Featured Image
Featured Image

Allied Sciences

Academics at Union County College

Respiratory Care Program

Program Description

The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program in respiratory care offers a rigorous 69-credit course of study in respiratory care through a cohesive curriculum sequence that prepares graduates for entry-level career opportunities in respiratory care. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exams. Licensed respiratory care practitioners administer medical gases and aerosolized drugs; deliver bronchial hygiene therapy; and assist with resuscitation and medical emergencies. Respiratory care practitioners are responsible for inserting and maintaining artificial airways and managing critically ill patients of all ages who require advanced life support. Respiratory care practitioners also provide pulmonary rehabilitation and help educate patients, family members and the public at large, regarding the treatment and prevention of lung diseases. Graduates of the respiratory care program will be prepared to assist physicians with diagnosis and provide treatment and preventative care to patients with disorders of the heart and lungs.

Program Goal

To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills) and affective (behavioral) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapist (RRTs).

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate effectively in oral, written and visual forms.
  2. Demonstrate ethical and professional conduct according to (American Association for Respiratory Care) AARC’s code of ethics.
  3. Function effectively as a Registered Respiratory Therapist in a healthcare setting.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking in cardiopulmonary diagnosis and monitoring.
  5. Manage respiratory care plans for adults, neonatal and pediatric patients.

Program Admission Requirements

Admission to the A.A.S. degree program in respiratory care at Union County College requires additional criteria for selection.

  1. Students must first be admitted to the college prior to applying for admission to the respiratory care program.
  2. Students must complete prerequisites and achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.5
    • MAT 113 Math Applications
    • PSY 101 General Psychology
    • *BIO 105 Anatomy and Physiology I
    • *Students must have achieved a final grade of 2.5 in BIO 105 Anatomy and Physiology I

Students who wish to enroll into the Respiratory Care program, must view and complete this Application for Admission packet. This packet contains information and requirements for entry into the Respiratory Care program at Union County College. For full consideration, send the completed application with all supporting documents, including unofficial transcripts to:

Ms. Kathleen Wittrock


Postal Mail:
Ms. Kathleen Wittrock
Division of Allied Sciences, Plainfield Campus
Union County College
232 E. 2nd Street
Street Plainfield, NJ 07060

Please submit official transcripts to:
Union County College Admissions Office
1033 Springfield Avenue
Cranford, NJ 07016

  • Official high school transcript or GED scores (no college or prior course work was completed at union County College)
  • Official transcripts from colleges/universities attended
  • A World Education Services ® evaluation of foreign transcripts

Virtual Information Session

To learn more about our respiratory care program, course requirements and the application process, please join us via Zoom for a virtual information session:

Date: TBD

Virtual Information Registration


Complete and submit the registration form via the Virtual Information Session Registration link below.

Virtual Information Session Registration

On Campus Information Session

This information session will provide an overview of the new degree program in respiratory care beginning in Fall 2020. Topics will include a review of the admission requirements; application process; course requirements; student learning outcomes; career and job opportunities for graduates of the program and Q & A at the end of the session.

Disability Services
Union County College is committed to providing an inclusive educational experience for students with disabilities. The College adheres to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, including the recent Amendments, and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibit discrimination based on disability. For more information click Disability Support Services

Union County College
Union County College is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Main Phone Number (267) 284–5000

Union County College Respiratory Care Program
The Respiratory Care Program, CoARC program #200628, Associate of Applied Science degree, Plainfield campus 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.”

Recommended Course Sequence

After Union County College
Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing examinations and apply for state licensure necessary for practice as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

Respiratory Care Practitioners
Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP) are members of a team that provide hands on care with patients in a variety of clinical environments. Respiratory Care Practitioners evaluate, treat and manage patients of all ages with respiratory illnesses and other cardiopulmonary disorders. They interact with patients and their families while helping them through trying times. Respiratory Care Practitioners are expected to exemplify the ethical and professional standards expected of all health care professionals.

Where Do RCPs Work?
Intensive Care Units, emergency departments, pediatric and neonatal units, labor and delivery rooms, homecare organizations, sleep centers, skilled nursing facilities, pulmonary rehabilitation centers, physician’s offices, teach smoking cessation, air transport teams, and disease management programs.

Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment as a Respiratory Care Practitioner is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026. This increase in employment opportunities, according the Department of Labor and Statistics, can be attributed to an increase in an aging population with respiratory disorders.

Work Environment
Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCP) work in a variety of environments. Because they work in medical facilities, such as hospitals that are always open, RCPs may work evenings, nights and weekend hours.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Respiratory Care Practitioners was $59,710 in May 2017.

Important Links

Application for Admissions RCP Student Handbook
Background Check Form CoARC Student Graduate Outcomes
Proliability Insurance Academic Calendar
Respiratory Care Student Healthcare Form Complaint Resolution Procedure
Advanced Placement Notification of Non-Discrimination
Online College Catalog
Respiratory Care Course Description