May 27, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Respiratory Care: RRT Advanced Standing (MS)

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RRT Advanced Standing (MS): Program Overview


Individuals may have acquired academic credit in respiratory care courses from other schools and universities. Some individuals may acquire knowledge through experience and on‑the‑job training. When such persons apply for admission into the program, an attempt is made to grant academic credit for equivalent educational courses, equivalent knowledge acquired from experience and/or successful completion of the National Board for Respiratory Care’s certification and registry examinations. 

All students graduating from the Respiratory Care program must meet the same standards for graduation; the awarding of advanced standing does not signify a lesser quality education than that offered through regular course work. What it does, however, is attempt to exempt the student from those areas of the formal program where the student already has the knowledge and expertise in those skills that would be offered. The program has identified the minimum competencies that a respiratory therapist must have in order to provide safe, high-quality patient care. The identification of these competencies is a complex task, and a great deal of care must be taken to ensure a standard of excellence. 

The following policies and procedures are designed to ensure that those individuals who receive advanced standing are qualified to do so, and that the screening process adheres to University and departmental policies at all times. 

It is not in the student’s or program’s best interest to allow individuals who are not qualified to receive advanced standing. 

To allow individuals who are not qualified, to receive advanced standing, is not in the student’s or the program’s best interest. 


Advanced standing is defined as a special and individually determined status granted to a student in a formal educational setting who has already gained professional experience through other sources or through non‑academic experiences, knowledge, skills and professionalism taught in the program courses. 

Purpose of Advanced-Standing Procedures

The purpose of the advanced-standing procedures is to recognize and give formal educational credit for knowledge and/or ability gained through previous training or experience.

Methods of Granting Advanced Standing

  1. Advanced standing can be awarded through transfer credit.
  2. Advanced standing can be awarded through the passing of an equivalency examination covering a certain area of knowledge. (An equivalency examination is an instrument or means by which a student accepted into the Respiratory Care program can demonstrate mastery of a knowledge area, content area or skill, and thus be exempted from a course in the program that teaches that area or skill.)
  3. Advanced standing can be awarded as credit for successful completion of national registry examinations (RRT/RPFT).

Eligibility for Advanced Standing

  1. Transfer students who have been accepted into the RUSH University Respiratory Care program may receive a transfer credit for equivalent courses within the Respiratory Care program curriculum.
  2. Credentialed students (RRT, RPFT) who have been accepted into the RUSH University Respiratory Care Program may receive transfer credit and will also be eligible to take equivalency examinations in certain courses.

Policy for Transfer Students

Students who have completed coursework at other approved respiratory care programs may petition to have these courses transfer in lieu of specific coursework in the RUSH University program. Students must submit a transcript of their courses from the program and a copy of the course syllabus for each course in which they desire transfer credit. The syllabus must contain the following: course objectives, lecture outlines, course content, evaluation procedures and related information. These courses will be evaluated on an individual basis for content and total contact hours and credit hours.

The department reserves the right to test the proficiency of any student in coursework transferred from other respiratory care programs and the right to disallow such transfer credit in such coursework in cases which the student cannot demonstrate acceptable proficiency. All transfer credit is subject to the approval of the Committee on Progress and Promotions for Respiratory Care. The student must also have a minimum grade of B (3.0) for each course being transferred. A student cannot receive transfer credit for any respiratory care coursework if he or she left the previous program due to academic probation, suspension or exclusion. All University policies regarding transfer credit must be satisfied.

Policy for Individuals Who Hold the RRT Credential

Advanced standing is available to individuals who have successfully completed the National Board for Respiratory Care’s Respiratory Therapy Registry (RRT), who hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Those eligible for advanced standing must submit the following documentation:

  1. A notarized copy of the RRT certificate indicating that it is a true and accurate copy
  2. Official transcripts of all previous respiratory care and general education coursework attempted and/or completed indicating award of the bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  3. A notarized copy of the certificate of completion from an approved respiratory care training program as applicable
  4. A completed application for admission to the advanced-sanding program. This is available through the Allied Health Centralized Application System (AHCAS)
  5. A letter directed to the Committee on Progress and Promotions for Respiratory Care requesting advanced standing.

RRT Advanced Standing (MS): Admissions Requirements

Individuals holding the RRT credential and a baccalaureate degree may apply to enter the Respiratory Care graduate program prior to any semester. Submission of an application for admission should be made through the Allied Health Centralized Application System(AHCAS) with all official transcripts, NBRC RRT certificate and a personal interview at least 30 days prior to the first day of the semester when the individual desires to begin classes. Professional prerequisites must be completed prior to graduation.  All other program policies and procedures apply.

RRT Advanced Standing (MS): Technical Standards

RUSH University is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will serve diverse communities locally and nationally.

Our core values-ICARE (innovation, collaboration, accountability, respect and excellence)-translate into our work with all students, including those with disabilities. RUSH actively collaborates with students to develop innovative ways to ensure accessibility and creates a respectful, accountable culture through our confidential and specialized disability support. RUSH is committed to excellence in accessibility; we encourage students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations.

The following technical functions are required of all students enrolled in the Respiratory Care program:

Acquire Information

  • Acquire information from demonstrations and experiences in courses, such as lecture, group and physical demonstrations
  • Acquire information from written documents and computer systems (e.g., literature searches and data retrieval)
  • Identify information presented in accessible images from paper, slides, videos with audio description and transparencies
  •  Recognize and assess patient changes in mood, activity, cognition, verbal and non-verbal communication

Use and Interpret

  • Use and interpret information from assessment techniques/maneuvers
  • Use and interpret information related to physiologic phenomena generated from diagnostic tools


  • Possess psychomotor skills necessary to provide or assist in holistic respiratory care and perform or assist with procedures and treatments
  • Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide respiratory care and assessment in emergencies and life-support procedures and perform universal precautions against contamination


  • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families
  • Communicate effectively with faculty, preceptors and all members of the health care team during practicum and other learning experiences
  • Accurately elicit information, including a medical history and other information, to adequately and effectively evaluate a population’s, client’s or patient’s condition

Intellectual Ability

  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze and synthesize data related to the diagnosis and treatment of patients and populations
  • Exercise proper judgment and complete responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner according to the respiratory care role
  • Synthesize information, problem-solve and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory, assessment or treatment strategy


  • Maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients/patients, families, students, faculty, staff, preceptors and other professionals under all circumstances
  • Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for patients in need
  • Possess emotional stability to function under stress and adapt to rapidly changing environments inherent to the classroom and practice settings


  • Demonstrate concern for others
  • Integrity, accountability interest and motivation are necessary personal qualities
  • Demonstrate intent and desire to follow the RUSH University and Respiratory Care Code of Ethics

The technical standards delineated above must be met with or without accommodation. Students who, after review of the technical standards, determine they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program should contact the Office of Student Accessibility Services to confidentially discuss their accommodations needs.

Given the clinical nature of our programs, time may be needed to implement the accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged. Contact the Office of Student Accessibility Services to learn more about accommodations at RUSH University:

Marie Lusk, MBA, MSW, LSW
Director, Office of Student Accessibility Services
RUSH University
600 S. Paulina St., Suite 901
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-5237

RRT Advanced Standing (MS): Curriculum

Credit Based on the RRT Credential

Individuals providing documentation that they hold the RRT credential may receive credit for the following theory courses:

Total: 33 Credit Hours

Required Courses

RRT students must enroll in and complete the following required courses:

Total: 30 Credit Hours

Elective Courses

The RRT student must select a minimum of nine semester hours from the following courses to take at RUSH University. All other required elective courses will be assigned proficiency credit:

Total: 29 Credit Hours

Total credit that may be awarded based on the RRT credential 53
Credit hours that must be completed at RUSH 39
Total Respiratory Care course hours required for the degree 92


Sample Advanced-Standing Program Student Schedule:


Note regarding RCP 585, Clinical Practice IV: The purpose of this clinical practice is to allow students to acquire special clinical skills and/or expertise that is not normally achieved in an associate degree program or through work experience. The student may also use this course to refine or upgrade clinical skills that may have been used infrequently due to the nature of their work environment or experiences. A course proposal or prospectus for clinical practice will be designed by the student and submitted to the director of Clinical Education. The prospectus or proposal must be reviewed and approved by the program director or Committee on Progress and Promotion for Respiratory Care. The prospectus must include course goals and objectives, methodology to achieve these goals and objectives to include clinical or laboratory facilities to be utilized, time spent in a given clinical or laboratory area and proposed method of evaluation. The following are areas of concentration that may be included: 

  • Pulmonary function laboratory
  • Cardiac and/or pulmonary stress testing
  • Diagnostic sleep laboratory
  • Fiberoptic bronchoscopy
  • Physiologic monitoring to include hemodynamics
  • Adult critical care
  • Pediatric and/or neonatal respiratory care            
  • ECMO
  • Mechanical circulatory assistance
  • Respiratory home care
  • Sub-acute/long-term care facilities    
  • Pulmonary and/or cardiac rehabilitation
  • Invasive and/or non-invasive cardiology
  • Hyperbaric medicine              
  • Applied research
  • Respiratory care education
  • Management
  • Advanced generalist (to include two or more subspecialties)

Substitutions for the above courses to meet individual student needs may be made from other respiratory care curriculum course work if approved by the program director.

Students who desire additional course work related to supervision and management may request that specific courses taken at the graduate level in another RUSH University department be substituted for specific required or elective courses.

Summary of Minimum Requirements for the MS Degree for RRT Students Holding a Bachelor’s Degree

Respiratory Care Required Courses 39
Credit Based on RRT 53

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