How to Become a Respiratory Therapist in Virginia – VA
Becoming a Respiratory Therapist in Virginia
Virginia statute defines the Practice of Respiratory Care in section 54.1-2954. The state itself does not conduct an exam, but relies on the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC), as well as further requirements from the state Board of Medicine. The requirements are as follows.
- Earn an Associates or Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Respiratory Care.
- Pass an exam from the National Board for Respiratory Care.
- Receive national credentials from the NBRC as a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or the higher level Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). Both tests include a multiple-choice portion, but the RRT exam also includes a written part called the Clinical Simulation Examination.
- Prove competency in the field. Virginia’s form requires an explanation of any malpractice suits you may have been involved in, as well as other information about your medical practice history.
- Fill out and submit the appropriate form (including the fee, a notarization and a thumbprint!).
- In order to pursue Virginia respiratory therapist careers, graduates must receive a license from the state. Note that there are no temporary licenses in Virginia, so you cannot begin practicing in the state until you have completely fulfilled all the requirements.
- Should you let your license lapse, you must practice 160 hours of professional RT to become reinstated.
- If you decide to practice in another state, Virginia will cooperate in verifying your credentials.
Professional Organization for Respiratory Therapists in Virginia
The Virginia Society for Respiratory Care (VSRC): An affiliate of both the American Lung Association and the American Association for Respiratory Care (described below), the VSRC’s vision is to ". . . continue to be a leader in the art and science of Respiratory Care throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond." Founded in 1974 (as the Virginia Society for Respiratory Therapy), the 1,200 member VSRC divides the state into five regional districts. The group sponsors trade shows and educational symposiums, health and career fairs, screenings and promotes asthma awareness. It also offers the Leslee Harris Smith $1,500 scholarship to students taking RT classes in Virginia. In a state with a long history of tobacco cultivation, the VSRC also advises the state legislature (through a Political Action Committee as well as through the national AARC) on tobacco issues as well as other relevant health care and medical practice and licensing issues.
The Virginia Society for Respiratory Care
977 Seminole Trail PMB 327
Charlottesville, Va 22901-2824
American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC): As a national organization, obtaining membership here would expose you to a wider network of professionals. Not only would this let you share information with far-flung practitioners, but should you ever want to practice RT outside of Virginia, you could more easily find help earning a new state license and find location continuing education credits. AARC publishes the science journal Respiratory Care,
American Association for Respiratory Care
9425 N. MacArthur Blvd, Suite 100
Irving, TX 75063-4706
Respiratory Nursing Society (RNS): A national organization headquartered in Virginia, this group focuses on the nurses who assist RTs in delivering respiratory care to patients.
Respiratory Nursing Society
309 E. Lee Avenue
Vinton, VA 24179