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Gwynedd Mercy University’s Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy provides a quick path to professional competency as a respiratory therapist. The program is offered by the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions, renowned for its long and celebrated history of preparing competent, caring, and compassionate respiratory therapists.
GMercyU respiratory care students have a 100% pass rate on the Certified Respiratory Therapist exam (administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care) and 100% pass rate on the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exam.
In 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, the program has been recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) to receive the Distinguished RRT Credentialing Success Award with a 90+% pass rate over the 3-year cycle.
The program is fully accredited as a Base Program for entry into Respiratory Care Professional Practice by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, www.coarc.com.* CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented. The School CoARC number is 200274.
Gwynedd Mercy University is proud to offer educational opportunities unrivaled to other Associate of Science in Respiratory Care programs in PA.
*To register a complaint, please contact: Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) https://coarc.com/students/complaint-process/
In 2020 and 2021, all GMercyU respiratory care graduates secured immediate employment in top area institutions. "Juniors in our program are already being recruited, some with signing bonuses and other compelling incentives," said Randy Solly, MS RRT RPFT, Professor of Practice and Program Coordinator of the Respiratory Care Program.
In just three years, you can:
As a GMercyU Respiratory Care major, you will:
In addition to general education requirements, you will complete the following courses:
Respiratory Care Courses: 63 Credits
|RC 200||Introduction to AH - 2 Credits|
|RE 210||Medical Terminology – 1 Credit|
|RC 230||Respiratory Theory I – 4 Credits|
|RE 231||Respiratory Theory II – 3 Credits|
|RC 232||Respiratory Theory III – 3 Credits|
|RC 233||Respiratory & Cardiac Physiology – 3 Credits|
|RC 234||Respiratory Pharmacology – 3 Credits|
|RC 240||Respiratory Procedures I – 1 Credit|
|RC 241||Respiratory Procedures II – 1 Credit|
|RC 242||Respiratory Procedures III – 1 Credit|
|RC 250||Clinical Respiratory Care I – 3 Credits|
|RC 251||Clinical Respiratory Care II – 3 Credits|
|RC 330||Advanced Respiratory Theory I – 3 Credits|
|RC 331||Advanced Respiratory Theory II – 3 Credits|
|RC 332||Advanced Respiratory Theory III – 3 Credits|
|RC 333||Respiratory Pathophysiology – 3 Credits|
|RC 334||RC Research – Capstone – 3 Credits|
|RC 335||Respiratory Seminar – Capstone – 3 Credits|
|RC 340||Advanced Respiratory Procedures I – 1 Credit|
|RC 341||Advanced Respiratory Procedures II – 1 Credit|
|RC 342||Advanced Respiratory Procedures III – 1 Credit|
|RC 350||Advanced Clinical Respiratory I – 2 Credits|
|RC 351||Advanced Clinical Respiratory II – 3 Credits|
A minimum of 99 credits is required for the associate degree in respiratory care. See the undergraduate catalog for more information and course descriptions.
Increase the value of your associates in respiratory therapy degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.
Position: Professor of Practice and Program Coordinator, Respiratory Care
Did You Know? Solly has presented at the local, state, and national levels on topics such as pulmonary function testing, updated spirometry standards, interventional bronchoscopy, disaster medicine, and health care provider burnout.
Position: Assistant Professor, Respiratory Care
Did You Know? Galvin authored and edited the 60-chapter comprehensive textbook, Respiratory Care: Principles and Practice, which has been adopted and used by students in the RC Program. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.
Position: Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education, Respiratory Care
Did You Know? Schuster's specialties include Acute Care, Advance Cardiac Life Support, Invasive Cardiac Monitoring, Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology, and Neonatal & Pediatrics.
Position: Adjunct Professor, Respiratory Care
Did You Know? He is currently the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Society for Respiratory Care (PSRC).
GMercyU’s Respiratory Care students have gained hands-on clinical experience at the following locations:
Throughout the pandemic, respiratory therapists have cared for an overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients who've required advanced and life-sustaining ventilator care. Yet even before COVID, there was an urgent need for more respiratory therapists due to an aging population and an increase in chronic diseases such as asthma and COPD.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 23% increased demand for respiratory therapists through 2030 – almost double the expected growth of all healthcare jobs and nearly three times the growth of all occupations.
Respiratory care has been recognized as a career with a great return on investment. In 2022, the profession ranks #6 on U.S. News’ list of “Best Health Care Jobs” and #16 on their “100 Best Jobs” list.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for respiratory therapists was $62,810 in May 2020, with the top 10% earning more than $89,170.
Additional education and training may be required for some of these positions.
As a respiratory therapist, you’ll use a combination of physical examination and sophisticated technology to diagnose and treat patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. You will learn to administer oxygen therapy, deliver inhaled medications, and initiate and monitor patients on life support, such as mechanical ventilators.
This fulfilling work can take you to a variety of settings, from hospitals to home care, and provides the opportunity to work with patients of all ages, from neonatal to elderly.
Noel majors in Respiratory Care, serves as Vice President of Voices of Gwynedd, and is an EMS worker in his downtime. He loves the warmth of the GMercyU community and the access he has to his professors.
"If my respiratory care professors have specific office hours, I wouldn't even know. I feel comfortable just stopping by to ask questions, and I know my fellow students have the same mindset," says Noel.
Catherine's first clinical experience confirmed that she was on the right career path. "When I placed my stethoscope on the patient’s back to listen to their breath sounds, I had a moment that made me realize that I was about to embark on a career that makes a huge difference," she said.
Catharine landed her new job before she even graduated, as an RRT at the Lehigh Valley Health Network, and absolutely loves what she does for a living.
"[GMercyU] is more of a family-oriented school. Everyone’s really close, and the teachers really care about you and want you to succeed," said Omar. “My clinical work at HUP and at Magee made me see many different types of patients – and some of the equipment I used I haven’t even seen yet at my current hospital.”
Today, he is a respiratory therapist at The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Omar has also worked for Electromed, Inc., the company that makes SmartVest®, a device that helps keep airways clear for patients prone to illnesses such as pneumonia.
Have questions about GMercyU's admissions requirements or transferring eligible credits? Contact us! Our Admissions staff is ready to walk you through the process of applying to GMercyU’s AS in Respiratory Care Program.
Have a bachelor's degree but are looking to change careers to become a respiratory therapist? See what credits you may have already earned towards this three-year associate's degree. Contact Emma Campell at email@example.com or 215-641-5529 ext. 21529.
Please note: Students enrolling in this program must have the ability to obtain a U.S. background check and other clearances for placement in a U.S. clinical/school setting. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is also a requirement for licensure within certain academic programs. International students and students who are under DACA status or are undocumented should carefully review the licensure requirements in their state before enrolling in a degree program that leads to licensure. Additional information can be found on the National Conference of State Legislatures website.
Licensure: This program was designed to meet the licensure requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you reside in a different state, you should carefully review your home state’s licensure requirements prior to enrolling in this program. For more information, please visit our Program Licensure Requirement page.
As a field with tremendous demand, respiratory therapy is a smart career move. Credits from your bachelor's degree may already count towards a GMercyU associate degree in Respiratory Care, allowing you to become a respiratory therapist in as few as 20 months.
Find out how many credits from your bachelor's degree are transferable — contact our transfer admissions counselor, Emma Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Students earning a second undergraduate degree generally are not eligible for federal financial aid.)
At GMercyU, we strive to make a quality education accessible to all through financial aid, scholarships, and grants. As a military-friendly university, we welcome service members and participate in all VA educational benefits programs.