Breathe easier with a respiratory therapist degree
The right respiratory therapist degree can help you dive into a dynamic and exciting medical career. Respiratory therapists play an important role in helping patients with breathing difficulties and work with other medical professionals to provide people with cardiopulmonary disorders the best care possible. Our program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
RT Program Objectives
By earning this specialized degree through the Healthcare School at Stevens-Henager College you could gain the technical proficiencies and academic training required to become a respiratory therapist. Respiratory therapists are tasked with important responsibilities, such as providing and managing therapeutic and life support services, administration of gasses and aerosol therapy, and cardiopulmonary assessment and monitoring.
After completing your Associate’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy and earning necessary certifications or licenses,2 you may find entry-level opportunities in sleep labs, hospitals, long-term care centers, or physicians’ offices.
You’ll also be eligible to take the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentialing exam.
For important gainful employment program information about student debt, earnings, and completion rates click here.
RT Campus Locations
Stevens-Henager has convenient locations located throughout Utah and Idaho. Whatever campus you call home, you will enjoy easy parking, friendly local faculty and staff, and modern, comfortable buildings with smaller, personalized classes.
This program is offered at the following locations:
POTENTIAL CAREERS IN
Your Associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy could help you prepare for entry-level RT careers,³ such as:
- Respiratory Therapist
- Sleep center technician
- Polysomnographic Technologist (RPSGT)
- Pulmonary Function Technician
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Some of the many skills of a respiratory therapist you’ll learn in our program include:4
- Airway management
- Anatomy and physiology
- Cardiopulmonary pharmacology
- Cardiopulmonary pathophysiology
- Pulmonary function testing
- Lung hyperinflation therapy
- Bronchial hygiene therapy
- Mechanical ventilation
- Neonatal and pediatric care
- Clinical practice
- Michael Jensen
I am passionate about teaching and helping students succeed. Years ago I took a test intended to help me understand what a desirable career would be for me. According to the test, teaching was the career of choice for me. However, the path to teaching was not direct. I completed a bachelor of science degree in electronic engineering through the University of Utah and worked as an industrial engineer for 14 years for UPS, and an additional 10 years in different management positions.
Through my positions at UPS, I learned about management and business and taught many workshops. In 2008, I began teaching part-time at several colleges and learned that I liked teaching and realized that teaching is really what I wanted to do. I have definitely found a job that I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to coming to work. To take students that hate math and get them to a point where they enjoy it or even love it, is great. I love to go to the graduation ceremony and watch those you have taught receive their diplomas. Teaching continues to be fun and rewarding because students come up and thank you for making a difference in their lives. Not only do I teach at Stevens-Henager College, I earned my MBA here. I tell my students that I understand what it is like to go to a fast-paced school and that you can make it if I can.
- Stephanie Slater
Stephanie Slater is the Dean of Nursing for Stevens-Henager College. She has been a nurse for 41 years. The first 15 years of her career were spent in the clinical arena. She worked in Maternal Newborn, Pediatrics, Newborn ICU, Medical /Surgical, Neuro ICU, Home Health, Hospice, IV Therapy, and as an Air Med Flight Nurse. The next 26 years of her career was a mixture of management and teaching. She obtained an associate’s degree in nursing and bachelor’s degree in nursing from Weber State University. She then went on to finish her master’s degree in Nursing Education and Administration at the University of Phoenix and is presently completing her dissertation for a doctorate in education.
Stephanie is a Utah native and has lived and practiced in the state of Washington and Oklahoma. She enjoys spending time with her six children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
- Tracie McBride
Prior to working in the graphic design field, I spent my earlier career in horticulture and natural medicine. Being an artist at heart all my life, going into graphic and web design was a natural progression.
So, in 1999 I left Boise to attend The Art Institute of Portland in Portland, Oregon. I earned my bachelor’s degree in multimedia and web design. Upon graduation, I stayed and worked in Portland for a few more years. Then, in 2004 it was time to return to Boise where I feel most at home.
I worked full time for a commercial real estate company in Meridian as a graphic designer until they closed their doors in 2008. I then found the teaching position at Stevens-Henager College. I enjoy teaching the Portfolio Preparation class, helping students prepare their design projects in a print and web version that showcases their best work.
- Brand Adams
Brand graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in 3D animation and game design. He has seven years of experience in the graphics
Field, including 3D art for video games, logo and web design, motion graphics, and animation.
Married six years to his wife Allison, he has two children, Silas and Archer.
- Brent Evans
Mr. Evans, an alumnus of Roy High School, in Roy, Utah, received his bachelor of arts degree in design from Brigham Young University after studying at the Orem (Provo) campus of BYU, as well as Weber State University and the University of Arkansas. He has had a long and distinguished career as a designer, illustrator, art director, and creative director at many national advertising firms and in-house ad departments, including Browning Advertising, DSW Partners, McCann Worldwide, Saatchi and Saatchi, DraftFCB, and Cabela’s.
Brent’s work has appeared above the logos of some of the best-known brands and lovemarks in the world, including Browning, Winchester, Intel, Cisco, Iomega, Infocus, several Procter and Gambel brands, Kellogg’s, Coca Cola, Xerox and Cabela’s. He was the recipient of six consecutive Catalog Age Gold Awards, along with numerous other international, national, and regional recognitions for excellence in design, direction, and illustration.
In addition to being an instructor at Stevens-Henager College, Mr. Evans has also taught at the University of Arkansas and Northern Arkansas Community College, as well as being a guest lecturer at Weber State University.
He is an accomplished fine-artist and specializes in watercolors and oils of western themes and wildlife.
Brent has also been a member of the AIGA and the Utah Advertising Federation for many years.
He is a resident of Morgan, UT.
- Andrew Klc
I’m Andrew Klc, and, yes, that is how you spell my last name! You pronounce it “Kelch”. I grew up in the wilds of Murray, Utah, where every summer we would hunt wild rhinos and vampires (not zombies, because zombies weren’t cool yet) at the local Nickelcade.
I received my BFA from the University of Utah, my MeD from Argosy University, and finally my MFA from Utah State University. A lot of people go to school for nine years and became doctors, but I decided I actually wanted to enjoy my job, so I studied art. I began as a photographer/videographer but soon branched out into layout, clothing, web, and now I want to learn 3D modeling. I never stop learning, because new stuff keeps coming out all the time. I’ve run my own freelance business, but also worked at a myriad of other fun jobs, jobs that let me travel, work from home, keep weird hours, and even jobs that allowed my wife to go back to school and let me be a stay-at-home dad (trust me, the work thing is easier).
I have four awesome kids, and they all drive me insane, but in the good way. In my spare time, I like to run triathlons and half marathons, snowboard, watch college football, and mess around with my kids and wife. I still love film photography, and, no, I am not a hipster!
- Janet Rose
Janet Rose is the associate dean for the School of Technology. She holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Stevens-Henager College and has been affiliated with the college since 2007.
Ms. Rose started working on computers while volunteering in a writing lab at a local school, which required her to troubleshoot computer and network issues. Realizing that she had an aptitude, she completed CISCO training and became a CISCO certified instructor. Recognizing the need for additional education, she earned a computer science degree.
Ms. Rose has been a long-term volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and has received the Influential Women in Scouting Award. Besides scouting and keeping bees in her backyard, Ms. Rose also manages to oversee 11 of the smartest grandchildren in the world.
- Tim Miller
Tim Miller is the associate dean for the School of Graphic Arts. He holds a master of fine arts degree with an emphasis in media design from Full Sail University and a bachelor of science degree in vocational education studies from Southern Illinois University. He has been affiliated with the college since 2007.
A member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Mr. Miller has been a member of the prestigious Marine Special Forces, a Navy dive master, amphibious operations course instructor, and a Marine marksmanship instructor. While in the Marine Corps, Mr. Miller developed a strong background in curricula design as part of his instructional responsibilities. He has owned his own graphic design company since 2001.
- Brian Zimmerman
Brian Zimmerman, M.S., M.B.A. (AKA Mr. Z), fell in love with Adobe Photoshop® years ago and has expanded that love to include all graphic arts. With decades of teaching experience in subjects as diverse as CPR, ballroom dance, computer technology, and handgun shooting, Mr. Z. has a large and varied background to draw from.
Mr. Z is passionate about the graphic arts and even more dedicated to the success of his students.
- Trace Butler
Trace Butler holds a BFA from Brigham Young University in graphic design and has a wide variety of work experience in Chicago and Utah. His titles have included creative director for advertising agencies, art director at magazine publishing companies, and vice president over creative design for a training and development company.
This experience has given Trace extensive knowledge of all aspects of the field, from ad and package design to web design and programming, as well as interactive multimedia. His proficiency extends to all Adobe Suite® programs, Joomla®, and HTML programming.
- Jeremiah Pineda
I was born and raised in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States to attend Brigham Young University – Hawaii in 1986. I graduated in December 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and information systems.
While in my senior year in college, I worked for a dentist who specialized in TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). My job was to create a multimedia application to train new dentists in the TMJ field. In February 1991, I moved to Utah and started working for Word Perfect Inc. as a technical support representative. Within three months of beginning my job as a technical support representative, I was recruited by the Management Information Systems division and developed a software program to track software bugs. This began my career as a program analyst/software engineer, which I have done for the past 25 years. I am currently a software engineer for Ancestry.com. My passions are developing software and teaching students about programming. Seeing students succeed gives me great satisfaction.
- Glenn Pfautsch
Glenn Pfautsch is the associate dean for the Schools of Technology and Graphic Arts and also the IT manager for the Stevens-Henager campus in Boise and satellite campus in Nampa. His work experience includes being a service manager for CompUSA and a national service manager for micron electronics, all of which he did before becoming a college instructor. Mr. Pfautsch’ s teaching experience includes 11 years as an instructor at Boise State University where he received the Outstanding Faculty Award for the Selland College in 2008. He also taught one year at the College of Western Idaho.
Glenn holds certifications as a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), and Cisco Certified Academy Instructor (CCAI), as well as the A+ and NET+ certifications.
Mr. Pfautsch earned his associate’s degree in financial management in 1989 from the Community College of the Air Force and his bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University in 1990, majoring in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. He received his master’s degree in education with an emphasis in professional-technical and technology education from the University of Idaho in 2006.
Mr. Pfautsch is certified by the Idaho State Board of Education as an Advanced Occupational Specialist in Networking Technologies and as a Professional Technical Administrator.
- Steven Falter
Steve graduated from Idaho State University in 1977, earning a BS in mathematics and a BBA in marketing. He spent three years working for Burroughs Corporation, which was the second largest computer manufacturer in the U.S. at the time. In 1980 he began his career as an application developer working for a custom software company in Pocatello, Idaho. While there, he developed accounting software in COBOL on various platforms.
In 1999, Steve moved to Boise and went to work in the office of the Idaho State Controller as an IT Manager. He spent this time developing web-based applications for the Division of Statewide Accounting. He managed a team of developers working in the .NET platform. He also served as the DBA for the SQL server databases that his applications utilize.
In 2012 he completed his MBA in information technology at Western Governors University and began teaching at Stevens-Henager College in April of that year. His vast experience in the IT field allows him to bring a unique perspective into the classroom and to expand on the course content with real-world details.
- Ryan Biddulph
Ryan Biddulph is the associate dean for the School of Business. He holds a master of public administration degree and a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Brigham Young University. He has been affiliated with the college since 2010.
Mr. Biddulph has been actively involved in real estate for several years and co-owns a real estate and property management firm. As a result of growing up in a military family, he attended school in California, Utah, and Virginia. Additionally, he lived in Lithuania for two years and speaks fluent Lithuanian. Standing at two meters and five centimeters tall, Mr. Biddulph is an avid basketball enthusiast. With three sons (and counting), he is actively working to populate his own basketball team.
- Stephanie Spevak
I’ve been a general education instructor for Stevens-Henager College for four years. I truly cherish education and hold multiple degrees.I graduated from University of Phoenix with a master’s degree in business administration in 2009. I graduated from the University of Idaho and Washington State University co-op program with a master’s in public administration and human resources with an area of emphasis is criminal justice in 1995. I also hold a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice with an area of emphasis in sociology, which I earned in 1993. I am currently getting ready to resume the pursuit of my Ed D. in educational leadership with an area of emphasis in curriculum design. I am also working on a K–8 certification so I can work with little people.
In my spare time, I volunteer for Junior Achievement of Idaho, working with elementary students. I also instruct for Boise State University in the Sociology and Foundational Studies Department, and I hope to become published within the next two years.
- Gaylon Hughes
Gaylon is an Idaho native who graduated from Boise State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. He also received an MBA from University of Phoenix and currently owns a RV repair business in Boise. He has worked in several different industries throughout his life including the RVs, manufactured housing, retail jewelry, accounting, and even in the restaurant industry. He has two children, one in their senior year in high school and one in college. Although he has lived in several areas of the world (including Seattle, Northern California, and Germany) he always seems to return home to Idaho.
- Nancy Dahl
In 2003, Dr. Nancy Dahl retired from active duty in the U.S. Navy, and, within a few years, she found her way to a career in higher education. While in the Navy, Dr. Dahl earned multiple degrees: Associate Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Sociology, certification in Secondary Education, Bachelor of Arts in History, and Master of Science in Administration.
Nancy began pursuing her doctorate in 2001, but the events of September 11 led her to withdraw from the program. Interim employment led to more education: a certificate in Legal Studies.
After that, Dr. Dahl’s path presented an opportunity to teach general education courses, and she found her passion. Nancy returned to her doctorate program, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management was conferred on June 30, 2012, after she completed her dissertation The Role of Management Education Faculty in the Development of the Knowledge Worker: A Phenomenological Study.
Dr. Dahl has served as program director and associate dean. In April 2014, she began teaching at Stevens-Henager College where she serves as a business instructor. Her philosophy regarding education is that when one desires to be successful in life—however success is defined—education in one form or another is essential. One must commit!
- Robert Roberts
Robert Roberts is the associate dean for the School of Healthcare. He holds a doctor of chiropractic degree from Logan College of Chiropractic and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Logan University. He has been affiliated with the college since 2007. As an avid outdoorsman, Dr. Roberts enjoys hiking, camping, boating, cruising the local canyons on his motorcycle, and shooting sports. Dr. Roberts is actively involved in using his Chiropractic training to assist local sports programs. In addition to his academic background, Dr. Roberts has experience in the health foods industry.
- Karen Kelso
Karen Kelso has been with Stevens-Henager College, Idaho Falls since April 2012. She is a 2004 graduate of Idaho State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance. Since 1993, she has worked in various areas of the medical field, including billing, coding, and administration. Currently, she teaches medical front office classes, including insurance billing, coding, patient records, and communication for the medical specialties program. She also teaches classes in the business program, such as management, finance, and basic computer skills. She enjoys getting to know students and assisting them in completing their program, so they can get a better job faster. Karen’s philosophy is to get a student curious, so they will want to learn more.
- Janae Smith
Janae Smith started at Stevens-Henager College, Idaho Falls in 2012. She is a registered nurse with over 20 years’ experience. She teaches the clinical classes required for medical specialties and healthcare administration students. These classes include labs where the student can obtain hands-on learning, such as taking vital signs, making a patient’s bed, and drawing blood.
Janae is also the externship coordinator for the medical specialties program. In this role, Mrs. Smith helps medical specialties students find a clinical site in the community, so they can apply the skills they learned in their program in an actual working office with real patients. She believes in helping students improve themselves, whether that is with writing skills, gaining confidence, striving for high standards, or obtaining their dreams of being able to care for others.
- William Shupe
William Shupe has been on the medical specialties faculty at Stevens-Henager College, Idaho Falls for over three years. Mr. Shupe has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 13 years and brings with him real-world experience from many areas of pharmacy, including clinical, mail order, and retail.
Within these areas, he has worked directly with pharmaceutical companies managing patient assistance programs and compounding specialty medications for patients whose needs go beyond the standard manufactured products. Mr. Shupe remains an integral part of making and maintaining a top compounding store in the region.
With a love for teaching and helping others to succeed, Mr. Shupe brings his real-world experience and love for the medical field to Stevens-Henager College. His objective is to illustrate and demonstrate the rewarding career of medicine and patient care.
- Deana England
Deana England has been with Stevens-Henager College, Idaho Falls, for over two years as both an adjunct and full-time instructor in the medical specialties program, as well as accounting and business degree programs. Deanna’s previous experience includes over 25 years in the financial industry as vice president and manager of Commercial Lending and eight years in the healthcare field as CMA/clinic manager. She has a BA in accounting, an AS in medical specialties, and an MHA.
Deanna is currently pursuing an Ed.D. She holds certifications in medical assisting, phlebotomy, and as an ECG Technician. Sharing previous experience and knowledge with students to inspire them to achieve their career goals is a passion and purpose for her position with the college.
- Max Eskelson
I have been involved in adult critical care since 1974. I have worked with varied patient populations, including those with heart disease requiring surgery, patients traumatically injured, patients with profound lung failure (ARDS), and patients requiring long-term care (LTACH). I did aeromedical transport with Life Flight for 25 years.
In 2005, Dr. Murphy Nmezi and I started the respiratory therapy program at the Stevens-Henager College campus in Murray, UT. I am currently the director of clinical education for the respiratory therapy program at the Murray (Salt Lake City)/Murray campus. I am still providing bedside care to patients at a local LTACH.
I am currently a member of several professional organizations of which I am actively engaged. I am a member of the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC), the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), and the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). I sit on the steering committee for Respiratory Care of the ACCP.
My degrees and work experience provide me an opportunity to realize my true passion, which is helping students succeed in their education and career. Nothing makes me happier than a student who grasps a hard concept or experiences a success in the classroom or the clinic. I am completely dedicated to the success of my students and want them to be successful in every aspect of their lives.
- Jan Arrasmith
Jan Arrasmith was born and raised in Idaho. She graduated from Boise State University in 1998 where she earned an associate of science degree in respiratory therapy and a bachelor of science degree in respiratory therapy. Jan spent the next 11 years working for St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center as a registered respiratory therapist. In 2008, Jan took an additional position working per diem for Complex Care Hospital of Idaho.
In 2009, Jan left St. Luke’s and joined the Stevens-Henager College team to pursue a career in education as the director of clinical education for respiratory therapy. She assisted in starting the respiratory therapy program at the Boise campus. She continues to work as a staff respiratory therapist per diem at Vibra Hospital of Boise and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Nampa. Jan returned to school in 2013 and received a master of business administration in 2015 from Stevens Henager College.
In her spare time, Jan enjoys traveling with her family, watching her children participate in athletics, coaching volleyball, water and snow skiing, and shopping.
- Rebecca Winter
Rebecca holds a diploma in nursing from Bronson Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and became a registered nurse in 1971. She raised a family while working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, which she obtained in 1992 from Boise State University.
Afterward, Rebecca worked in a variety of nursing fields, including psychiatric inpatient care, assisted living, home health, and hospice. Rebecca also achieved the high honor of being one of 55 people in the world to achieve the Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving, Master Weaver, from the Handweavers Guild of America. She accomplished this in 2004. She also teaches weaving workshops to weaving guilds across the United States, and has published articles in several national weaving journals.
Rebecca has been an instructor at Stevens-Henager College since January 2013. She teaches nursing assistant courses, as well as other medical courses, and administers the nursing assistant program for the Boise and Nampa satellite campuses.
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What Do Respiratory Therapists Do (and How to Become One)?
Also known as respiratory care practitioners, respiratory therapists help patients with breathing problems, such as bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema. RTs typically work full-time, often on their feet. As an RT, you are an integral part of the team. You’ll work closely with registered nurses (RNs), doctors, surgeons, and medical assistants to ensure proper care for each patient.
To become a respiratory therapist, you will need an associate’s degree in RT from an accredited institution. Many RTs have a bachelor’s degree. Depending on where you live, you will most likely need a professional license to practice. The right degree program will equip you with the required clinical experience to practice, usually through a clinical externship, as well as prepare you for your licensure exam.2
Stevens-Henager College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is a recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy degree program at the Murray/Salt Lake campus, and the Associate of Applied Science degree program at the Boise campus is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
“There’s a lot of great things that I like about Stevens-Henager. One is the student-to-teacher ratio. At a lot of big colleges, you’re one of hundreds of students in one class, and you’ve got one teacher. Here at Stevens-Henager, you can get one-on-one time with the teacher. It’s a really great setup. The classes are generally fairly small, sometimes from six to ten people in a class. Very easy to work with.”
- Jason Stott
Graphic Arts (AAS), Web Design & Development (BS)
“The ‘one-on-one’ atmosphere and a smaller classroom setting more closely fit my learning style. I wanted to graduate ready for a career in a specific field as soon as possible. I wanted to be more marketable than the person next to me. Stevens-Henager was the answer for me.”
- Tiffany Donoho
School of Healthcare
“Pretty much every instructor I had had hands-on experience. Either they had worked in the computer science field previously or they currently work there.”
- Roger Hall
Computer Technology & Networking (AAS)
“After receiving my degree in 2003, I was better qualified for higher-level positions including supervisory positions. I was able to network with other students at school to help me find a good job. I went from making $12.50 an hour before college, to over $22.00 an hour after college.”
- Adam Wisden
Computer Science with a Networking & Information Systems Security emphasis (BS)
“I knew where I wanted to go, and I wanted to get there as fast as I could, so I really enjoyed the accelerated learning program. The atmosphere was fantastic, and the comradery and support system between the students and the instructors were very helpful.”
- Greg Egbert
Business Administration with a Human Resources emphasis (BS)
“The main thing I liked was the flexibility and the career-focused learning. I have a very busy life, so it was nice being able to get my schoolwork done on my own schedule. Instead of having to take lots of generals, I was able to learn about the things I was interested in, such as business, finance, and marketing.”
- Chris Bitton
Business Management & Accounting (AAS)
“I liked Stevens-Henager because it was flexible. It worked with my schedule, being a working mother. The instructors were all very knowledgeable and helpful. It was a great atmosphere between the students and the instructors.”
- Heather Norman
Business Management & Accounting with an Event Planning & Management emphasis (AAS)
“My grandma attended Stevens-Henager in the 1950s, so I guess you could say the college is something of a family legacy for me. I liked how every class was directly applicable to my career path. The instructors were flexible, understanding, and willing to work with me if any issues came up.”
- Krista Stockseth
Business Administration with a Human Resources emphasis (BS)