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Respiratory Care, AS

The simple act of breathing is not something most people think about - until they can't breathe normally. As a Respiratory Therapist, you will use a combination of scientific standards and practices to discover, manage and prevent dysfunctions of the cardiopulmonary system.

Respiratory Therapists work with medical direction at sites such as wellness centers, medical offices, asthma clinics, sleep disorder centers and in hospitals. The patients you care for will rely on you to help diagnose lung and breathing disorders, determine therapies and implement and manage ongoing care and treatment programs.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary in May 2023 for a Respiratory Therapist in the U.S. was $77,960 per year ($37.48 per hour), with a much faster than average projected job growth of 13 percent between 2022 and 2032.


Program Perks
  • 24-month, CoARC-accredited Associate of Science degree program
  • 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio for hands-on clinical experience
  • Study human physiology and cardiopulmonary system
  • Learn critical thinking and communication skills, patient assessment skills, disease management protocols & development of care plans through classroom instruction and clinical-based practice
  • Upon successful completion of program, students sit for the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam, leading to advanced practitioner exam to earn Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential
  • CoARC Respiratory Care Program Outcomes

Accreditation & Licensure

Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. The Associate of Science in Respiratory Care, CoARC Program ID 200368, holds Continuing Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) for Entry into Respiratory Care Professional Practice,

Graduates must pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam, which leads to the advanced practitioner exam to earn the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential.

Admissions Information


Applicants are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • High school record and/or college academic record
  • Success in previous math and science courses
  • Fulfillment of program technical standards
  • Shadowing a professional in a Respiratory Care department is encouraged


To be considered for admission, the following items must be submitted to the Admissions Office:


Prospective students may apply anytime and are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and students will be notified of their acceptance by postal mail, email or phone.

Starting Term - Fall 2024

Standard Deadline - Deadlines for Fall 2024 have been extended. Please contact admissions for more details.

Costs & Financial Aid

NMC is committed to helping you find every avenue to finance your education. View the Tuition by Program & Degree page for a comprehensive list of all fees.

Cost Per Credit Hour


NMC Scholarships

NMC Scholarships consist of funds generously provided by the Methodist Hospital Foundation to assist our students.

Student Grants or Loans

Visit our Financial Aid page to learn more about what's available and how to apply.

Employee Education Benefits

Employees of Methodist Health System can find details on the MHS Intranet.

External Scholarships

Visit our Scholarships page to learn more.

Calculate Your Net Price

Nebraska Methodist College Net Price Calculator.


The program requires a minimum of 83 credit hours. All students are required to complete specific coursework. This list should only be used as a curriculum guide. Course listings and required curriculum are subject to change. 

Included within this list is the Educated Citizen Core Curriculum. All students seeking to complete an undergraduate degree at Nebraska Methodist College must complete this set of Arts and Sciences requirements.

First year - First Semester

COM 255/262
Access to healthcare is greatly affected by one's command of language. Students in this course engage in the exploration of language and culture then apply these concepts to the healthcare environment through service-learning and community engagement. Students develop practical communication skills that enable effective cross-cultural work with health professionals and clients with backgrounds different from their own. This course lasts over the entire semester.

HUM 150
There is a strong relationship between thinking clearly and expressing thoughts in formal writing and public speaking. Using the skills of logic and critical thinking, students will examine ideas, analyze and evaluate the arguments of others, and advocate for their own ideas. Students will be introduced to the NMC Portfolio process. HUM 150 is to be taken in the first semester, unless designated in the second semester by the program of study.

SCI 116
This course will introduce students to terminology used in the healthcare professions. The origins of medical terms will be studied with an emphasis placed on understanding the suffixes, prefixes, combining forms, and root words used in healthcare terminology to be able to properly communicate issues related to their profession using appropriate terminology.

SSC 235
This course explores the ways in which human beings make and remake the meaning of their social world through the production of culture. It employs sociological methods to explore the construction of the dominant, white subculture in the United States. The same methodologies are employed to examine the construction of subcultures in the United States, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation.

First year - Second Semester

BIO 225
This course will provide foundational concepts for further study and understanding of the human body as it relates to healthcare related disciplines. Terminology that is specific to the medical field is introduced. Basic principles of chemistry, physics, embryology, developmental biology, and histology are reviewed/introduced. Students are introduced to the eleven body systems. This course focuses on articulations and the integumentary, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. Laboratory experience will include a multi-modal approach and will include cadaveric study. 

CHE 100
This course is an overview of general, organic, and biological chemistry with an emphasis on applications to health sciences. This course will introduce students to the basic knowledge of the properties of the matter, its reactions, and classifications. The course will discuss the main organic compounds and their properties as well as include some basic biochemistry principles. The course is accompanied by laboratory exercises.

COM 101
This course provides instruction and practice in writing, with emphasis on the recursive processes of generating, drafting, revising and editing. Students develop skills in producing and evaluating written communications in private and public contexts.

MAT 120
This course provides an advanced study of algebraic methods and prepares students for further studies in mathematics and physics. Content of the course starts with a review of basic concepts of algebra, and then it intensifies the study of the following topics: equations, inequalities, polynomials, exponents, logarithms, and the concept of functions and their graphs.

PSY 101/215
PSY 101     INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY This course offers students an engaging introduction to the essential topics in the field of psychology. Throughout this scientific study of human behavior and the mind, students will survey and gain insight into the history of the field of psychology, as well as explore current theories and issues in areas such as wellness, emotion, cognition, motivation, perception, consciousness, social and personality, and memory. PSY 215     LIFESPAN DEVELOPMENT The Lifespan perspective involves several basic contentions: development is life-long, multidimensional, multi-directional, plastic, historically embedded, multi-disciplinary and contextual. Three imperative developmental issues are explored: maturation and experience, continuity and discontinuity and stability and change. Students study how humans develop and how they become who they are.

First year - Third Semester

BIO 226
This course will continue to apply foundational concepts of the human body as they relate to healthcare related disciplines. The structure and function of the special senses, along with the endocrine, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems are explored in this course. Laboratory experience will include a multi-modal approach and will include cadaveric study.

Prerequisite: BIO 225 
Prerequisite or Corequisite: CHE 101

BIO 280
This course is a study of the principles and application of microorganisms and their relationship to various disease processes. It also includes some laboratory experiences where students will have a glimpse of the microbial world and acquire basic knowledge of microbiology techniques and principles.

Prerequisites: CHE 100

HUM ---
Students may choose a World of Ideas elective course. The course must be categorized within one of the following three sections: The World of Ideas: Human Connection The World of Ideas: Historical Perspectives The World of Ideas: The Arts See All Humanities Course Descriptions for specific course information.

PHY 100
This course discusses the major fundamental themes in classical physics of mechanics, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, light, and modern physics. Includes some laboratory exercises.

Second year - First Semester

RCP 200
This course combines classroom, laboratory and clinical experience as an introduction to therapeutic modalities and hospital protocol. Basic cardiopulmonary assessment and therapeutic modalities are practiced in a clinical setting. Students are evaluated on affective skills such as communication, ethical behavior and professionalism.

Prerequisites: All year-one courses. Corequisite: RCP 210

RCP 210
A comprehensive study of pulmonary and cardiovascular physiology as it applies to respiratory care. Emphasis is on integrating therapeutic and clinical application of pulmonary function, acid-base balance, neurogenesis and mechanics of ventilation, O2 and CO2 transport, ventilation versus perfusion, and hemodynamic relationships as they relate to acute and chronic diseases.

Prerequisites: All year-one courses Corequisite: RCP 200

SCI 206
This survey course begins with a major focus on cellular function and pathology, including inflammation, infection, immune response, metabolism, and fluid disequilibria. These concepts serve as the foundation for the course as alterations in various bodily functions are examined. Alterations in body fluid and electrolyte homeostasis, fluid acid/base balance, gastrointestinal, urinary, respiratory, cardiac, endocrine, and neurological functions are emphasized. The student will be introduced to pharmacological principles and utilize critical thinking to explore the relationship between those concepts and commonly used classes of medications.

Prerequisites: SCI 200 or BIO 226

Second year - Second Semester

RCP 220
This course is a continuation of RCP 200. Students will complete clinical rotations in therapeutic modalities, surgery, ECG and pediatrics. Students are introduced to the adult intensive care unit and will continue to be evaluated in affective skills. Students will participate in weekly clinical discussions and case study presentations.

Prerequisites: RCP 200, RCP 210 Corequisites: RCP 240, RCP 260

RCP 240/240L
This course is an introduction to basic respiratory care equipment. Theories and procedures will be presented along with a structured laboratory experience to prepare students for those skills required in proper delivery of various basic respiratory therapy modalities, to include aerosol/humidity therapy, oxygen therapy, medical gas therapy, bronchial hygiene, lung expansion therapy and infection control. The student will learn how these modalities are used in the treatment of various cardiopulmonary diseases.

Prerequisites: RCP 200, RCP 210 Corequisites: RCP 220, RCP 260

RCP 260
An introduction to the assessment and management of acute and chronic patients who need airway care. Emphasis is upon indications, complications and maintenance of artificial airways and mechanical ventilators. Structured laboratory time is included to apply the theoretical principles of mechanical ventilation.

Prerequisites: RCP 200, RCP 210 Corequisites: RCP 220, RCP 240

RCP 350
This course is a presentation of the methods of care and support for the patient with pulmonary disability. Emphasis is on the teaching of home care therapy, chronic care units, unique equipment needs, review of home care companies and services provided, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, special problems encountered and the various therapeutic techniques applied to the chronic pulmonary patient.

Prerequisites: RCP 200, RCP 210 Corequisites: RCP 220, RCP 240

Second year - Third Semester

RCP 300
This course is a continuation of RCP 220. Students will complete clinical rotations in diagnostic procedures/monitoring, advanced assessment skills, pulmonary function, adult intensive care and pediatric/neonatal intensive care. Students will participate in weekly clinical discussions and case study presentations and will continue to be evaluated for affective skills.

Prerequisites: RCP 220, RCP 240, RCP 260, SCI 206, RCP 350 Corequisites: RCP 310, RCP 330, RCP 340, RCP 360

RCP 310/310L
This course is a continuation of RCP 260. Emphasis is upon the relationship of specific pathophysiologies and the indications, management and discontinuation of mechanical ventilation. Specific ventilators and their clinical applications are presented and required skills are developed in structured laboratory time.

Prerequisites: RCP 220, RCP 240, SCI 206, RCP 260, RCP 350 Corequisites: RCP 300, RCP 330, RCP 340, RCP 360

RCP 330/330L
An introduction to the more crucial diagnostic procedures required for assessing and monitoring the pulmonary patient. Emphasis is upon arterial blood gas analysis, pulmonary function studies and hemodynamic monitoring, ECG interpretation and nutritional assessment.

Prerequisites: SCI 206, RCP 220, RCP 240, RCP 260, RCP 350 Corequisites: RCP 300, RCP 310, RCP 340, RCP 360

RCP 340
This course is a comprehensive review of fetal development, physiology and pathophysiology of the newborn, premature infant and the pediatric patient. Applications of various respiratory care modalities are correlated to these varied pathologies.

Prerequisites: SCI 206, RCP 220, RCP 240, RCP 260, RCP 350 Corequisites: RCP 300, RCP 310, RCP 330, RCP 360

RCP 360
Current issues and trends in respiratory care will be investigated and discussed in this course. In addition, students will explore issues in cultural diversity, political advocacy and managed care as it relates to healthcare.

Prerequisites: SCI 206, RCP 220, RCP 240, RCP 260, RCP 350 Corequisites: RCP 300, RCP 310, RCP 330, RCP 340

Meet the Faculty

Our respiratory care faculty are highly experienced and credentialed in their own fields, giving you constant real-world insight you can use.

While any instructor can recite from a textbook, ours go a step further and draw from vast personal experience. Instructors here care as deeply about their students as they do the subject matter and it shows.

Meet the Faculty

Additional information

Respiratory Care Transfer Information

The Respiratory Care program begins in the Summer. Students with transfer credit may enroll for the August or January start if advised by the program director.  Applications will be reviewed upon receipt, and candidates are accepted on a rolling basis.

University of Nebraska—Kearney Articulation Agreement

We're pleased to have a formal agreement with the University of Nebraska at Kearney that allows students the opportunity to complete an associate degree from Nebraska Methodist College and a bachelor's degree from UNK.

Learn How the UNK-NMC Partnership Could Work for You (PDF)

Chadron State College Articulation Agreement

We're pleased to have a formal agreement with Chadron State College that allows students the opportunity to complete an associate degree from Nebraska Methodist College and a bachelor's degree from CSC.

Learn How the CSC-NMC Partnership Could Work for You (PDF)

Wayne State College Articulation Agreement

We're pleased to have a formal agreement with Wayne State College that allows students the opportunity to receive an associate degree from Nebraska Methodist College and bachelor’s degree from WSC.

Learn How the WSC-NMC Partnership Could Work for You (PDF)

Technical Standards

Purpose: To determine the physical and emotional abilities of a student in the Department in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991. Students are required to perform respective duties of the profession based on the necessary physical and emotional abilities as well as academic achievement. The College will make reasonable accommodation for all students.

Policy: The student will possess the following skills and abilities:

  • Behavioral and Social Skills: Possess qualities of compassion, integrity, empathy and interpersonal skills. Possess emotional capacity and mental health necessary to effectively complete professional responsibilities. Ability to serve as part of a team and lead as appropriate.
  • Communication: Read, write, speak, hear, and observe patients to effectively communicate the patient's condition and interact with the patient and other healthcare individuals.
  • Integrative and Quantitative Skills: Problem solve using computation, synthesis, and analysis. Visualize and analyze three-dimensional relationships.
  • Motor and Functional Ability: Must be able to bend and lift 50 pounds with proper body mechanics, perform constant body movements, either standing, walking, stooping, or lifting. Perform therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. Deliver patient care and associated services up to 12 hours per shift.
  • Observation: Use instruments requiring sight and hearing, e.g., pulmonary function equipment and mechanical ventilators. Make observations and evaluations. Observe results of treatment and communicate patient's response to care.
  • Working Conditions: Include potential exposure to blood and body fluids, and patients with communicable disease. Students must be willing to perform infection control procedures and keep current with vaccinations/screenings.

CoARC Respiratory Care Program Outcomes

To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

Graduates of the AS Respiratory Care Program will:

  1. Exhibit cognitive (knowledge) competency at the level of an entry-level respiratory therapist.
  2. Demonstrate clinical competence that includes the ability to perform age- appropriate patient care by incorporating assessment skills, interprofessional communication, and decision-making abilities.
  3. Model ethical and culturally sensitive professional attitudes and behaviors to promote excellent patient care.
  4. Attain the NMC Educated Citizen skills to become Reflective Individuals, Effective Communicators and Change Agents.

AS Respiratory Care Programmatic Student Outcomes Data

The Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care maintains the latest information on student outcomes from all accredited programs. 

CoARC accredits respiratory therapy education programs in the United States. To achieve this end, it utilizes an ‘outcomes based’ process. Programmatic outcomes are performance indicators that reflect the extent to which the educational goals of the program are achieved and by which program effectiveness is documented.