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Home >   Academics > Degree & Certificates

nova 2011-2012 college catalog: Programs of Study

Associate of Applied Science Degree MEC

Purpose: The curriculum is designed to prepare students as effective members of the health care team in assisting with diagnosis, treatment, management, and preventive care of patients with cardiopulmonary problems. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Entry Level and Advanced Practitioner examinations leading to certification as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and registration as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

Transfer Information: Transfer is not the primary purpose of an A.A.S. program, but NOVA has articulation agreements that facilitate the transfer of this and other career-oriented programs to selected senior institutions. Students interested in transfer should contact a counselor or their faculty advisor early in their program.

Transfer Placement: RTH Credits earned at other institutions are reviewed by the Assistant Dean to determine if the courses in question apply to the curriculum and/or if substitutions may be made within the curriculum. Students who transfer to NOVA with prior RTH courses are required to demonstrate proficiency in all transferred skills courses prior to acceptance into the program. “Practical exams” are administered and scheduled by the program faculty. A written exam is also required.

Advanced Placement Admission: Students seeking advanced placement, or transfer, including military respiratory technicians, or non-associate degree therapists should contact the assistant dean of the RTH program for individual counseling.

Admission Requirements:
Students must:

  • Comply with all General Admission Requirements for Allied Health Programs.
  • Attend a Respiratory Therapy Information Session on-line.
  • Qualify for ENG 111 and MTH 151 through acceptable scores on NOVA placement tests.
  • Have a minimum 2.0 curricular GPA.
  • Have completed ENG 111, NAS 161 (BIO 141) and NAS 162 (BIO 142), HLT 141, and SDV 101 Orientation to Health Care or SDV elective with a grade of “C” or higher.
  • Have completed RTH 120 with a grade of “B” or higher.

Special Accreditation Status: The NVCC Respiratory Therapy Program at the Medical Education Campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

Continuation Requirement: Students must comply with all Continuation Requirements for Allied Health and Respiratory Therapy students.

Special Program Continuation Requirements: If general education courses are not completed before acceptance into the Respiratory Therapy program, then they are to be taken in the corresponding semester as indicated in the curriculum plan. Students may not proceed to the next sequential respiratory therapy course without having completed the appropriate general education coursework.


1. Students in good standing may be permitted to re-enroll in the RTH curriculum on a space available basis, with permission of the Assistant Dean

2. Students who leave the program for any period up to two years for either personal or academic reasons are required to demonstrate proficiency in all previously enrolled skills courses prior to re-entering the program. “Practical exams” are administered and scheduled by the program faculty. A written exam will be required.

3. Students who leave the program for any period of time for medical reasons are required to submit evidence of good physical and mental health, as substantiated by a newly completed Pre-Admission Health History and Physical for Allied Health and Nursing form (NVCC 125-7) signed by the primary physician responsible for their care.

Licensure Requirements: The Virginia State Board of Medicine reserves the right to deny licensure to any candidate who has been convicted of a crime or any offense relating to the abuse of alcohol and/or use or sale of controlled substances in Virginia or any other state. Any applicant to the Respiratory Therapy program who has been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony must consult with the Assistant Dean of Respiratory Therapy prior to acceptance into the program.

BIO 141 Anatomy & Physiology I or NAS 161 4
BIO 142 Anatomy & Physiology II or NAS 162 4
ENG 111 College Composition I 3
HLT 141 Medical Terminology 1
RTH 120 Fundamental Theory for Respiratory Care 2
SDV 101 Orientation to Health Care 1
Total   15
Two Years Credits
1st Semester
1___ ___    Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3
RTH 111 Anatomy & Physiology of the Cardiopulmonary System 3
RTH 195 Topics in Integrated Sciences for Respiratory Therapy 2
RTH 151 Fundamental Clinical Procedures 3
RTH 145 Pharmacology for Respiratory Care I 2
Total   13
2nd Semester
2CST 229 Intercultural Communication or CST 110 or CST 115 or CST 126 3
RTH 121 Cardiopulmonary Science I 3
RTH 131 Respiratory Care Theory & Procedures I 4
RTH 245 Pharmacology for Respiratory Care II 2
RTH 196 On-Site Training in Respiratory Care I 3
Total   15
3rd Semester
RTH 135 Diagnostic & Therapeutic Procedures 2
RTH 296 On-Site Training in Respiratory Care II 2
Total   4
4th Semester
RTH 217 Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Home Care and Health Promo 2
RTH 222 Cardiopulmonary Science II 3
RTH 236 Critical Care Monitoring 3
RTH 253 Advanced Clinical Procedures III 3
RTH 295 Topics in Advanced Cardiac Life Support 2
Total   13
5th Semester
3___ ___    Social Science Elective 3
PED 116 Lifetime Fitness & Wellness 1
RTH 225 Neonatal & Pediatric Respiratory Procedures 3
RTH 227 Integrated Respiratory Therapy Skills II 2
RTH 254 Advanced Clinical Procedures IV 3
Total   12
Total credits for the Respiratory Therapy A.A.S.=72 (includes 15 prerequisite credits)

1 Humanities/fine arts elective may be selected from the humanities/fine arts courses listed under General Education Electives.

2 CST 229 Intercultural Communication is recommended.

3 The social science elective may be selected from the social/behavioral sciences courses listed under General Education Electives.