronic heart and lung illnesses, as well as diagnosing and preventing cardiopulmonary disease. Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, and will give you the training and hands-on skills to achieve the highest professional credentials available in respiratory therapy.
Graduates are eligible for two credentials after graduation, and would be eligible for three board sub-specialist certifications after significant experience and training under medical direction.
B.S. Degree Program, Respiratory Therapy Major – Traditional
Format: In person at Armstrong Campus
Credit Hours: 130
Georgia Southern University’s Respiratory Therapy Program offers a traditional program track for students with no medical backgrounds, as well as an Online Career Ladder Program for current respiratory therapists who want to earn their degree online while working.
A bachelor’s degree from our accredited respiratory therapy program qualifies graduates for entry into the advanced practitioner credentialing system, leading to the highest professional credential available in the field of respiratory therapy.
Areas of Specialization
The healthcare field of respiratory therapy is focused on treating patients with cardiopulmonary (heart/lung) illnesses and breathing difficulties. Respiratory therapists work in acute-care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, homecare/DME settings and physician’s offices. The registered respiratory therapist (RRT) is involved in the assessment and management of patients with acute or chronic diseases or conditions affecting the heart and lungs. RRTs are also involved in the diagnosis and prevention of cardiopulmonary disease.
Cardiopulmonary diagnostics, smoking cessation, asthma educator-certified, critical care of adults, pediatric, newborn infants, pulmonary rehabilitation, sleep disorders specialist, acute-care hospitals supervisor or manager, long-term acute care (LTAC), physicians’ offices, research and clinical trials management, durable medical equipment, and pharmaceutical industry sales and marketing, hospice and home health agencies, and nursing homes. Healthcare management and supervisory opportunities abound for respiratory therapists with the BS degree.
B.S. Degree Program, Respiratory Therapy Major – Online Career Ladder
Credit Hours: 130
Note: There are no on-campus requirements. All students establish a preceptor/mentor at their home hospital/clinic to facilitate project completion for courses within the Online Degree Completion program.
For registered respiratory therapists, Georgia Southern offers an option to advance your education while minimizing duplicated knowledge and skills through the Online Career Ladder Program. Students who have achieved college credit at or above the associate degree level, and the registered respiratory therapist (RRT) credential will be eligible to interview for the Career Ladder Online Degree Completion program. Candidates should have:
- an earned certificate or associate degree in respiratory therapy
- RRT credentials
- completion of all baccalaureate core courses
- a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5
- have completed a professional portfolio
- Military respiratory therapists will receive special consideration
State Authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of professionals may not indicate eligibility for certification/licensure in your state. Please consult the appropriate certification/licensure office in your state before enrolling in our program to confirm that your completion of this program will meet your state requirements.
Careers in Respiratory Therapy
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited Respiratory Therapy program qualifies you for jobs and career advancement into leadership roles within healthcare organizations, including:
- Pulmonary medicine
- Physician offices
- Hospice care
- Nursing care facilities
- Long-term acute-care facilities
- Home healthcare services
In some hospitals, respiratory therapists perform tasks that fall outside their traditional role, such as:
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Smoking cessation counseling
- Asthma and cystic fibrosis education
- Disease prevention
- Case management
The Department of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences anticipates that graduates of this program will seek the following professional state licenses or certifications: Certified Respiratory Therapist, (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist, (RRT).
The Department of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences has determined that the required classes and educational activities of this online academic program will qualify a graduate of this program to take the exam for a state license (or certificate) in Georgia or any other state or territory. For required disclosures on whether this program satisfies the license requirements of all states and territories for Respiratory Therapist/Respiratory Care Practitioner license or certificate, click to check the requirements of your state or territory.
The credentialing process is a two-part, nationally administered examination. Part one, a comprehensive written exam, is taken after graduation. Graduates who pass this exam will earn the entry-level credential “Certified Respiratory Therapist” (CRT), and will be eligible to take the Clinical Simulation Examination. The entry-level CRT credential is required for licensure by most states and the Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners. Candidates who pass both the Therapist Multi-choice Examination and Clinical Simulation Examinations will earn advanced-practitioner status, and the credential Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).