Program Overview

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Bachelor's Quick Entry
  • RRT to BHS Completion Program

Respiratory care, also known as respiratory therapy, is a profession that specializes in providing care to patients who have illnesses that affect heart and lung function. Respiratory therapists are uniquely qualified to assist in diagnosing, treating, and managing acute and chronic cardiopulmonary disorders.

Baptist University's Respiratory Therapy program is 1 of only 3 bachelor's degree programs in Tennessee and 1 of around 70 colleges and universities in the U.S.

$62,816 Median Salary
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for Respiratory Therapists

Bachelor's Degree

A Respiratory Care Bachelor's Degree at Baptist University provides a strong foundation in general studies and comprehensive professional courses that emphasize the science of cardiopulmonary pathophysiology which prepares students to become registered respiratory therapist (RRT).

The curriculum is designed to prepare students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to perform the responsibilities of an entry-level respiratory therapist. The curriculum consists of general education and health studies courses integrated with professional coursework in allied health and respiratory care, with an emphasis on cardiopulmonary science.


Courses and learning experiences that are unique to the Baptist University program include:

  • Applied Anatomy and Physiology using Clinical Simulation
  • Applied Pathophysiology using Clinical Simulation
  • Ongoing Physician Interaction Learning Activities with Pulmonologists
  • Aspects of Leadership for Health Sciences Professionals
  • Clinical Internship in Respiratory Care
  • Community and Public Health for the Respiratory Care Practitioner
  • Expanded Clinical Practices in Respiratory Care
  • Interprofessional Education Learning Activities with other Allied Health and Nursing

Bachelor's Quick Entry

Advanced Progression provides students who have been selected into the Respiratory Care program a pathway to begin taking professional-level courses earlier than usual.

Learn More About
Advanced Progression

RRT to BHS Completion Program

The RRT to Bachelor of Health Sciences program is designed for licensed registered respiratory therapists who want to expand their career options and improve their earning potential.

Learn More About

Respiratory Therapy students in classroom lab
  • Faith-Based Atmosphere
  • Small Class Sizes
  • Enrollment 3 Times per year
    Can enroll during fall, spring or
    summer trimester
  • Classroom, Laboratory, and Clinical Experiences
  • Relationship with Baptist Memorial Health Care

“Graduating from the Respiratory Care program at Baptist University continues to benefit me in my professional career. The program’s diverse clinical experiences led me to find an area of practice that I loved and prepared me for that role as a respiratory therapist caring for neonatal and pediatric patients. Through the professional courses in the curriculum, I discovered my love for teaching and learning which has encouraged me to pursue graduate school.”

Samantha Richards, Respiratory Care Alumni
Credentialing Exam Pass Rate
3-year Total
Job Placement
3-year Total
Retention Rate
3-year Total
practicing respiratory therapy

Job Responsibilities for a Respiratory Therapist

  • Uniquely qualified
    to assist in diagnosing, treating, and managing acute and chronic cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Treat patients
    in every age group
  • Assist physicians
    in diagnostic interventions such as cardiac catheterizations, lung biopsies, and sleep studies
  • Participate
    in specialized teams for emergent care such as rapid response teams, EMS transport, high-risk labor and delivery team

Program Accreditation

The Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). CoARC holds recognition from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The CoARC number for our program is 200448. CoARC, 264 Precision Blvd. Telford, TN 37690; 817-283-2835

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.”  The Baptist Health Sciences University program number is 200448


Students participate in required courses to develop professional behaviors related to leadership, teaching, and community and public health. Learning activities in these courses allow students to engage with health care leaders as
they learn about managing and leading health care teams, studying and conducting continuous quality improvement,
and developing and facilitating patient/family education. Having this knowledge and skill sets the Baptist University
graduate apart from others.

Program Mission

The Respiratory Care program of Baptist Health Sciences University will “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”. As bachelors of health sciences program, the curriculum “prepares leaders for the field of respiratory care by including curricular content that includes objectives related to the acquisition of skills in one or more of the following: management, education, research, advanced clinical practice (which may include an area of clinical specialization)”. (CoARC, 3.01, 2018)

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the respiratory care program, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate competence in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists.
  • Demonstrate competence in the interpretation of cardiopulmonary diagnostic testing, basic respiratory care techniques, pulmonary function, radiographic and laboratory studies.
  • Provide basic and advanced respiratory care therapeutics, in a variety of health care settings, with an ability to safely treat and evaluate patients’ response.
  • Appropriately implement a plan for patient and staff education techniques with consideration to culturally competent behaviors and professional domains.
  • Effectively collaborate to provide direction and input into decisions regarding the provision of respiratory care services and resources.

Clinical Experiences

Students participate in a variety of clinical experiences designed to prepare them for the diverse practices of the profession. Clinical practicum hours begin during a student’s junior year and continue through the senior year. During students’ graduating term, senior students have the opportunity to select and design a professional internship that aligns with their individual goals for future practice as a respiratory therapist.

Clinical Experiences

  • Adult general care
  • Adult critical care
  • Pediatric general care
  • Pediatric critical care
  • Perinatal critical care
  • Diagnostics, pulmonary function testing
  • Sleep disorders evaluation
  • Home care
  • Management

Clinical Partnerships

  • Baptist Memorial Health Care
  • Baptist Memphis
  • Baptist DeSoto
  • Baptist Women’s and Childrens
  • Baptist Collierville
  • Baptist Restorative Care
  • Baptist Home Medical Equipment
  • Memphis Lung Physicians Surgery/Intubation Clinical Site
  • LeBonheur Children’s Hospital
  • St Jude Children’s Hospital
  • Regional One Health (formerly The MED)
  • Baptist Medical Group/Memphis Lung Physicians (DeSoto and Memphis)

Technical Standards

The following technical standards outline reasonable expectations of a student enrolled in the Respiratory Care program for the performance of common clinical functions.*


Ability to communicate with a wide variety of people and the ability to be easily understood. Reading, writing, recording, and documenting patient information required.

Analytical Skills/Critical Thinking

Analytical skills sufficient to process information, to transfer knowledge from one situation to another, and to prioritize tasks. Critical thinking ability sufficient for safe, clinical judgment.


Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess patient needs, to detect and respond to alarms, emergency signals, and cries for help.


Visual ability sufficient for observation and assessment necessary for the care of patients and operation of equipment.


Tactile ability sufficient for patient assessment and operation of equipment.


Physical ability, flexibility, strength, and stamina sufficient to provide safe and effective care.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor ability sufficient to provide safe and effective care.


Emotional and mental health sufficient to establish therapeutic boundaries, to perform multiple tasks concurrently, to handle strong emotions, and to work effectively in a fast-paced environment.


*Students who have accessibility questions or who need accommodations should contact the Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Room 101, Science Building, at 901-572-2570 or by sending an email to