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How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in New York

The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, State Board for Respiratory Care regulates and licenses respiratory therapists in the state.

There were 365 respiratory therapists licensed in the state in 2013 alone. As of January 2014, there were a total of 5,391 respiratory therapists licensed in New York State earning an annual, average salary of $60,680. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2013 New York ranked second in the nation for its employment level of respiratory therapists.

If you want to become licensed as a respiratory therapist in New York, you must be prepared to complete the following steps:

Complete a Respiratory Therapy Program Accredited by CoARC
Apply for a Limited Permit, if Applicable
Take and Pass the CRT and RRT Examinations
Apply for your New York State Respiratory Therapist License
Keep Your License Current through Renewal and the Completion of Continuing Education

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Respiratory Therapy Program Accredited by CoARC

To become a licensed respiratory therapist in New York, you must complete a respiratory therapy degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

CoARC-accredited programs may result in an associate’s degree (AAS or AS) or a bachelor’s degree (BS), both of which meet the requirements for licensure in New York. In 2012, there were 14 CoARC-accredited programs in New York: 10 at the associate degree level and four at the bachelor’s degree level. In 2012, 896 individuals applied to these programs, an increase from 844 in 2011, and 766 in 2010.

Although an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy is the minimum requirement for licensure, many choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree as a way to position themselves for expanded career opportunities. Whether at the associate’s or bachelor’s level, these degree programs are all designed to prepare you for a career that includes assessing, treating, and monitoring patients with disorders of the cardiopulmonary system.

This education in respiratory therapy is accomplished through classroom, laboratory, and hands-on clinical experiences. Coursework includes:

  • Foundations in respiratory care
  • Respiratory clinical care
  • Principles of cardiopulmonary physiology
  • Respiratory care pharmacology
  • Theory and application of respiratory care

 


 

Step 2. Apply for a Limited Permit, if Applicable

If you have graduated from a CoARC-accredited respiratory therapy program but you have not yet taken the required examinations for licensure, you may apply for a limited permit.

To apply for a limited permit, you must:

  • Meet all other requirements for licensure except the licensing examinations
  • Submit the Limited Permit Application (Form 5) and the limited permit fee of $70 (made payable to the New York State Education Department)
  • Submit the Certification of Professional Education application (Form 2)
  • Submit the Application for Licensure and the licensure fee of $294 (made payable to the New York State Education Department) (Form 1)

All forms can be found here.

To work under a limited permit in New York, you must be under the supervision of a currently registered New York State licensed respiratory therapist or legally authorized physician. Your limited permit will expire one year from the date of issuance or immediately upon failing the NBRC exam.

For instructions on applying for licensure, see Step 4.

 


 

Step 3. Take and Pass the CRT and RRT Examinations

All applicants for respiratory therapist licenses in New York must earn the advanced-level Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential through the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). If you are interested in becoming a respiratory therapy technician, the entry-level Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) credential will suffice.

All of the NBRC’s examinations are administered through Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP). You must schedule and register for your examination through AMP, and then take the appropriate examinations at one of AMP’s numerous assessment centers located throughout the United States.

In New York State, you may take the examinations required for CRT and RRT credentials at the following AMP assessment centers:

  • Lake Success
  • Astoria
  • White Plains
  • Hicksville
  • Clifton Park
  • New York City
  • White Plains
  • Selden
  • Rochester
  • Williamsville
  • Whitesboro

Upon passing the required examinations, you must contact the NBRC at 913-599-4200 or at nbrc-info@nbrc.org to have your examinations forwarded to the Division of Professional Licensing Services at 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12234.

 


 

Step 4. Apply for your New York State Respiratory Therapist License

Upon completion of all necessary requirements for licensure, you must submit the following:

  • Application for Licensure and First Registration (Form 1)
  • Certification of Professional Education application (Form 2)
  • Licensure fee of $294 (made payable to the New York State Education Department)

All forms can be found here.

You must mail the completed application, the licensure fee, and all related documentation to:

New York State Education Department
Office of the Professions
P.O. Box 22063
Albany, NY 12201

 


 

Step 5. Keep Your License Current through Renewal and the Completion of Continuing Education

All respiratory therapists in New York must renew registration every three years. To do so, you must complete at least 30 contact hours of continuing education every three-year registration period.

You do not need to take continuing education during the first three-year registration period after graduating from an RT program. By law, the registration period must be three years in length, so the second registration cycle may be adjusted so that future registration cycles correspond with your birth month.

Both formal and informal (web-based classes) self-study courses are acceptable as continuing education; however, your self-study courses must not comprise more than 15 of the 30 required continuing education hours.

You can only take continuing education courses from approved sponsors. The New York State Education Department recognizes three types of approved sponsors:

  • Sponsors approved directly by the Department after the approval by members of the State Board for Respiratory Therapy
  • Colleges and universities offering respiratory therapy degree programs that are registered by the New York State Education Department
  • Courses approved by a professional organization, such as the American Association for Respiratory Care or the American Medical Association

Just a few of the sponsors recognized that meet one or more of the above requirements include:

  • Joint Education and Training, Inc.: 604-734-1574
  • North Shore University Hospital: 516-562-2548
  • Borough of Manhattan/Community College of the City of NY: 212-346-8000
  • Erie Community College/North Campus: 716-851-1531
  • Genesee Community College: 716-343-0055 ext. 6860
  • Hudson Valley Community College: 518-629-7454
  • American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC)
  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • American Medical Association (AMA)
  • American Nurses Association (ANA) or New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)
  • American Red Cross
  • National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC)

Any questions about continuing education can be directed to the State Board for Respiratory Therapy at 518-474-3817 or rtbd@mail.nysed.gov.

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