Respiratory Care

Our Profession

What is a Respiratory Therapist?

  • Most people take breathing for granted. It is an involuntary reflex. But, for many Americans who suffer from breathing disorders, each and every breath is a major task.
  • Those include people with chronic lung problems, such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and many other breathing disorders. Respiratory therapists also come in contact daily with patients who have been involved in a traumatic accident, experienced a heart attack, or the birthing of premature infants and patients in a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

The Role of a Respiratory Therapist

  • There are about 100,000 respiratory therapists in the United States. They work with patients of all ages and in many different healthcare settings.
  • Respiratory therapists are members of the healthcare team that provide respiratory care for a variety of patients with heart and lung disorders.
  • Most respiratory therapists work in hospitals where they perform procedures in intensive care, emergency room and neonatal nurseries.
  • They are a vital part of the hospital’s lifesaving response team that handles many patient emergencies. An increasing number of respiratory therapists are now working in skilled nursing centers, physicians offices, home health agencies, specialty care hospitals and medical equipment supply companies.

Career Goal: Registered Respiratory Therapist

  • The respiratory care program prepares students for the advanced level of practice to function as a licensed respiratory therapist.
  • As a member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team, respiratory therapists evaluate, treat and manage patients of all ages with respiratory illnesses and diseases.

Application Deadline: April 1

Application for admission to the School of Respiratory Care

Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care

For more information, please call St. Mary’s Center for Education 304-526-1415 or contact Chuck Zuhars, RRT, MS Ed, Program Director for the Marshall/St. Mary’s Cooperative School of Respiratory Care at 304-399-4969 or by emailing

To learn more about the program, please visit the School of Respiratory Care Web site.

RRT to Bachelor Science Respiratory Care

The Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care Program is a cooperative effort between the Marshall University College of Health Professions and St. Mary’s School of Nursing and Health Professions.

The School of Respiratory Care offers the RRT to BSRC program for a registered respiratory therapist who has an associate degree and wishes to earn a baccalaureate degree in Respiratory Care. The Respiratory Care coursework may be completed in two semesters of full-time study or extended for part-time study. The Part-time track of study is recommended for Respiratory Therapists who are working full time. Applications for the RRT to BSRC program are processed on a semester basis.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission the applicant must:

  1. Be a graduate of a nationally accredited diploma or associate degree respiratory care program recognized by CoARC (Committee on Accreditation of Respiratory Care).
  2. Provide Evidence of the NBRC RRT credential and be in good standing with the NBRC
  3. Meet the general admission requirements of Marshall University
  4. Have an overall grade point average of 2.0 or higher on all college work.
  5. Maintenance of a 2.00 GPA or better on course work completed at Marshall University.
  6. Maintenance of a grade of “C” on each required non-respiratory course you are currently taking or will take prior to the semester you enter the program.
  7. If you obtained an associate degree from a community college Marshall University will only accept 72 semester hours from that institution

Challenge Exam Procedure

Program Statement

The St. Mary’s/Marshall University’s Co-Operative School for Respiratory Care offers a Bachelors of Science degree in Respiratory Care and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (

Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
264 Precision BLVD
Telford, Tennessee 37690
(817) 283-2835

Program Outcome Data and related information may be obtained here.