Jul 24, 2024  
NIACC Catalog 2024-2025 
NIACC Catalog 2024-2025

Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist, A.A.S.

(Academic Affiliate with Hawkeye Community College)

The Respiratory Care program prepares you to recognize and treat respiratory disorders in patients of all ages. You will be trained to work with newborn babies having a rough start at life, children with asthma and trauma, and adults with heart and lung complications. You will gain the knowledge and skills to perform:

  • Patient assessments
  • Breathing treatments
  • Lung clearance techniques
  • Airway care
  • Breathing tube insertion
  • Blood draws
  • Ventilator management
  • Medical record documentation
  • Sleep studies
  • Electrocardiograms
  • Pulmonary function tests

The prerequisites and the first term of the program may be taken at NIACC and the completion of the program is taken at Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo, Iowa. The courses at Hawkeye include a hybrid classroom with laboratory/simulation onsite. The clinical may occur in a location of the student’s choice. Placement is dependent on a space available basis in the agency of choice. Additional program information is located at Respiratory Care - Hawkeye Community College.

Upon successful completion of the Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist curriculum, the student is awarded an Associate in Applied Science Degree by Hawkeye Community College.


The Respiratory Care program, 200457, Associate of Applied Science, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Programmatic Outcomes Data


Graduates are eligible to take the national examination for licensure, which is required to practice in any state. A social security number is required in order to take exams and apply for licensure.

You will earn certifications in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). 

Entrance Requirements

Students must make formal application for the program to Hawkeye Community College. A NIACC advisor will assist you with this process.

Admissions Process

  1. Apply for admission at NIACC and Hawkeye Community College.
  2. Request to have your official transcripts sent to the Admissions office.
  3. Meet basic skill competencies in reading, writing, and math.

In order to be considered for the Respiratory Care program, students must provide the Admissions office with the appropriate documentation showing completion of all requirements. Appropriate documentation consists of:

  • Updated assessment scores and/or
  • A transcript or degree audit showing successful completion of course requirements (i.e., developmental coursework).

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • Monitor their progress towards meeting admissions requirements,
  • Notify the Hawkeye Admissions office when requirements have been met, and
  • Provide the Admissions office evidence of meeting the requirements.

Basic Skill Competencies Requirements

Students must meet minimum score requirements and/or successfully complete the required college success courses in English, reading, and math with a C- grade or higher at Hawkeye Community College, NIACC, or comparable courses at another accredited college. For appropriate college success course placement, work with your program advisor. Success courses do not apply toward graduation or the AAS degree.  Applicants can take the ACT assessment or the ACCUPLACER assessment at NIACC or Hawkeye. Pre-registration is required.

Prerequisite Coursework

Students must complete all prerequisite coursework to fulfill program admission requirements. Refer to the Respiratory Care Courses for prerequisite coursework and grade and cumulative GPA requirements. The student must complete all pre-Respiratory courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.5. to enroll in RCP-100 Intro to Respiratory Care. 

Program Admittance

The Respiratory Care program begins each spring and admits 20 students. Applicants who meet all admission requirements will be admitted based on eligibility date (driven by when prerequisites are successfully completed). If the number of eligible students exceeds the number of available seats, students will be admitted in the following order:

  1. Date all prerequisite coursework was completed.
  2. Eligibility date - determined by either:
    • The date the student registered for their final prerequisite course at Hawkeye, or
    • The date the Admissions office received transcripts showing completion of prerequisite courses at another accredited institution.
  3. Grade Point Average - Determined by grades in prerequisite courses.

Admitted students must have a physical exam with immunization record on Hawkeye Community College form. Criminal background, sex offender, and adult/dependent abuse background checks are required as well. Students will also be required to complete CPR, First Aid, Mandatory Reporting, HIPAA, and OSHA Training prior to clinical coursework. 

Required Courses/Suggested Schedule

Total: 17 s.h.

Total: 14 s.h.

Second Term - Hawkeye (Summer)

  • RCP - 100 Intro to Respiratory Care (3 s.h.) *
  • RCP - 260 Airway Maintenance Procedures (4 s.h.) *

Total: 7 s.h.

Third Term - Hawkeye (Fall)

  • RCP - 315 Cardiopulmonary Therapeutics (4 s.h.) *
  • RCP - 350 Pulmonary Pathology (3 s.h.) *
  • RCP - 561 Intro to Ventilator Support (3 s.h.) *
  • RCP - 600 Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Therapy (3 s.h.) *
  • RCP - 680 Clinical Respiratory Care (4 s.h.) 

Total: 17 s.h.

Fourth Term - Hawkeye (Spring)

  • RCP - 410 Cardio/Pulmonary Diagnostics (3 s.h.) *
  • RCP - 565 Intensive Respiratory Care (3 s.h.) *
  • RCP - 875 Respiratory Care Applications (2 s.h.) *
  • RCP - 690 Clinical Intensive Care (8 s.h.) 

Total: 16 s.h.

Fifth Term - Hawkeye (Summer)

  • RCP - 900 Clinical Preceptor (4 s.h.) 
  • RCP - 910 Respiratory Care RRT Review (2 s.h.) **

Total: 6 s.h.

Total Program Hours: 77 s.h.

^Students taking this course at Hawkeye Community College would enroll in HSC-113 Medical Terminology (2 s.h.)

*Hawkeye Community College courses (hybrid format)

**Hawkeye Community College course (online format)

Additional program information is located at Respiratory Care - Hawkeye Community College.