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Respiratory Care FAQs

Q: How is program effectiveness determined?

A: Program effectiveness is determined by the pass rates for the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exams, employment and program completion rates, and graduate and employer satisfaction.

Q: Is there a waitlist for the Respiratory Care Program?

A: The Respiratory Care Program accepts 20 students per year. Admission numbers vary from year-to-year. It is recommended to check with Program Coordinators prior to applying to the program.

Q:  Can I attend the program part-time?

A:  No. The Respiratory Care program is a full-time day program. Students should plan to be at the college or in the clinical setting from 7am to 4pm on most days. Some clinical shifts may run on a 3pm to 11pm schedule, and a brief sleep lab rotation runs until 2am. Students can take pre-requisite courses and general education courses on a part-time basis prior to beginning professional and clinical coursework.

Q: I have a degree from another college. Will this allow me to complete the program in less time?

A: No. Respiratory Care courses run sequentially. For example: first semester courses must be completed prior to taking the second semester courses. You may however, be able to transfer in common core classes such as English, Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Microbiology, and comparable Bioethics classes, which will substantially lighten your academic work load. You must contact the QCC Registrar’s Office to evaluate your transcripts. This office will determine the eligibility of your transfer credits.

Q: What is the current job market for Respiratory Care practitioners?

A:  In New England, the current job market is tight in all sectors of the economy. However, healthcare is adding positions faster than other industries. Nationally, Respiratory Care positions are more plentiful. Even though the program does not guarantee job placements, most of our graduates find employment within 6 months after graduation. This may be due to the fact that prior to graduation, all QCC graduates earn Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and the American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP) certifications. These prestigious certifications make our graduates more marketable in a difficult economy.

Q:  Can I become a Respiratory Therapist through on-the-job training?

A:  No. In order to practice Respiratory Care in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you must be a graduate of an accredited educational program in Respiratory Care and be eligible to sit for the NBRC credentialing examinations. You must also be licensed by your state’s licensing board.

Q:  Is the QCC program accredited?

A:  Yes. QCC is the oldest Respiratory Care Program in the State of Massachusetts. Since its inception, this Program has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Graduates of our program are eligible to sit for the NBRC credentialing certifications to become Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT).

Q: Can I choose my clinical site?

A:  No. The QCC Respiratory Care Program has clinical affiliation agreements with most of the hospitals in Central Massachusetts. The number of students who can be accommodated at any given clinical site is limited. Program faculty decides which clinical education setting is most appropriate for each student.

Q: Can I work part-time while attending the program?

A: Many students do. You should be advised however, that the program curriculum is rigorous and will demand a great deal of time. Working less will increase your chances of success.

Q: Can I work under a student license?

A: Yes! The Respiratory Care program is the only healthcare program at QCC that allows students to work under a limited student license. Both St Vincent and the UMASS Memorial institutions, hire student Respiratory Care practitioners. To be eligible, the student must successfully complete the first two semesters of the program, and apply for a student license through the Commonwealth’s Board of Respiratory Care (

Q: Is financial aid available to students enrolled in the Respiratory Care Program?

A: Yes. There are many sources of financial aid available. Prospective students should make an appointment to speak to the college’s Financial Aid Office to discuss eligibility. The QCC Financial Aid Office is in Room 165A. Their phone number is 508.854.4261.

Q:  How do I apply to the college?

A: Stop by the QCC Admissions Office and fill out an application, or apply online at:

Q: How do I find out more information about the Respiratory Care Program and the application process?


  1. Attend a health information session by contacting the Admission’s Office.
  2. Go to: and select the appropriate advising appointment.
  3. Or call 508.854.4308. They will be able to assist you with the admissions process and answer any questions you may have about the program.

Q: Is the TEAS Test required?

A: Yes. 

Q: Are there any “Discovery Activities” that should be completed prior to acceptance?

A: Yes! Candidates must view the Respiratory Care video, which is on reserve in the college library at the second floor circulation desk. You are welcome to complete this step while taking courses to meet the academic requirements. Candidates must also attend one professional lecture prior to program acceptance. Arrangements may be made by contacting the Program Director, Professor Karen Kaletski Dufault at 508.854.2752, or the Director of Clinical Education, Professor Cathryn MacDonald at 508.854.4540. Candidates are also strongly encouraged to explore the American Association of Respiratory Care website (