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Respiratory Care

  • Bachelor of Science Major
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

Graduate of the program have achieved a 100-percent pass rate on the entry-level Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam for many years. Program graduates also typically perform above the national mean on the advanced practitioner Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exams.

  • GU Possibilities
    • Historically the program has enjoyed 100-percent job placement of its graduates.
    • For many years, the program’s graduates have had a 100-percent pass rate on the entry-level Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam. Program graduates also typically perform above the national mean on the advanced practitioner Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exams.
    • A recent graduate has been recognized as an up-and-coming practitioner in the Respiratory Care Association’s AARC Times journal. He presented a research abstract at the profession’s international conference in Anaheim, California.
    • Another graduate was recently promoted to director of respiratory care at a regional children’s hospital in Pittsburgh.
    • Another graduate is a researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She had also been recognized nationally as the neonatal/pediatric practitioner of the year.
    • A program graduate was recently promoted to director of neonatal respiratory care at a hospital in Rochester, New York.

    You Will Learn

    Respiratory care practitioners are specialists who evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing disorders such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or pneumonia. They also provide emergency care for victims of heart failure, chest injuries, stroke, shock, premature birth or post-surgical complications. Practitioners work under the direction of a physician and assist in the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients with respiratory disorders.

    Within the Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care, students may also pursue a certificate in polysomnography.  This option is accredited by CoARC and the program is approved to offer a certificate in the testing and treatment of patients with sleep disorders. The certificate can be integrated into the bachelor’s degree option or taken as a free-standing certificate program for eligible students. This gives our students a unique concentration and competitive edge in the marketplace. 

    You Will Experience

    Bachelor’s degree students have one additional semester of clinical experience. These students work with program faculty and can design advanced clinical concentrations in one or more areas of respiratory care practice. This includes specialized clinical rotations that the student can select or identify. Senior respiratory care students have the option of choosing healthcare institutions where they might want to work, and the program will facilitate their clinical placement if the institution wants to form a clinical partnership. 

    You Will Achieve

    Historically, graduates of Gannon University’s respiratory care program enjoy high placement rates. Such job opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • home healthcare agencies  
    • hospitals   
    • nursing homes  

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Respiratory therapists $55,870

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (  

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    Students in the respiratory care program participate in classes and labs that involve administering and performing respiratory care procedures to their partners and simulators within the laboratory. Students gain this hands-on experience during courses such as:


    RSPC 308: Respiratory Care Procedures

    This course includes the study of medical gases, their storage and the devices used to administer them to the patient. The different therapeutic modalities used in respiratory care are presented in this course, including humidity therapy, hyperinflation therapy, aerosol/pharmacologic therapy, intermittent positive pressure, chest percussion, bronchial drainage and airway care.

    RSPC 321 & RSPC 322: Mechanical Ventilation and Critical Care & Lab

    This course focuses on the study of mechanical ventilators, their operation and application in patient care. The course is taken simultaneously with the Mechanical Ventilation and Critical Care Lab. It also includes applied critical care including monitoring techniques, which are practiced in the laboratory. 

    RSPC 350: Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care

    This course emphasizes the diagnosis and care of neonatal and pediatrics patients in the intensive care setting. Mechanical ventilation of the neonate is stressed throughout this course.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.