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College of Health Sciences > Department of Respiratory Care > Respiratory Care Program
About Rush University

The Rush University respiratory care program prepares students for rewarding careers as advanced respiratory care practitioners and provides a foundation for leadership in management, education and clinical specialization.

About the Profession 

Respiratory care, also known as respiratory therapy, is a dynamic and exciting health profession offering many opportunities for the new graduate. The field of respiratory care includes:

  • Basic care (oxygen, aerosol and chest physiotherapy)
  • Critical care (ventilator management and physiologic monitoring)
  • Perinatal and pediatric respiratory care
  • Cardiopulmonary diagnostics
  • Pulmonary laboratory
  • Alternate site and home health care
  • Patient education
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Disease management

The respiratory therapist often sees a diverse group of patients, from newborn to the elderly, mostly in an acute care hospital setting. The next two largest venues are home health care and educators in college or university respiratory care programs.

Employment Opportunities

Respiratory care is one of the 50 fastest growing occupations in the state. The demand for respiratory therapists is expected to grow faster than the national average for all job growth due to:

  • Aging of the U.S. population
  • Rise in the number of people with heart and lung problems
  • Advances in technology and treatment

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected 21 percent growth in the number of respiratory therapists needed for 2008-2018.

Respiratory therapists are in great demand in Chicago and throughout the United States. Salaries are good and job security for respiratory therapists is excellent.

To learn more about a career in respiratory care, visit the website for the American Association for Respiratory Care.

Respiratory Care Licensure and Accreditation

The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) is the national testing agency for respiratory care practitioners. Respiratory Care Programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

As of June 2011, 100 percent of Rush University Respiratory Care program graduates passed their CRT and RRT board exams.


All states, except Alaska, require respiratory therapists to hold a state license to practice. To receive a state license, you must successfully complete the Entry Level Certification (CRT) Examination for respiratory therapists as administered by the The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). For more information, go to

The respiratory care licensure in Illinois is administered by the Illinois Division of Professional Regulationand is based on successful completion of the NBRC examinations. For more information, go to

The Illinois Division of Professional Regulation also requires that respiratory care licensure applicants be graduates of Respiratory Care programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).


The Respiratory Care Program at the College of Health Sciences at Rush University in Chicago, Illinois holds a Letter of Review from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. This letter of review assures that all students who complete the program are eligible for the examinations given by the NBRC and state licensure in Illinois. For more information, go to

Outcomes data from 2011 Annual Report of Current Status has been posted  on the CoARC Web site. Follow this link directly to the Programmatic Outcomes Data page:

Since 1974, Rush University has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (now the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools). The commission completed the most recent accreditation review in 2008, which granted continuing accreditation to Rush University for 10 years. The next comprehensive HLC evaluation will occur in 2018-2019.

Photo caption: Ankeet Patel (left - RC graduate), Joshua Wilson (center - RC graduate), Victoria Nickola (right - RC student).


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