Respiratory Care

Associate in Applied Science

Respiratory Care

Respiratory Therapists, also known as respiratory care practitioners, evaluate, treat and care for patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Graduates of respiratory care programs work closely with patients, doctors, and other healthcare personnel to provide diagnostic testing, therapeutics, education, rehabilitation, monitoring, life support, and other specialized methods of treatment. Achievement of the respiratory care degree requires students to participate in classroom, laboratory, and patient care clinical environments, such as hospitals. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) Examination.

The Respiratory Care A.A.S. degree is a cooperative program in conjunction with Brookdale Community College. The program meets the needs of students seeking licensure and employment in the community as Registered Respiratory Therapist. The 73 credit program is offered in two (2) phases. Students are able to complete the first or pre-professional phase of the program at Atlantic Cape with the second phase or the professional phase of the program completed at Brookdale. The pre-professional phase offered at Atlantic Cape includes 31 credits of general education, mathematics, and science courses. The professional phase of the program is 42 credits with respiratory care courses occurring at Brookdale once a year in a four-semester course sequence. For additional information visit the Brookdale Community College Respiratory Care program's website.

The Brookdale Community College Respiratory Care Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) in cooperation with the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoArc), 1701 West Euless Blvd., Suite 300, Euless, TX 76040, (817) 283-2835.

A dual application is required for this degree. Admission to the professional phase of the program requires that all Atlantic Cape pre-professional phase coursework be completed with a grade of “C” or better by the end of the Winter semester for fall admission. Students are to notify the Dean, Nursing & Health Sciences by January 1 of their intent to apply. All classes must be completed and appear on an Atlantic Cape transcript. As part of the admission process, student will need to pass a standardized Health Science entrance exam and a criminal history background check prior to admission to the Brookdale Respiratory Care program. The application is available on the Health Sciences Admissions section of Brookdale’s website at

Acceptance to the Respiratory Care course sequence (professional phase) is competitive as Atlantic Cape is allotted a minimum of three student spaces annually. Student selection for the professional phase of the program is based on the GPA of the required first year or pre-professional phase. Completion of the pre-professional phase at Atlantic Cape does not guarantee admission to the professional phase at Brookdale.

Student are responsible for meeting any additional requirements at Brookdale Community College including the physical examination for admission to the clinical education component.

Upon completion of this program students will be able to:

  • Assess, analyze, implement and evaluate respiratory care;
  • Perform respiratory quality control activities;
  • Apply basic principles of management in the care of groups of patients;
  • Exhibit therapeutic communication skills;
  • Incorporate ethical/legal considerations into the respiratory action plan;
  • Practice as a member of a diverse interdisciplinary health care team;
  • Continue personal and professional growth;
  • Incorporate principles from the social sciences, biologic sciences and humanities into their practice;
  • Practice within the limits and scope of a licensed respiratory therapist.



Pre-Professional Phase - 31 credits

Degree requirements
Courses Credits


Communication (6 credits)  
    ENGL101-Composition I
    ENGL102-Composition II
Mathematics-Science-Technology (8 credits)  
    BIOL220-Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    BIOL221-Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Social Science (3 credits)  
    PSYC101-General Psychology
Humanities (3 credits)
    General Education Humanities course 3
Program Courses - 11 credits
    BIOL250-Microbiology 4
    CHEM100-Introduction to College Chemistry 4
    HESC110-Comprehensive Medical Terminology 3


Professional Phase - 42 credits

 All professional phase coursework is completed through Brookdale Community College.
   Program courses - 42 credits
   RESP161-Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology
   RESP162-Fundamental Skills in Respiratory Care 7
   RESP163-Cardiopulmonary Physiology 4
   RESP164-Patient Assessment and Diagnosis 6
   RESP165-Advanced Life Support and Emergency Care 2
   RESP261-Neonatal & Pediatric Respiratory Care 2
   RESP262-Adult Critical Care 7
   RESP263-Subacute Respiratory Care 2
   RESP264-Respiratory Care Practices 7
   RESP265-Issues in Respiratory Care 2





Recommended sequence of courses
Course Code Course Name Course Credits


Atlantic Cape Community College Courses

Summer (4 credits)
CHEM100 Introduction to Chemistry 4
First Semester - Fall (13 credits)
ENGL101 Composition I 3
PSYC101 General Psychology 3
BIOL220 Human Anatomy & Physiology I 4
HESC110 Comprehensive Medical Terminology 3
Second Semester - Spring (14 credits)
ENGL102 Composition II 3
BIOL221 Human Anatomy & Physiology II 4
BIOL250 Microbiology 4
Choose General Education Humanities course 3

PROFESSIONAL PHASE - Second and Third Years

Brookdale Community College Courses

Third Semester - Fall (10 credits)
RESP161 Cardiopulmonary Anatomy & Physiology 3
RESP162 Fundamental Skills in Respiratory Care 7
Fourth Semester - Spring (12 credits)
RESP163 Cardiopulmonary Physiology
RESP164 Patient Assessment and Diagnosis
RESP165 Advanced Life Support and Emergency Care
Fifth Semester - Fall (9 credits)
RESP261 Neonatal & Pediatric Respiratory Care
RESP262 Adult Critical Care
Sixth Semester - Spring (11 credits)
RESP263 Subacute Respiratory Care 2
RESP264 Respiratory Care Practices 7
RESP265 Issues in Respiratory Care 2