RRT Examination

logoThe Registry Examination System was developed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of advanced respiratory therapists, and to set uniform standards for measuring such knowledge. The CRT credential is a prerequisite for admission to the Registry Examination. The RRT Examinations consist of a written portion and a clinical simulation portion. Candidates must schedule separate testing appointments for each of these portions. However, candidates may attempt both parts on the same day, provided testing sessions are available. Individuals who attempt both parts of the examination and achieve passing scores will be awarded the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. Click here for additional examination Frequently Asked Questions.

If you are planning to take any of the credentialing examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory care, Inc. (NBRC), the Self-Assessment Examination provides an excellent opportunity for you to find out in advance how well you will do. The SAEs are available in web-based format and more information and pricing instructions can be found listed to in the right hand pane of this page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Eligibility Three-Year Time Limit


Effective January 1, 2005, new graduates of accredited advanced level respiratory care education programs have three years after graduation to complete the CRT and RRT Examinations.

NBRC’s mission is to evaluate the competency of respiratory therapists and to support the profession of respiratory care. It’s a role that we take very seriously. As the provider of the RRT, the credential that is considered the “standard of excellence” in respiratory care, it is our responsibility to ensure that graduates of advanced-level education programs have the opportunity to earn the RRT credential. During a time when there is a shortage of qualified respiratory therapists to provide the excellent care that patients expect, advanced-level graduates who earn the RRT credential are in high demand nationwide and can help to fill this shortage.

Below is a list of questions about the RRT Eligibility Three-Year Time Limit and how it impacts you. NBRC staff is available to answer any other additional questions via phone or email. Contact us at 888-341-4811 or at nbrc-info@nbrc.org.

RRT Eligibility Three-Year Time Limit - Frequently Asked Questions

Why adopt a three-year time limit to pass the RRT Examination after graduating from an advanced-level program?
NBRC approved the three-year time limit in 2005 to ensure that individuals who consider themselves “registry eligible” have taken and passed the RRT Examination and demonstrated their knowledge and competence.

In 2003, the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), and the NBRC recognized the RRT credential as the “standard of excellence” for respiratory care professionals. At the request of the AARC and CoARC, NBRC approved a policy on Jan. 1, 2005 that requires graduates of advanced-level programs to complete the CRT and RRT Examinations within three years of graduation. The original policy also required advanced-level graduates with an associate degree who had already earned the CRT credential to complete the RRT by December 31, 2007.

What happens if I don’t earn the RRT credential by my three-year deadline?
While the NBRC is dedicated to supporting respiratory therapists, there will be no extension of this deadline.

Individuals whose three-year time limit has expired must retake and pass the CRT Examination to reinstate their eligibility for the RRT Examination. Upon successful completion of the CRT Examination, candidates are then required to submit an application and fee for the RRT Examination. Any previous passing performance prior to the original three-year time limit is considered null and void.

Please note: CRT-to-Registry candidates are not affected by this admissions policy.



ContentContent


The Written Registry Examination for Advanced Respiratory Therapists consists of 115 multiple-choice questions (100 scored and 15 pretest items) covering the recall, application and analysis of clinical data, equipment and therapeutic procedures. Written Registry candidates will be given two hours to complete the examination. Note the link at the top right of this page for more information.

The Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE) currently consists of 10 separate patient management problems. The clinical setting and patient situation for each problem are designed to simulate reality and be relevant to the clinical practice of respiratory care. Candidates will be given four hours to complete the CSE. Find out more about pretesting on the CSE. Note the link at the top right of this page for more information.



RequirementsRRT Admission Requirements


1. Applicants shall be 18 years of age or older.

2. Applicants shall satisfy ONE of the following educational requirements:
  1. Be a CRT having earned a minimum of an associate degree* from a respiratory therapist educational program 1) supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), or 2) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and graduated on or before November 11, 2009. Graduates of accredited 100-level respiratory therapist education programs are not eligible for admission to the RRT Examination under this admission provision.

  2. Or
  3. Be a CRT having been enrolled in an accredited respiratory therapy program in an institution offering a baccalaureate degree offering a “special certificate of completion” issued by a sponsoring educational institution. The CoARC will authorize such institutions to issue the “special certificate of completion” at the advanced level following completion of the science, general academic and respiratory therapy coursework commensurate with the requirements for accreditation.

  4. Or
  5. Be a therapist Certified (CRT) by the NBRC who has four years* of full-time clinical experience in respiratory therapy under licensed medical supervision following Certification and prior to applying for the Registry Examination. In addition, the applicant shall have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics.

  6. Or
  7. Be a CRT having earned a minimum of an associate degree from an accredited entry-level respiratory therapist educational program with two years of full-time, clinical experience in respiratory care under licensed medical supervision following Certification and prior to applying for the examination.

  8. Or
  9. Be a CRT with a baccalaureate degree in an area other than respiratory care, including college credit level courses in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, mathematics, microbiology and physics. In addition, they shall have two years of full-time clinical experience** in respiratory care under licensed medical supervision following Certification and before applying for the examination. In addition, the applicant shall have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent.

Or

        f.   Be a CRT and hold the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT) RRT credential. 

 


*Individuals certified (CRT) prior to January 1, 1983, are required to complete only three years of clinical experience.

**Clinical experience in respiratory care under licensed medical supervision is interpreted as a minimum of 21 hours per week. Clinical experience must be completed before the candidate applies for this examination.



CRT-to-Registry Admission Policy


The NBRC continually receives inquiries regarding the “CRT-to-Registry” provision of the admission policies for the Registry Examination. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions relating to this alternative route to the RRT Examination. If you have questions which are not answered below, or if you need further clarification of this admission policy, please contact the NBRC Executive Office.

The CRT-to-Registry provision is as follows:

Be a CRT with four years* of full-time clinical in respiratory therapy under licensed medical supervision following Certification and prior to applying for the Registry Examination. In addition, the applicant shall have at least 62 semester hours of college credit from a college or university accredited by its regional association or its equivalent. The 62 semester hours of college credit must include the following courses: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics.

OR

Be a CRT with a baccalaureate degree in an area other than respiratory therapy, including college-level courses in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics. In addition, the applicant shall have two years of full-time clinical experience in respiratory therapy under licensed medical supervision following Certification and before applying for the examination.

OR

Be a CRT with two years of full-time clinical experience in respiratory therapy under licensed medical supervision following Certification and prior to applying for the Registry Examination and hold a minimum of an associate degree in respiratory therapy from an accredited entry-level respiratory therapy education program.

Clinical experience for both of the above categories is interpreted as a minimum of 21 hours per week, following Certification. Clinical experience must be completed before applying for the Registry Examination.

* Individuals certified (CRT) prior to January 1, 1983, are required to complete only three years of clinical experience.

Semester Hour Requirements for the Basic Science Courses

The Board of Trustees has not established any minimum hour requirement for the required basic science courses. A minimum of 62 semester hours of college credit must be completed; within the 62 hours, a minimum of one course must be completed in each of the following areas: anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics.

The reason semester hour requirements were not established for the basic science courses is because of the lack of uniformity in semester hours (or quarter hours) awarded for similar courses by various colleges or universities across the country. For example, some colleges combine anatomy and physiology, and some colleges offer the two courses separately. Semester hours are awarded by some colleges, while others award credit in quarter hours. Completion of the courses themselves is more important than the number of hours awarded for the required courses.

The NBRC suggests students complete more than the minimum one course in mathematics and the basic sciences, because the more knowledge accumulated in these areas, the better the chance for success on the Registry Examination. No laboratory is required for the basic science courses, if the college or university offers the courses for credit without a laboratory requirement. Many colleges will not offer chemistry, physics, microbiology, etc., without a laboratory portion of the course.

Transcript Requirements
  1. CRTs with four years of experience following Certification: Official transcripts must be submitted with a Registry application and fee at the time of application under this provision. A minimum of one course in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, mathematics, and physics must appear, by name, on the official transcripts. It must be apparent from the transcript that these courses have been completed. If any of the courses do not appear on the transcripts, by these names, the applicant must obtain a course description from the college catalogue for any course(s) in question and submit each course description(s) to the Admission Committee, in care of the NBRC, for review and final determination.
  2. CRTs with a baccalaureate degree (other than in respiratory therapy) and two years of clinical experience following Certification:
    1. Proof of completion of a baccalaureate degree must be submitted in the form of either official college transcripts or a notarized copy of your baccalaureate degree. Official transcripts verifying completion of the basic sciences and mathematics must also be submitted with a Registry application and fee.
    2. A minimum of one course in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, physics, and mathematics must appear, by name, on the official transcript. It must be apparent from the transcript that these courses have been completed. If any of the courses do not appear on the transcript by these names the applicant must obtain a course description from the college catalogue. For any course(s) in question, submit course description(s) to the Admission Committee, in care of the NBRC, for final determination.
    College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

    Courses challenged through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) will be accepted toward the 62 semester hours and basic science courses required, provided transferable college credit is awarded by an accredited college or university for each course completed by CLEP examination. The courses attempted through the CLEP program and the credit awarded must be recorded on an official transcript.

    Courses Completed at Foreign Colleges or Universities

    Courses taken at a foreign college or university do not satisfy the NBRC’s requirement of 62 semester hours of college credit. Foreign programs are not “accredited by their regional association or its equivalent." Persons who attended a foreign college should contact an accredited college to have transfer credit awarded for the training they have received. The NBRC will accept transfer credit for foreign courses if an accredited United States college or university is willing to award transfer credit. A letter sealed by the Registrar indicating the courses and hours for which transfer credit is awarded may be accepted in lieu of official college transcripts.

    Training Completed at Hospital-Based Nursing or other Health-Related Programs

    If you completed courses at a hospital-based nursing or other educational program not accredited by its regional association or its equivalent, the course work will not be accepted unless transfer credit for the courses is awarded from an accredited college or university. A letter sealed by the Registrar indicating the courses and hours for which transfer credit is awarded may be accepted.

    Course Descriptions for the Required Basic Science and Mathematics Courses

    The NBRC Admissions Committee has developed course outlines for the basic science and mathematics courses required under this provision. The course outlines recommend the content areas which should be covered in each of the basic sciences. These course descriptions are intended for those who have not yet completed some or all of the courses, and who require guidance in course selection. The course outlines can be obtained by writing the Executive Office.


    COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

    Basic Science Course Requirements

    CRT-to-Registry Admission Policy

    Registry Examination System


    The following course contents are recommended:

    Subject Description Basic Titles
    Anatomy Human anatomy with specific emphasis on respiratory physiology and pathophysiology. Courses offered for paramedical personnel are desirable.
    • Paramedical Anatomy
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology (combined courses)
    Physiology Human physiology with specific emphasis on respiratory physiology and pathophysiology. Courses offered for paramedical personnel are desirable.
    • Paramedical Physiology
    • Human Anatomy & Physiology (combined courses)
    • Pathophysiology
    Microbiology Principles of microbial life: Cell structure anatomy, metabolism, genetics, disease transmission, principles of sterilization and disinfection, function of antibiotics with respect to microbial life, bacteriology, and immunology. Courses offered for paramedical personnel are desirable.
    • Bacteriology
    • Paramedical Microbiology
    • General Microbiology
    • Principles of Microbiology
    Chemistry Principles of atomic theory: Mole concept, elements, chemical calculations, ions, solutions, and acid-base theory.
    • Inorganic Fundamentals of Chemistry
    • General Organic Biochemistry
    Mathematics Math courses above a remedial college level including: function, linear equations, word problems, inequalities, logarithms, and scientific and complex numbers. Algebra is desirable.
    • Algebra (intermediate college)
    • Trigonometry
    • Calculus
    • Statistics
    • College Business Mathematics
    • Geometry – only if Algebra is prerequisite
    • Computer Programming (Theoretical, not language) only if offered by Mathematics Department
    • Survey of Mathematics
    • Finite Mathematics
    • Elementary Functions
    Physics Basic principles including: forces, inertia levers, weight, fluids and gas behavior, kinetic theory of matter, and pressure temperature. Physics course for paramedical personnel is desirable.
    • Engineering Physics
    • Survey of Physics
    • General Physics
    • Medical Physics
    • Physical Science



    Practice Free Practice Examination


    The web-based NBRC self-evaluation examinations are designed to simulate taking an NBRC examination. The software is identical to that which is used for the administration of NBRC examinations. To use this software you will need an HTML 4.0 compatible browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator with "cookies enabled" and an HTML capable e-mail account for delivery of a feedback report. (Web tests are NOT compatible with limited functionality browsers such as WebTV.)

    Candidates for the Clinical Simulation Examination (CSE) should be aware that the purpose of this practice simulation is to familiarize them with the format of the examination and the functionality of the software. The difficulty of this practice simulation is not a reflection of the difficulty of the simulations on the actual examination. Candidates are encouraged to review the information in the CSE section of the candidate handbook for specific information about the content of the CSE.

    Clicking the hyperlink below will open the self-evaluation examination login page. Please read the following instructions:
    • Login using your e-mail address. Your results will be sent to this address.
    • Use the mouse to select your responses and to maneuver through the examination.
    • To obtain your results, you must take the entire examination in one sitting. Your results are not saved if you exit the examination.
    • When you have completed the examination, click Finish and Display. Your results are displayed onscreen and will be e-mailed to you if you provided your e-mail address on the login page. (For the CSE self-evaluation examination, you must display your results onscreen at the end of the examination for this e-mail to be generated.)
    • If you need help using the examination software, click on the Help button in the lower portion of the screen once you begin the examination.

    Free WRRT Practice Examination
    Free CSE Practice Examination



    RRT Examination FAQs


    Can I schedule my examination online?
    If you are already approved to take an NBRC examination and all fees are paid, you may schedule online from the NBRC website or from the testing agency's website, www.goAMP.com.
    What is the application process?
    You may apply online using the "Submit Application" link located on each examination page or submit a completed paper application and appropriate fee when the admission requirements are satisfied. If mailing your application, the NBRC recommends using certified mail or a certificate of mailing and keeping your receipt as proof that your application was sent to the NBRC. Ineligible applications submitted to the NBRC will be returned less a $50.00 processing fee.
    What happens if I am subject to the RRT Three-Year Eligibility Time Limit, and I don't earn my RRT credential before the deadline?
    Individuals who do not earn the RRT credential within their three-year time limit will be required to retake and pass the CRT Examination to regain eligibility for the RRT Examination. Additionally, respiratory care practitioners who retake the CRT Examination to regain eligibility for the RRT Examination are not at risk of losing their CRT credential.
    How long does it take to process my application?
    If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee to the NBRC, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks after receipt by the NBRC. A confirmation notice of your eligibility will be sent to you. If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, a letter explaining the information that is still needed will be sent to you.
    If I am applying for the RRT Examination under the CRT-to-Registry Provision, how do I know I have taken all the courses I need?
    The NBRC offers the service of conducting a CRT-to-Registry transcript evaluation, which is provided at no charge. To request a CRT-to-Registry evaluation, submit a copy of your college transcripts with a completed CRT-to Registry evaluation checklist to the NBRC Executive Office requesting that your eligibility for the RRT Examination be evaluated. Do not submit an application or fee since you are requesting only an evaluation of your eligibility. Please allow approximately three weeks for a response to your request.

    Please note that an evaluation request with no transcript information attached may result in significantly delayed response.
    When are NBRC examinations administered?
    NBRC examinations are administered by computer on a daily basis (Monday - Saturday) at over 170 Assessment Centers across the country. A complete list can be found here.
    When is the application deadline?
    There are no application deadlines and if you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time. Your application may be submitted online or can be downloaded and printed from this website.
    What information does the confirmation of eligibility notice contain?
    The confirmation notice contains a website address and toll-free telephone number for you to contact the NBRC to schedule an examination appointment. Appointments may be scheduled a minimum of three days prior to the desired testing date. Note: Examinations will not be offered on nationally recognized holidays.
    What if I do not receive a confirmation of eligibility in the mail?
    If you do not receive a confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice from the NBRC within four weeks after mailing your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.