Jun 24, 2019  
2017-2018 University Catalog 
2017-2018 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Respiratory Care: RRT Advanced Standing, MS

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Respiratory Care: Registered Respiratory Therapist Advanced Standing (RRT)

Admissions Requirements - MS Program

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 to the Office of College Admission Services with all official transcripts, NBRC RRT certificate, and a personal interview at least 30 days prior to the first day of the semester which the individual desires to begin classes.  Professional prerequisites must be completed prior to graduation.  All other program policies and procedures apply.


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 as well as departmental policies at all times. 

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

  • Advanced standing can be awarded through transfer credit.
  • 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 which teaches that area or skill.)
  • Advanced standing can be awarded as credit for successful completion of national registry examinations (RRT/RPFT).

Eligibility for Advanced Standing

  • 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.
  • 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 “C” (2.0) 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:

  • A notarized copy of the RRT certificate indicating that it is a true and accurate copy
  • 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.
  • A notarized copy of the Certificate of Completion from an approved respiratory care training program as applicable
  • A completed application for admission to the Advanced Standing program. These are available in the Admissions Office.
  • A letter directed to the Committee on Progress and Promotions for Respiratory Care requesting advanced standing

Respiratory Care Technical Standards

Rush University is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of health care professionals representative of the national population.

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 & data retrieval).
  • Identify information presented in accessible images from paper, slides, videos with audio description, and transparencies.
  • Identify information presented in images from paper, slides, videos, 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 care and perform or assist with procedures and treatments.
  • Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide Respiratory Care 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 healthcare 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 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 that they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program, should contact the Office of Student Disability 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. To learn more about accommodations at Rush University please contact:

Marie Ferro-Lusk, MBA, MSW, LSW
Manager, Office of Student Disability Services
Rush University
600 S. Paulina St. AAC 440
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 942-5237

Respiratory Care: RRT Advanced Standing Curriculum for Master of Science

Credit Based on the RRT Credential

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





Total: 52

Required Courses

The RRT Student must enroll in and complete the following required courses:



Total: 31

Elective Courses

The RRT student must select a minimum of nine semester  hours from the following courses:


RCP 512 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy and Physiology (5 semester hours)

Provides an in-depth study of cardiac and pulmonary anatomy and physiology, as well as the diagnostic procedures commonly used in the hospital to evaluate these systems.  Topics include the function of the respiratory system, ventilatory mechanics, gas transport in the blood, natural and chemical regulation of breathing, circulation, blood flow and pressure, and cardiac output.  The heart-lung relationship and clinical applications of these phenomena in the cardiopulmonary system will be emphasized.  Prerequisite: Admission to the program.



RCP 522 Pulmonary Disease (3 semester hours)

Topics include the etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of common pulmonary diseases and conditions. Respiratory Care management of non-respiratory disorders commonly encountered in the critical care unit will also be covered.  Pulmonary and critical care medicine, obstructive and restrictive pulmonary disease, neoplastic disease of the lung, infectious diseases, neurological and neuromuscular disorders, drowning, burns, smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide poisoning, drug overdose, and respiratory care of the post-operative patient will be reviewed. Prerequisite: RCP 512.



RCP 523 Mechanical Ventilation (4 semester hours)

Provides instruction in the theory, set-up, operation and maintenance of mechanical ventilators, their associated modes of ventilation and related equipment.  Topics include:  mechanical ventilator theory, ventilator operation, modes of ventilation, ventilator maintenance and trouble shooting. Prerequisite: RCP 511, RCP 512.


RCP 530 Cardiac Diseases (2 semester hours)

Topics include the etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of common cardiac and cardiovascular conditions.  Respiratory Care management of cardiac and cardiovascular disorders, shock, trauma, renal failure, acute G.I. disturbances, and invasive cardiovascular procedures will be reviewed.  Additionally, learners will learn to interpret 12-lead ECGs and obtain their ACLS credentials. Prerequisite: RCP 512.



RCP 531 Critical Respiratory Care (4 semester hours)

Provides instruction on all phases of adult critical care and continuous mechanical ventilation.  Topics include physiology and classification of mechanical ventilation, acid base balance, indications for mechanical ventilatory support, implementation, monitoring, ventilator weaning and discontinuance will be covered.  Advanced critical care techniques for invasive and non-invasive patient monitoring will be covered.  Hemodynamic monitoring will include arterial pressure monitoring, central venous and pulmonary artery catheters, and cardiac output measurement. Non-invasive monitoring techniques including oximetry, transcutaneous monitoring, capnography, ventilator graphic analysis, and assessment of the critical ill patient will also be reviewed.  Prerequisites: RCP 512, RCP 520 RCP 521, RCP 522, RCP 523.


RCP 532 Pulmonary Function Testing (3 semester hours)

Provides a hands-on experience conducting and interpreting complete pulmonary function tests to include spirometry, lung volumes, and diffusion. Common variations such as bronchoprovocation testing and bronchial responsiveness along with tests for muscle weakness are also included. In addition, the student will learn the operation, maintenance, and quality control principles for all common pulmonary function and gas analysis equipment. Bronchoscopy, exercise testing, and metabolic testing will also be reviewed. Prerequisite:  RCP 512, RCP 522.



RCP 533 Pediatric and Neonatal Respiratory Care (4 semester hours)

Provides the student with the opportunity to utilize evidence-based knowledge and critical thinking skills in the planning and provision of comprehensive respiratory care to newborns, infants, and children along the health-illness continuum. Topics include fetal growth and development, neonatal and pediatric cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, respiratory care assessment of the newborn, infant and pediatric patient, as well as respiratory care diagnostic and therapeutic interventions targeted to specific cardiopulmonary pathologies. Prerequisites: RCP 512, RCP 520 RCP 521, RCP 522, RCP 523.


RCP 570 Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics (2 semester hours)

This advanced cardiopulmonary diagnostics course covers a range of tests that assess different body systems. Topics include polysomnography and sleep disorders, metabolic testing, ultrasound, and echocardiography. Learners will observe tests, identify indications, interpret findings, and describe the equipment required for each. Prerequisite:  RCP 512, RCP 522, RCP 530.


CHS 510 Health Care in America: An Overview for Health Professions for Students (2 Semester hours)

Health Care in America is designed for students who are entering a health profession. Faculty leaders from across the Medical Center present topics that address contemporary issues in America’s health care system.  Examples include the organization and delivery system, the economics and financing of health care, the national’s health care workforce, long-term care, technology and health care, biomedical ethics, health policy and the public’s health, and future directions of America’s health care system.  Following presentations, the class breaks into interdisciplinary groups lead by faculty to explore those and other class-developed questions about health care in America.  

Total: 31

Total credit which may be awarded based on the RRT Credential 52
Credit hours that must be completed at Rush 40
Total Respiratory Care Course Hours Required for the Degree 92


Sample Advanced Standing Program Student Schedule:

Fall Semester


Note regarding RCP 581, Clinical Practice 4:  The purpose of this clinical practice will be to allow the student to acquire special clinical skills and/or expertise which is not normally achieved in an associate’s degree program or through work experience.  The student may also use this course to refine or upgrade clinical skills which 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.  Areas of concentration which may be included are: 

·         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)

With the program director’s permission this 8 hour course (RC 581) may be divided into two parts RC 581 A (4 hours) and RC 581 B (4 hours) accomplishing the same course goals outlined above over two semesters. 


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 Bacholor’s Degree

Respiratory Care Required courses 40
Credit Based on RRT 52

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