Respiratory Care

Student practices with a breathing device

Respiratory therapists are valuable members of the interdisciplinary healthcare teams at hospitals and medical centers. They evaluate, treat and manage patients of all ages with respiratory illnesses, like bronchitis, and other cardiopulmonary disorders, such as rheumatic heart disease.

St. Kate's respiratory care major will prepare you to provide excellent therapeutic and diagnostic procedures — and to assume a leadership position in the profession. Your advanced-level respiratory therapy knowledge and patient care skills will be comprehensive, holistic and ethical.

You'll also gain the ability and confidence to promote cardiopulmonary wellness and disease prevention to patients and families; to participate in life-support activities and clinical decision-making; and to influence the quality of healthcare services in diverse practice settings.

Nationally accredited program

St. Kate's is a longtime leader in educating respiratory therapists. We've been training students for more than 45 years — our program is one of the first in the United States. Upon graduation, you are eligible for the Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) certification exam through the National Board for Respiratory Care and to become licensed as a MN-RT through the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.

Proven success rate

Since the beginning, 100 percent of our graduates have passed the required Certified Respiratory Therapist exam and 100 percent are employed, largely within the Twin Cities metro area. The rate of St. Kate's alumnae pursuing the advanced RRT credential is also well above the national average.

View Programmatic Outcomes Data from the most current Annual Report of Current Status by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).

Well-rounded professionals

Our curriculum blends liberal arts courses, such as philosophy and fine arts, with rigorous respiratory care topics like mechanical aids to lung expansion, cardiopulmonary anatomy and emergency cardiovascular care. We also include ethics in the mix. All St. Kate's classes have an ethics component, because we want you to solve ethical dilemmas and stay true to your own convictions.

Strong clinical foundation

Our students complete 900 hours of clinical experience in critical care, newborn and pediatric intensive care, home care, pulmonary diagnostics and rehabilitation. Internship sites include Hennepin County Medical Center and Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Expert faculty

Our faculty are highly qualified and specialize in many areas, including critical care, biomedical ethics, pulmonary diagnostics and administration. Most are active in medical and community settings and professional organizations like the American Association for Respiratory Care.