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Labouré Launches Respiratory Care Program

Labouré College of Healthcare (LCH) is excited to launch its latest healthcare career program, the Associate of Science in Respiratory Care. The first class began their respiratory care clinical courses in Fall 2023.  


The respiratory care degree is a hybrid program designed to help students become part of a healthcare team, treating and caring for patients experiencing a variety of chronic or acute cardiopulmonary diseases and disorders. Graduates will be qualified to take the exams to determine their eligibility to qualify for both Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).   

“When developing new programs, Labouré looks to the needs of the healthcare industry and develops programs to meet those needs. Respiratory therapists are needed now more than ever,” said Lily S. Hsu, EdD, President of LCH. “Not only is there increased demand due to common chronic conditions like asthma, COPD, and cystic fibrosis, but there is also increasing demand for care therapists.” 

The demand for acute care has been on the rise since 2020 as hospitals are seeing more patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome – a serious condition that can happen after an illness like COVID-19. Similar to the nursing shortage, the respiratory care field is experiencing a shortage of qualified therapists as workers retire or change jobs, or have chosen to leave the healthcare field due to burnout as a result of the pandemic.  

LCH’s program aims to address the respiratory care shortage by allowing students nationwide to enroll in online coursework and complete hands-on clinical hours in person at a partner facility in their areas. Students are required to attend a 5-day boot camp on the Labouré campus in each of their four clinical semesters for additional hands-on training.

"Our goal is to provide more qualified Respiratory Therapists (RTs) into the workforce to meet the higher demand needed for respiratory care specialization,” said Sharon Southwick, RRT, Respiratory Care Program Director at Labouré. “RTs make an invaluable impact in managing life support or ventilation systems, administering aerosol-based medications, managing artificial airways, assessing lung capacity, and many other key functions to help keep patients breathing."


With flexible scheduling, the program can be completed in about two years. To learn more or to apply, visit laboure.edu/breathe.  

The Associate of Science in Respiratory Care program (CoARC 200654) at Labouré College of Healthcare in Milton, Massachusetts holds Provisional Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care. Learn more about accreditation at www.coarc.com  

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