Become a Respiratory Therapist

To become a Respiratory Therapist, students are educated in community colleges or universities. Colleges offer a three-year diploma program and several universities offer four-year degree program. In Nova Scotia Dalhousie University School of Health Sciences offers a four-year Bachelor of Health Science in Respiratory Therapy with a diploma option after three years.

Respiratory Therapy education programs include both clinical and didactic learning. The clinical component typically involves extensive hands-on training in various hospital settings.

To become a Respiratory Therapists requires the following steps:

  • Graduating from an education program accredited by Accreditation Canada.
  • Successful completion of the national certification exam administered by the Canadian Board for Respiratory Care (CBRC).
  • Obtaining a licence to practice from the Nova Scotia College of Respiratory Therapists which regulates the practice of Respiratory Therapy.

Respiratory Therapy is a self regulated health profession in nine provinces and therefore requires obtaining a licence in; Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.

Internationally educated respiratory therapists must successfully complete the national certification exam. To be eligible to write the CBRC exam applicants must be referred by a provincial regulatory body after completing a competency assessment. The Nova Scotia College of Respiratory Therapists requires assessment of international credentials as well as competence assessment of internationally educated respiratory therapists. The tools for these assessments can be found under Registration on this website.

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