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Allied Health

Respiratory Care Program

The Respiratory Care Program is designed to graduate professional, knowledgeable and competent entry-level respiratory therapists who are prepared to challenge the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examination to become a registered respiratory therapist and gain employment in the field.
Female Respiratory instructor showing female student, seated in a hospital bed, a tool in a lab.

Upcoming Respiratory Care Program Start Date:

August 18, 2025
(Application Deadlines: Early Accept - March 13, 2025 Regular Accept - May 22, 2025)

The Respiratory Care Program prepares students to enter the practice of respiratory therapy, working under the direction of a physician. Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP) assist in the diagnosis, treatment, management, and preventive care of patients with cardiopulmonary problems. Respiratory Therapists are trained to administer oxygen, manage mechanical ventilators, measures lung function, and administer medications. Most respiratory therapist are employed in acute care hospital settings, long-term ventilator facilities, home care, or outpatient diagnostic laboratories.

The Riverside Respiratory Care Program was established in 2022 as a Bachelor of Science degree program. The program curriculum includes a thorough study of cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology, pathology, pharmacology for respiratory care, pulmonary diagnostics, and mechanical ventilation. There are 180 skills laboratory hours and 630 clinical hours assist students to development the clinical competencies required for practice as a Respiratory Therapist.

Riverside is proud to offer:

  • Full-time Day option consisting of four 16-week semesters and one 8-week summer semester in addition to specified College-level prerequisite preadmission courses
  • Theoretical instruction integrated with laboratory simulations and clinical experience
  • Hands-on clinical experience in our modern medical center and a variety of affiliated clinical sites
  • Financial aid for students who qualify
  • Career Planning
  • Low Instructor-Student ratio

Prerequisite College Courses

The following courses must be completed prior to application submission:

English Composition - 3 credits
Anatomy and Physiology I & II w/Labs - 8 credits
Microbiology w/Lab - 4 credits

Psychology - 3 credits


The following courses must be completed prior to the program start date:
General Chemistry I with Lab* - 4 credits

Medical Terminology* - 3 credits

Physics* - 3 credits

Statistics / Introduction to Statistics* - 3 credits

College Algebra* - 3 credits

Speech / Communications Elective* - 3 credits


Pre- or Corequisite College Courses

Essentials of Nutrition - 3 credits
Fine Arts / Humanities Electives - 6 credits
Electives - 13 credits
GEN 111 Introduction to Healthcare or a College Success Course - 1 credit
GEN 321 Academic Writing - 3 credits
GEN 445 Leadership & Management in Healthcare - 3 credits

All credits are reflected as semester credits.
Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology courses cannot be substituted with CLEP testing.
Official transcripts must be evaluated and accepted by the College Registrar prior to matriculation.
Completion of all Pre-requisite General Education Courses (marked *) are required prior to matriculation.
All General Education courses must be 100 College-level or above (no developmental/remedial courses)
All General Education courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or higher.
All General Education courses must be taken at an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (ED) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) will be accepted. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by a current member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. (NACES).


Pre-Admission Testing Requirements




Cumulative college-level GPA of 2.5 or higher is recommended.


Total College Pre- & Co-requisite Credit Hours:  945 Clock Hours 59 Credit Hours
RCHS Curriculum Program Hours:
RCHS General Education Hours included below 7 Credit Hours
RCHS Program Hours – Theory 637.5 Clock Hours 36 Credit Hours
RCHS Program Hours – Skills Laboratory 180 Clock Hours 4 Credit Hours
RCHS Program Hours – Clinical 652.5 Clock Hours 14 Credit Hours
Total RCHS RC Program Credit Hours:   2415 Clock Hours 61 Credit Hours
Total RCHS RC Curriculum Credit Hours:  120 Credit Hours


  • “The Respiratory Care Professional Practice Program at Riverside College of Health Sciences in Newport News, VA, CoARC program number 200648, awards a bachelor’s degree and holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (
    This status signifies that a program with an Approval of Intent has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the Standards (through submission of an acceptable Provisional Accreditation Self-Study Report (PSSR) and any other documentation required by the CoARC, as well as satisfactory completion of an initial on-site visit), to be allowed to admit students. It is recognized as an accredited program by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), which provides enrolled students who complete the program with eligibility for the Respiratory Care Credentialing Examination(s). The program will remain on Provisional Accreditation until it achieves Continuing Accreditation.”
    Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
    264 Precision Blvd.,
    Telford, TN 37690


  • Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the Therapist Multiple-Choice Examination (TMC) and the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE) by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) to become licensed to practice as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). Application for the examinations is the responsibility of the student and involves additional fees charged by the NBRC.
    Additional information regarding the Respiratory Therapist examinations may be obtained from:
    National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)
    10801 Mastin Street, Suite 300,
    Overland Park, KS 66210
    913-895-4900, [email protected]


  • Certified by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) to operate in Virginia.

101 N. 14th Street James Monroe Building
Richmond, VA 23219


  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
    6116 Executive Blvd, Suite 730
    North Bethesda, MD 20852


Tuition Breakdown for Respiratory Care Program

  • $350 per GEN credit
  • $425 per RC credit

Total Tuition: $25,400

Other Associated Costs

  • Book Estimate: $1,365
  • Uniform & Shoe Estimate: $175
  • Supplies Estimate: $435
  • Credentialing Estimate: $390

Program Mission
The mission of the Respiratory Care Program is to graduate professional, knowledgeable, and competent entry-level respiratory therapists who are prepared to challenge the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examination to become a registered respiratory therapist and gain employment in the field.

Program Goals & Student Learning Outcomes

1. To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

Graduate will demonstrate critical thinking skills with a comprehensive knowledge base (cognitive) to apply respiratory therapy skills in a clinical setting.
Graduate will demonstrate the competency in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures (psychomotor) required of a respiratory therapist entering the profession.
Graduate will demonstrate professional behavior (affect) that reflects integrity, supports objectivity, and fosters trust in the respiratory therapy profession.
Graduate will demonstrate professional and effective oral and written communication skills.

2. To prepare leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content with objectives related to the acquisition of skills in one or more of the following: management, education, research, and advanced clinical practice (which may include an area of clinical specialization).

Graduate will be prepared to contribute to patient care in a collaborative environment by promoting evidence-based research, and clinical practice guidelines.
Graduate will be prepared to promote disease prevention and wellness through patient education.
Graduate will demonstrate competence on the proper use and care of respiratory equipment.
Graduate will be prepared to pursue graduate education in management, research or other health care related fields.

Transfer of Credits
Discipline-specific courses will be evaluated for transfer credit on a case-by-case basis by the Assistant Dean of the Respiratory Care Program, according to the criteria listed in the College catalog. Enrollment will depend on space availability. A $100.00 Transfer Evaluation Fee is required.

Graduation Requirements
Eligibility for graduation is based upon the successful completion of all phases of the program. Students must satisfy the following minimum requirements before graduation:

  • Eligibility for graduation is based upon successful completion of all phases of the course of study. Students must satisfy the following minimum requirements prior to graduation:
  • Completion of all Pre- and Co-requisite General Education courses prior to enrolling in Level 5 courses.
  • Complete each course with a minimum grade of 80% and satisfactory clinical/preceptorship/practicum performance.
  • Successfully achieve all required clinical competencies.
  • Successfully complete all required clinical hours.
  • Return all materials belonging to the College including books borrowed from the College or checked out from the Ruby Pope Health Sciences Library.
  • Return pictured identification badge.
  • Satisfy all financial obligations to the College, to include all tuition, fees, and library fines and financial aid exit counseling if applicable.
  • Complete Graduate Exit process, including Exit Interview with the appropriate Program Director or designee.

Clinical Obligations
Students are provided opportunities to develop theoretical knowledge and clinical competency through a planned progression of learning experiences. Clinic assignments are based on the student's theoretical preparation and level of training. Students will begin rotating through various clinical settings in their second semester. The ratio of students to clinical staff is 2:1.

Additional Costs Related to Clinical Placements:
Students are responsible for all costs incurred in travel to assigned clinical sites. Clinical placements are randomized, and clinical site requirements may vary. Students are responsible for meeting these requirements, which may include, but are not limited to: fees for drug screens, repeat criminal history background checks, and/or additional immunizations.

Riverside Regional Medical Center provides malpractice insurance for students during the normal scope of student clinical practice. The College recommends that the student obtain their own supplemental malpractice insurance.

Apply Now

Visit our step-by-step application page to view program requirements and start your application TODAY!

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