Earning the NBRC Badge of Distinction

As a student in respiratory care, you will soon serve a vitally important role – one that saves and improves lives. After all your hard work and study, you deserve recognition for your specialty skills and commitment to high quality patient care. Credentials from the National Board for Respiratory Care provide that recognition, connecting you with colleagues across the country and demonstrating your dedication to excellence.

Becoming a NBRC credentialed practitioner offers many benefits, including:

  • Professional excellence: Your advanced level of competence is immediately recognizable to employers, colleagues, patients and others when you wear the NBRC badge of distinction as a credentialed respiratory care practitioner.
  • Personal achievement: Becoming credentialed in your field boosts confidence and competence, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and improved quality and safety for your patients.
  • Greater control over your career and compensation with specialty credentialing: Respiratory care practitioners with NBRC specialty credentials frequently receive higher wages and premium employment opportunities.

We invite you to explore the following topics for detailed guidance on your path to becoming a NBRC credentialed practitioner.

Competency Testing

Achieving NBRC credentials is a challenge – a true demonstration of the skills and strengths required for excellence. As hundreds of thousands of NBRC credentialed practitioners will attest (including the nearly 30,000 candidates we test each year), success instills a sense of pride and opens new possibilities for advancing into leadership positions through specialty credentialing.

As a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (I.C.E.) and the only accredited credentialing body for respiratory care, we support the importance of your role by establishing comprehensive competency testing for you and your colleagues in the respiratory care profession.

The NBRC credentials

Find an Assessment Center

To ensure the highest professional and ethical standards for credentialing while also making examinations easily accessible for eligible candidates, we partner with PSI Services as our testing agency.

With access to PSI’s nationwide network of secure testing locations, you can be sure there is an assessment center near you. Examinations are easy to schedule, and because long-distance travel is usually not required, costs are minimal. We want you focused on demonstrating strengths, not traveling for testing, and our long-standing partnership with PSI makes that possible.

PSI provides secure, reliable, and highly credible testing services, including development, administration, scoring and analysis. All NBRC examinations are administered by computer every Monday through Saturday (except on nationally recognized holidays).

Submitting Your Examination Application

When your admission requirements are satisfied, you can apply for your NBRC credentialing examination online or by mail (print-friendly applications are available in the NBRC Candidate Handbook).

How to apply for NBRC examinations

How to use the candidate/practitioner dashboard

Candidate Handbook

To support you in achieving your goals as a credentialed respiratory care practitioner, the NBRC created a Candidate Handbook to serve as your guide in applying and preparing for the credentialing examinations. It contains the NBRC’s admissions and examination policies, applications for testing, and other important information about the content of the respective examinations. The Candidate Handbook is designed to help increase your confidence and ability to perform well on the examinations.

Credential Maintenance Program

Your NBRC credential is valid for five years and can be maintained by participation in our Credential Maintenance Program. We offer three options for maintaining your credentials, one of which involves quarterly assessments and Continuing Education, while the other two involve examination. Enhancing your knowledge beyond your initial years of study is a key component in your professional development and career advancement, and it shows your continued commitment to excellence. Watch the video below to learn more:

Demonstrating Excellence through Specialization

To continuously advance your career opportunities within the profession, we offer specialty credentials in the following areas of respiratory care:

  • Adult critical care
  • Neonatal/pediatric respiratory care
  • Sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention
  • Pulmonary function technology
  • Asthma education

Specialty credentials can help you maintain control over your career, signaling to employers and colleagues that your skills are highly specialized and your knowledge and expertise is current in multiple areas of respiratory care. Becoming a respiratory care practitioner with specialty credentials can help you attain better jobs with higher salaries at higher quality institutions.

Benefits of specialty credentials


By accessing any NBRC examination, including practice, self-assessment, and actual examinations, you agree not to reproduce, distribute, disclose, offer for sale, or sell any portion of these copyrighted National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. materials in any format.  Failure to comply with these terms may result in disciplinary action by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. including loss of your credential, losing your ability to retake an examination, and/or legal action related to copyright infringement.

The NBRC exam security