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What If I am a CRT?

Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRTs) looking to obtain their RRT and BSRC can utilize the following guidelines specified by the NBRC.

 

CRT-to-Registry Admission Policy

The NBRC continually receives inquiries regarding the “CRT-to-Registry” provision of the admission policies for the examinations associated with the RRT. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions relating to this alternative route to the examinations associated with the RRT. If you have questions which are not answered below, or if you need further clarification of this admission policy, please contact the NBRC Executive Office.

The CRT-to-Registry provision is as follows:

  • Be a CRT for at least four years prior to applying for the examinations associated with the RRT. In addition, the applicants shall have at least 62 hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics.

OR

  • Be a CRT for at least two years prior to applying for the examinations associated with the RRT.  In addition, the applicant shall have earned a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited entry-level respiratory therapy education program.

OR

  • Be a CRT for at least two years prior to applying for the examinations associated with the RRT.  In addition, the applicant shall have earned a baccalaureate degree in an area other than respiratory care and shall have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or equivalent.  The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, mathematics, microbiology, and physics.

 

 

Semester Hour Requirements for the Basic Science Courses

The Board of Trustees has not established any minimum hour requirement for the required basic science courses. A minimum of 62 semester hours of college credit must be completed; within the 62 hours, a minimum of one course must be completed in each of the following areas: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics.

The reason semester hour requirements were not established for the basic science courses is because of the lack of uniformity in semester hours (or quarter hours) awarded for similar courses by various colleges or universities across the country. For example, some colleges combine anatomy and physiology, and some colleges offer the two courses separately. Semester hours are awarded by some colleges, while others award credit in quarter hours. Completion of the courses themselves is more important than the number of hours awarded for the required courses.

The NBRC suggests students complete more than the minimum one course in mathematics and the basic sciences, because the more knowledge accumulated in these areas, the better the chance for success on the examinations associated with the RRT. No laboratory is required for the basic science courses, if the college or university offers the courses for credit without a laboratory requirement. Many colleges will not offer chemistry, physics, microbiology, etc., without a laboratory portion of the course.

 

Transcript Requirements

  1. Applicant who has held a valid CRT credential for a minimum of four years: Official transcripts must be submitted at the time of application under this provision. A minimum of one course in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, mathematics, and physics must appear, by name, on the official transcripts. It must be apparent from the transcript that these courses have been completed. If any of the courses do not appear on the transcripts, by these names, the applicant must obtain a course description from the college catalogue for any course(s) in question and submit each course description(s) to the Admission Committee, in care of the NBRC, for review and final determination.
  2. Applicant who has held a valid CRT for a minimum of two years and have a baccalaureate degree in an area other than in respiratory therapy:
    1. Proof of completion of a baccalaureate degree must be submitted in the form of either official college transcripts or a notarized copy of your baccalaureate degree. Official transcripts verifying completion of the basic sciences and mathematics must also be submitted at the time of application.
    2. A minimum of one course in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics must appear, by name, on the official transcript. It must be apparent from the transcript that these courses have been completed. If any of the courses do not appear on the transcript by these names the applicant must obtain a course description from the college catalogue. For any course(s) in question, submit course description(s) to the Admission Committee, in care of the NBRC, for final determination.

 

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Courses challenged through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) will be accepted toward the 62 semester hours and basic science courses required, provided transferable college credit is awarded by an accredited college or university for each course completed by CLEP examination. The courses attempted through the CLEP program and the credit awarded must be recorded on an official transcript.

 

Courses Completed at Foreign Colleges or Universities

Courses taken at a foreign college or university do not satisfy the NBRC’s requirement of 62 semester hours of college credit. Foreign programs are not “accredited by their regional association or its equivalent." Persons who attended a foreign college should contact an accredited college to have transfer credit awarded for the training they have received. The NBRC will accept transfer credit for foreign courses if an accredited United States college or university is willing to award transfer credit. A letter sealed by the Registrar indicating the courses and hours for which transfer credit is awarded may be accepted in lieu of official college transcripts.

 

Training Completed at Hospital-Based Nursing or other Health-Related Programs

If you completed courses at a hospital-based nursing or other educational program not accredited by its regional association or its equivalent, the course work will not be accepted unless transfer credit for the courses is awarded from an accredited college or university. A letter sealed by the Registrar indicating the courses and hours for which transfer credit is awarded may be accepted.

 

Course Descriptions for the Required Basic Science and Mathematics Courses

The NBRC Admissions Committee has developed course outlines for the basic science and mathematics courses required under this provision. The course outlines recommend the content areas which should be covered in each of the basic sciences. These course descriptions are intended for those who have not yet completed some or all of the courses, and who require guidance in course selection. The course outlines can be obtained by writing the Executive Office.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Basic Science Course Requirements

CRT-to-Registry Admission Policy

Registry Examination System

The following course contents are recommended:

SubjectDescriptionBasic Titles
AnatomyHuman anatomy with specific emphasis on respiratory physiology and pathophysiology. Courses offered for paramedical personnel are desirable.
  • Paramedical Anatomy
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (combined courses)
PhysiologyHuman physiology with specific emphasis on respiratory physiology and pathophysiology. Courses offered for paramedical personnel are desirable.
  • Paramedical Physiology
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (combined courses)
  • Pathophysiology
MicrobiologyPrinciples of microbial life: Cell structure anatomy, metabolism, genetics, disease transmission, principles of sterilization and disinfection, function of antibiotics with respect to microbial life, bacteriology, and immunology. Courses offered for paramedical personnel are desirable.
  • Bacteriology
  • Paramedical Microbiology
  • General Microbiology
  • Principles of Microbiology
ChemistryPrinciples of atomic theory: Mole concept, elements, chemical calculations, ions, solutions, and acid-base theory.
  • Inorganic Fundamentals of Chemistry
  • General Organic Biochemistry
MathematicsMath courses above a remedial college level including: function, linear equations, word problems, inequalities, logarithms, and scientific and complex numbers. Algebra is desirable.
  • Algebra (intermediate college)
  • Trigonometry
  • Calculus
  • Statistics
  • College Business Mathematics
  • Geometry – only if Algebra is prerequisite
  • Computer Programming (Theoretical, not language) only if offered by Mathematics Department
  • Survey of Mathematics
  • Finite Mathematics
  • Elementary Functions
PhysicsBasic principles including: forces, inertia levers, weight, fluids and gas behavior, kinetic theory of matter, and pressure temperature. Physics course for paramedical personnel is desirable.
  • Engineering Physics
  • Survey of Physics
  • General Physics
  • Medical Physics
  • Physical Science

 

Once the RRT credential is obtained, students may begin working towards the completion of the BSRC degree.