About The Program

A Respiratory Therapist (RT) is a clinician who provides hands-on care for people with a wide range of medical conditions related to the cardiopulmonary system. This program will prepare students to be effective members of the health care team in assisting with diagnosis, treatment, management, and preventive care for patients with a variety of acute and chronic cardiopulmonary problems.

Program Degrees and Certificates

Program Details

The curriculum is designed to prepare students to be effective members of the health care team in assisting with diagnosis, treatment, management, and preventive care for patients with a variety acute and chronic cardiopulmonary problems. Our two-year program prepares students to care for patients using the high-tech equipment found in the Intensive Care Units and to manage less complicated patients with pulmonary disorders. Through a combination of lectures, laboratory, simulations and clinical rotations, this five-semester program prepares graduates to demonstrate competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs). RTs work with neonates, pediatrics and adults in variety of inpatient and outpatient settings.

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented. NOVA’s CoARC number is 200206.</p

  • Transfer Opportunities

    Transfer is not the primary purpose of this credential; however, NOVA may have agreements that facilitate the transfer of this and other career-oriented programs to selected senior institutions. In order to learn more about possible transfer opportunities please visit: https://www.nvcc.edu/transfer/. Students interested in transferring should contact an advisor or counselor to discuss their options and plans.

  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Northern Virginia Community College accepts industry-standard certifications, credentials and/or professional courses for credit. Broadly, licenses, credentials and/or certifications must be current and valid for consideration. For more information regarding the status of the certification and its eligibility for credit, please see an advisor or faculty members in the discipline area that awards CPL credit.

  • Career Prospects

    Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Entry Level examination leading to certification as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and state licensure. The student is prepared to take the advanced level examinations leading to a registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). The program has met the national standards for Respiratory Therapy education set by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). NOVA respiratory therapy graduates have achieved high passing percentages on national board examinations and enjoy many employment opportunities. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook median pay is about $60,000 in Northern Virginia and the projected growth is 21% over the next 10 years.

Information Session

The first step to beginning health career training at NOVA/MEC is to attend a mandatory Information Session.

Please note that the online information sessions contain program information for the current academic year only.

Career Coach


Medical Education Campus
Sherleen Bose