SJR State Respiratory Care students Lacy Smith, Robert Kerr and Amber Walters work on “resuscitating” the program’s computerized manikin during their lab in 2019.

SJR State College celebrates 100% Respiratory Care graduation rate

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CLAY COUNTY – St. Johns River State College respiratory care graduates have excelled on their credentialing exams, achieving a 100% passing rate for the third consecutive year.

Graduates who took the National Board for Respiratory Care Therapist Multiple Choice and Clinical Simulation Exams surpassed the national average and earned the Certified Respiratory Therapist and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) credential. The national passing rates for 2019 are CRT 93% and 2019 RRT 80%.

“We are proud of our outstanding graduates, dedicated faculty and the clinical affiliates who work in collaboration to prepare the next generation of therapists to serve our local workforce," said Holly Coulliette, SJR State’s Dean of Allied Health.

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the crucial role of respiratory care workers has risen to the forefront, Coulliette added. “The first occupation most people think of when they hear “frontline health care workers” are usually, and understandably, nurses; yet, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Functioning as part of the healthcare team, it takes respiratory care workers to run ventilators and make life-saving decisions at the bedside. For these reasons, respiratory therapy has gained national and local attention.”

Flagler Hospital’s respiratory manager Dianne Loftus said the College’s respiratory program is a huge asset to the hospital and community. “I have seen the program grow since inception in 2007, and the caliber of students rotating through have been top notch. Many of our current employees are graduates from the College,” Loftus said. “When we look at hiring new employees, the students from SJR State’s program are always considered first.”

SJR State’s Associate in Science degree program prepares students for careers as respiratory care professionals. Upon successful completion of the 20-month curriculum, students are eligible to apply to take the national certification exams administered by the National Board of Respiratory Care.

The program is offered on the St. Augustine campus. Prerequisites and requirements apply. The A.S. Degree Respiratory Care program, CoARC program number 200539, located at the St. Augustine Campus of St. Johns River State College, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (www.coarc.com).

Applications for Spring 2021 enrollment are being accepted through Sept. 15.

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