For the second straight year Newman University’s respiratory care program has received an award from a national healthcare association.
The Associate of Science in Health Science – Respiratory Care degree program was recognized during the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) virtual Summer Forum with its Distinguished RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist) Credentialing Success Award.
The CoARC views “the RRT credential as a measure of a program’s success in inspiring its graduates to achieve their highest educational and professional aspirations.”
Program director Margo Wagner believes this acknowledgement is worth celebrating. “This award recognizes the dedication of our faculty, clinical instructors, and students to the respiratory care profession.
Our graduates, instructors, and faculty are respiratory therapists with a commitment to lifelong learning and a desire to provide compassionate, high-quality patient care. We encourage graduates to seek specialty credentials and continue to expand their knowledge,” Wagner said.
CoARC establishes standards for the development, evaluation, and self-analysis of respiratory care educational programs. It monitors programs annually through reports submitted by program directors. CoARC also conducts an on-site evaluation every ten years.
Newman’s respiratory care program was awarded continuing accreditation in July 2019.
According to Wagner the goal of Newman’s respiratory care program “is to prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).”
Newman’s program welcomes a new cohort, of no more than 20 students, each fall semester. Successful students graduate after three semesters, December of the year following their program start. Thirty-three hours of prerequisite courses are required prior to starting the professional phase of the curriculum.
The Respiratory Care program at Newman is now approved for the Kansas Promise Scholarship. Those who meet the criteria and are accepted into the Respiratory Care Program could apply for those funds, which may be used toward tuition, required fees, books and required program materials.
The majority of program graduates who stay in the area are helping to serve the healthcare needs of the region.
“Most of our graduates are employed locally as Registered Respiratory Therapists,” Wagner said. “We have graduates serving in positions such as: staff therapist, transport therapist, home care therapist, Charge Therapist, Clinical Educator, Lead Therapist, Pediatric Clinical Coordinator, Director of Respiratory Care, Respiratory Care Program faculty, and Program Clinical Instructor.”
In light of the COVID pandemic respiratory professionals are in great demand. Employment of respiratory therapists is expected to increase 19 percent through the year 2029, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Some employers are losing therapists due to the stress and workload associated with caring for those with COVID. The pandemic has heightened awareness of the profession, but there was a need for more respiratory therapists prior to 2020. There continues to be an increased need for respiratory care that is unfortunately not being met with a similar increase in enrollment.
The majority of Respiratory Care programs are not at capacity. The NBRC (National Board for Respiratory Care), CoARC (Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care), and AARC (American Association for Respiratory Care) have partnered to address the growing shortage of respiratory therapists while also educating the public about the profession,” Wagner said.
Wagner said she is alway open to talk with individuals who have an interest in healthcare but aren’t sure what profession is the best fit.
“I would love to meet with them to discuss the profession of respiratory care,” she said. “The Program Directors in the School of Nursing and Allied Health also offer several online Q & A sessions each year. We would love to have interested individuals attend. It’s a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have about our various healthcare programs in an informal environment.”
Newman University’s Respiratory Care Program
This program is now approved for special financial aid through the Kansas Promise Scholarship