Top Degree Programs for a Respiratory Therapist - Phoenix, AZ

School and Ranking Information

There are seven schools in Phoenix, Arizona, that offer respiratory therapy degree programs. All of the schools profiled below prepare students for required state licensure, which includes passing a written exam. Graduates of these programs can also pursue certification through the National Board for Respiratory Care. Based on such considerations as program offerings and student services, these schools are among the best in the area:

  • Winner: Pima Medical Institute - Mesa is the winner, with the highest number of degrees awarded as well as the highest graduation rate among the schools profiled.
  • Runner-Up #1: Carrington College - Phoenix Westside is the 1st runner-up, based on its high program completion rate.
  • Runner-Up #2: Gateway Community College is the only not-for-profit school in the area with a degree in this field. Students here benefited from the lowest tuition costs among the three schools in this article.

School Comparison Chart

Category Pima Medical Institute - Mesa Carrington College - Phoenix Westside Gateway Community College
Location Mesa, AZ (13.1 miles from Phoenix) Phoenix, AZ Phoenix, AZ
School Type 2-year, private for-profit 2-year, private for-profit 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $31,050* $39,408* roughly $10,058-$12,696 (total program cost)**
Respiratory Therapy Programs Offered Associate's degree Associate's degree Associate's degree
Respiratory Therapy Degrees Awarded in 2011-2012 59* 32* 38*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2009-10 Entering Class 69%* 56%* 18%*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Gateway Community College.

Winner: Pima Medical Institute - Mesa

  • Associate's degree program can be completed in 21 months
  • Graduates of the program can enroll in Pima's online Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy program

Pima Medical Institute - Mesa offers an associate's degree program in respiratory therapy. Enrolled students learn about advanced respiratory care techniques, cardiopulmonary disease, patient assessment and therapeutics. Students also complete a practicum experience during the last 3 semesters. Graduates of this program may find employment in hospitals, home health agencies and continuing care facilities.

Runner-Up #1: Carrington College - Phoenix Westside

  • 84% of students at the Mesa, Phoenix Westside and Las Vegas campuses complete the respiratory care program on time
  • Carrington College's respiratory care program meets the standards of the National Board for Respiratory Care

Carrington College offers an associate's degree in respiratory care at its Phoenix Westside campus. This program takes roughly 96 weeks to complete and covers topics like hyperinflation therapy, airway management and bronchial hygiene. Two clinical practicums are required, and the curriculum includes a certification exam prep course. Students must pass an exam at the end of each semester to remain enrolled in the program.

Runner-Up #2: Gateway Community College

  • In 2012, the school had a 15:1 student-faculty ratio, per the NCES
  • Respiratory care program holds accreditation from the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
  • The program is offered in part- and full-time formats

The respiratory care associate's program at Gateway Community College takes four semesters to complete, and only 25 students are admitted each fall and spring semester. To gain admission, students need to have a high school diploma or GED; they must also complete ASSET testing and prerequisite courses. The program covers pharmacology, respiratory physiology and microbiology. Multiple clinical sessions are part of the curriculum as well.

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