Respiratory therapists are health care professionals who evaluate and treat persons of all ages having lung and heart disorders. The responsibilities of the therapist include pulmonary function assessment, administering oxygen and aerosolized drugs, breathing retraining and pulmonary rehabilitation, acute care management of patients requiring ventilatory support, and emergency care.

Respiratory Therapy Program Department Goals

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

Program Goals, Objectives and Evaluations in Relation to Bellarmine's Mission

The mission of Bellarmine University is to educate its students to “…develop the intellectual, moral, ethical and professional competencies for successful living, work, leadership, and service to others.” Thus directed, the larger university would, “…benefit the public interest, to help create the future, and to improve the human condition.” The goal of the respiratory therapy program is subsumed within the university mission, in that the program graduates students who serve as, “…competent advanced-level respiratory therapists.” Intellectual, moral, ethical, and professional competencies are explicitly stated in terms of three program objectives. Progress toward each objective is evaluated annually, using two or more evaluation systems, under guidelines promulgated by the Committee on the Accreditation of Respiratory Care (COARC). Program objectives and evaluation systems are as follows:

For both undergraduate and graduate students:

Intellectual competencies: To comprehend, evaluate, and apply clinical information relevant to advanced-level respiratory therapy practice (Cognitive Domain).

  • National board examination system performance (Therapist Multiple Choice Examination and Clinical Simulation Examination)
  • Survey following program completion looking at the graduate’s self-assessment of his or her professional knowledge base in reference to clinical expectations.
  • Employer survey during the first year after program completion assessing each graduate’s professional knowledge base in relation to clinical practice.

Moral, ethical competencies: To demonstrate professional behavior (Affective Domain).

  • Ongoing in-program clinical assessment of peer and patient interactions.
  • Survey following program completion directed at graduate’s self-described attitudes and behavior toward patients and peers.
  • Employer survey during the first year after program completion assessing the graduate’s attitudes and behavior toward patients and peers.

Professional competencies: To demonstrate technical proficiency in all skills necessary to fulfill the role of an advanced-level respiratory therapy practitioner (Psychomotor Domain).

  • Survey following program completion looking at the graduate’s appraisal of his or her confidence and competence in performing clinical procedures.
  • Employer survey during the first year after program completion assessing the graduate’s clinical competency.

Leadership competencies: To describe and apply leadership skills related to management and education.

  • Survey following completion of the capstone assessing the graduate’s leadership skills.
  • Employer survey after completion of the capstone assessing the graduate’s leadership skills and potential.

Admission Criteria for the BHS Program

  • Acceptance to Bellarmine University
  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5
  • Completion of required prerequisite courses for the specific program (under Degree Requirements see Suggested Program of Study with minimum grade requirements).
  • Language Proficiency: The Admission, Progression and Graduation Committee require an official TOEFL iBT or IELTS score for verification of language proficiency for applicants: a) who were born outside the US, b) for whom English is a second language or c) who have a degree or transcripts from a non-US institution. Applicants must earn a total score of 83 or higher and a speaking score of 26 or higher on the TOEFL iBT or earn a total band score of 7 or higher AND a speaking band score of 8 or higher on the IELTS to meet the language proficiency requirement. Only official score reports will be accepted. The Admission, Progression and Graduation Committee reserves the right to require a TOEFL or IELTS from any applicant. The official score should be sent to both Allied Health CAS and Bellarmine University. Students may petition to alternatively use one of the following to document English-language proficiency: a) Language training at an approved center; b) Prior educational experiences in a TOEFL Exempt Country; or c) satisfactory scores on the SAT or ACT. See applicable Undergraduate or Graduate International Student’s Admission Requirements in the Bellarmine Course Catalog for specific criteria.
  • A personal interview, if requested by the program admission committee.

Additional requirements for students enrolling in the AS to BHS degree program:

  • Completion of an accredited advanced-level respiratory care program.
  • Earned Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.
  • Proof of RCP licensure.
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated February 6, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
4 years
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Sep 2020
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