Respiratory Therapy (AAS, BS)
Our hybrid AAS Entry to Practice respiratory therapy degree program combines the convenience of online classes with the power of practical learning experiences.
Our online BSRT Completion degree allows practicing respiratory therapists to continue their education with courses in leadership, education, research, and clinical specialties.
- Associates of Applied Science,
Bachelor of Science
- 2-4 years
- Crown Point, Fort Wayne, Hybrid, Online
Respiratory Care Careers: Why Become a Respiratory Therapist?
Respiratory therapists work with patients at all stages of life and in circumstances of all kinds, from providing life-saving treatments in emergency rooms to conducting breathing function tests to help doctors make a diagnosis. Your skills and training will help improve the quality of life for people of all ages, and that makes for an incredibly rewarding career.
Earning a degree in respiratory therapy from a CoArc-accredited program prepares you to sit for the National Board for Respiratory Care licensure exam.
National median salary for respiratory therapists in 2022
Ranking on the U.S. News & World Report 100 Best Jobs in America List
U.S. News & World Report 100 Best Jobs in America, 2022
Projected growth in respiratory therapy jobs through 2032 (much faster than average for all occupations)
Why Saint Francis for Your Respiratory Therapy Degree?
With an education rooted in Franciscan values, Saint Francis has a rich history in the helping professions. Our liberal arts approach to a premier health sciences education develops you into a well-rounded, compassionate, ethical professional ready to serve others.
Through a mix of asynchronous online courses, on-site labs, and clinical rotations, you’ll receive respiratory care training from an expert faculty of active healthcare practitioners. You’ll gain a foundation in medical terminology, anatomy/physiology, and cardiopulmonary diseases and hone your patient care and technical skills—including how to use respiratory care diagnostic and treatment devices—through practicum experiences.
Program Details: At-a-Glance
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Entry to Practice
- Format: Hybrid (online courses; on-site labs and clinical)
- Offered at both Fort Wayne and Crown Point
- Length: 18 months
- Start Date: Clinical cohorts begin each summer
Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy (BSRT) Completion Degree*
- Format: Online only
- Length: 16 months
- Start Date: Fall
*You must first complete the entry-to-practice AAS degree in order to be eligible to apply for the respiratory therapy bachelor’s degree program.
Hands-On Learning: On Campus and in the Field
As a student in Saint Francis’ AAS Entry to Practice respiratory therapy program, you’ll put learning into practice in real-world, professional environments. You’ll complete skills training with your peers at on-campus labs at our main campus in Fort Wayne or our satellite campus in Crown Point. You’ll also participate in clinical rotations with our partner sites around the region, including:
Fort Wayne Campus Clinical Affiliates
- Airway Oxygen
- Adams Memorial Hospital
- Bluffton Regional Medical Center
- Cameron Memorial Hospital
- Dupont Hospital
- Lutheran Health Downtown
- Lutheran Hospital
- Parkview Dekalb Hospital
- Parkview Huntington Hospital
- Parkview Noble Hospital
- Parkview Randallia Hospital
- Parkview Regional Medical Center
- Parkview Whitley Hospital
- Parkview Physicians Group (PPG)
Crown Point Site Clinical Affiliates
- Comer Children’s Hospital
- Community Hospital
- Franciscan Health – Crown Point
- Franciscan Health – Dyer
- Franciscan Health – Hammond
- Franciscan Health – Michigan City
- Franciscan Health – Munster
- Life DME
- Methodist – Northlake
- Methodist – Southlake
- Northwest Porter
- Pillar Point
- St. Catherine Hospital
Program Key Personnel
“You won’t find a better Respiratory Therapy program or faculty. I’ve worked in hospitals and have seen the field up close. If you want a program that teaches you to really care about patients, Saint Francis is the way to go.”Carrie Davis ’24 Respiratory Therapy major
“Saint Francis students stand apart [from other applicants] not only for their clinical skills, but for the deep level of care they bring to their work.”Erin LaCross MSN ’09 and Vice President of Nursing Services at Parkview Hospital
Respiratory Therapist Career Opportunities
Respiratory care professionals are in high demand at healthcare facilities of all kinds. Career opportunities are also available with health agencies, medical device companies, and emergency medical services providers.
Here are a few places where you might find respiratory therapy jobs:
- Pulmonary clinics
- Rehabilitation programs
- Sleep disorder centers/sleep labs
- Home health agencies
- Assisted living centers and communities
- Specialty hospitals and care centers
- Diagnostic labs
- Ground and air transport
With on-the-job experience, additional training, and, sometimes, advanced certifications, you could also pursue leadership or educator roles in respiratory therapy.
Respiratory Therapy Career Specialties and Continuing Education
Respiratory therapists often continue their education and expand their opportunities by earning additional credentials. As you discover your strengths and interests in the respiratory care field, you might consider certification in specialty areas such as:
- Neonatal/Pediatric Specialist
- Asthma Education
- Sleep Disorders Specialist
- Adult Critical Care Specialist
- Pulmonary Function Technologist
Estimated Program Costs
In addition to tuition and fees, the Respiratory Therapy program has the following costs:
- Uniforms: $100*
- Clinical Supplies/Equipment: $50-$250*
- Program Fees: $100/semester
- Magnetic Badge: $10
- Castlebranch: $160
- Transportation to clinical sites
These costs are subject to change.
*These costs will be determined by student’s choice of brand and style of uniforms and equipment.
Statement of Program Goals
AAS Entry to Practice Program Goal
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).
Bachelor’s Degree Completion Goal
To provide graduates of entry into respiratory care professional practice degree programs with additional knowledge, skills, and attributes in leadership, management, education, research, and/or advanced clinical practice that will enable them to meet their current professional goals and prepare them for practice as advanced degree respiratory therapists.
A.A.S Entry to Practice
“The Respiratory Therapy program at the University of Saint Francis, programs #200650 and #300038, in Fort Wayne and Crown Point, IN, holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com).
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.”
The Respiratory Therapy program at the University of Saint Francis, program #510028, in Fort Wayne, IN, holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com).
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.
Additional Professional Information
The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
264 Precision Blvd, Telford, TN, 37690
Find state-specific information regarding respiratory therapy licensure on the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency website.
Indiana Society for Respiratory Care
American Association of Respiratory Care
National Board for Respiratory Care