NBRC Honors Jimmy A. Young’s Memory

An outstanding and dedicated leader, Jimmy Albert Young’s contributions to respiratory care left an unmistakable mark on the profession. After earning his RRT in 1965, he led a distinguished career in management and education when respiratory therapy was still relatively new. From humble beginnings, he laid the foundation for the world of respiratory therapy we live in today. Since 1978, the NBRC has sponsored the Jimmy A. Young Memorial Lecture at the AARC’s Summer Forum in honor of his commitment to credentialing and education. Additionally, the AARC’s highest annual award for respiratory care service, the Jimmy Albert Young Medal, is named in his honor.

Young was a respected figure in Boston where he was chief inhalation therapist at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital from 1960 to 1966. Following a brief period at Inhalation Therapy Services, Inc., he stepped in as the director of respiratory therapy at Northeastern University. In 1970, Mr. Young moved to Massachusetts General Hospital as the director of the respiratory therapy department until his death from sudden cardiac arrest in 1975.

In addition to his many published articles, he co-authored one of the early respiratory therapy texts, Principles and Practice of Inhalation Therapy in 1970. Dedicated to the profession, he was the 22nd president of the AARC and a trustee and member-at-large of the executive committee for the NBRC when he died. Young was respected as an author, an educator and a humanitarian who has had a foundational impact on the field of respiratory care.

At the heart of this year’s Jimmy A. Young Memorial Lecture was the promotion of career advancement in respiratory therapy through career ladders. This approach provides respiratory therapists with clear and structured pathways for professional growth and development. Career advancement options, like career ladders, pave the way for the recruitment and retention of respiratory therapists with benefits for both the employer and the respiratory therapist. A career ladder is a general term to describe the paths of advancement available to any respiratory therapist with the drive and ambition to succeed. Progression through career ladders can enhance one’s expertise and gain access to exciting opportunities in leadership, research and specialized areas of respiratory care.

Career ladders help to recognize that every respiratory therapist is unique, with individual aspirations and talents, and it provides tailored support to help each RT reach their full potential. They can include things like advanced degrees, specialty credentials and credential maintenance. Additionally, recognized achievements in leadership, educating others, community service, quality improvements, clinical practice analytics and research are important aspects to consider.

Tapping into the NBRC’s resources like the Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) and the achievement of specialty credentials helps to guide the career ladder. When someone is working towards moving up a career ladder, moving to the second or third step, out of four steps, typically includes achievement of a specialty NBRC credential. This works hand in hand with the CMP because assessment participation demonstrates the awareness of one’s strengths and opportunities, that the practitioner is taking responsibility for their own professional development and that the practitioner is proactively seeking learning opportunities.

Career ladders can show respiratory care personnel a pathway that can encourage better patient care, increased therapist engagement, persistence in the job and showing a roadmap for career progression. If you would like to read more on career ladders and see detailed examples read our in-depth article.

In essence, the Jimmy A. Young Memorial Lecture embodies the spirit of celebration that defines his life and work. It is a living tribute to his passion for education, his unwavering dedication to respiratory care, and his belief in the transformative power of career advancement. We honor Young’s memory and commit ourselves to a future where respiratory therapists continue to thrive. The NBRC is proud to have been a part of Young’s unique legacy. His passion and dedication to the field of respiratory care helped push the profession forward in many positive ways and will never be forgotten.

If you would like to view the presentation of this year’s Jimmy A. Young Memorial Lecture, click here.