Bring Back Online RT-RN Bridge Programs

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Excelsior College "Regionally Accredited Online College" for many years has been the main resource for many to achieve their career goals. Excelsior College has taken pride in allowing and supporting thousands of students in taking what we already know and providing us with the material we need to learn to obtain the degree we are striving for. Excelsior states, "This is where you can create a personal completion plan that includes online courses, credit by exam options, and credit for training and experience."

"Excelsior's associate programs in nursing are specifically designed for LPNs, LVNs, paramedics, and certain classifications of active duty military, National Guard, or Reserves within specific military occupations with equivalent scope of practice to LPN/LVN or paramedic." What is missing from the paragraph above? Respiratory Therapy! Just recently Excelsior College took away the chance for an RT to use this option to obtain our career goals. With Excelsior Collage eliminating this program this also eliminated our chance to go through Test Prep, Rue Education, and many more. Excelsior College took away the RT- RN bridge program but kept the paramedic- RN program. Don't get me wrong I love our paramedics but look at the degree requirements for both and the scope of practice.  

What does it take to be a Respiratory Therapist?

"Respiratory therapists complete either 2-year associate’s degree or 4-year bachelor’s degree programs.

"Upon graduation, you can choose to sit for a national exam to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). After passing this exam, you can decide to sit for two additional tests to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).

Most respiratory therapist schools offer an accredited four-year or higher degree. However, there are associate’s degrees programs that can get you started. All states, except Alaska and Hawaii, require respiratory therapists to obtain a license in order to practice. Generally, to qualify for state licenses, you must graduate from an accredited respiratory therapist school and pass the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) exam and then can move on to the (RRT) exam."

What does a Respiratory Therapist do? The more appropriate question would be what cant we do. "Respiratory Therapists consult with physicians specializing in pulmonary and cardiac disorders, emergency trauma care, adult and newborn intensive care, and pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation." As a respiratory therapist we have the same goal as all other health care members, save the patient. We have very broad scope of practice. Here is a small portion of what we have specialized in. As a Respiratory Therapist you will evaluate and help treat patients with cardiopulmonary diseases, consult with your Physician to develop different treatment options, perform diagnostic studies, treat your patients in a variety of ways, monitor the progress of the treatments, and educate your patients on the different therapies. We have gone through vigorous training on Intubations, CPAP/ BIPAP, arterial blood samples, Arterial lines, IV access, ventilator management, aerosol medication deliveries, and in many cases medication deliveries through your ETT.  Trust me there is so much more. We are a vital part of Code Blue situations and we are a reliable member of the Rapid Response Team. We specialize in the most vital organs and functions of your body. We are experts when it comes to your heart and lungs and we don't stop there. We are the ones at the head of the bed intubating those who stop breathing, or compressing those hearts that stop beating. Maybe you have had the privilege of getting your blood drawn from us, or we have taken your vital signs, either way its likely you had a knowledgeable Respiratory Therapist that helped you along the way. There are so many duties I can't even begin to cover about being a Respiratory Therapist. We are at all ends of the hospital working on your prognosis.

Can you imagine what a dual education in Respiratory Therapy and Nursing can bring to the healthcare community. The knowledge we already have from our education, our many years working in healthcare, and the willingness to learn more for the treatment of our patients. We are hear to serve our population, to treat, to show compassion, and best of all we are here to save a life.

We are petitioning for Excelsior College to bring back RT-RN bridge programs. Give us the same chance to excel in the healthcare field, give us the opportunity to broaden our knowledge, and obtain our Nursing Degree. We have the same prerequisites already complete that a nurse has, and we have take many of the same classes. When deciding on a career choice we just decided to specialize in cardiopulmonary. Many of us want to expand and have the option to become a Nurse.

Excelsior States, "working nurses and health care professionals come to Excelsior because they want to earn an accredited degree through flexible online courses, online conferences, and/or credit by exam options."

Now give Respiratory Therapist the same chance to earn our degree in the way you stated above.

With Excelsior College being one of the only "Regionally Accredited" online bridge programs we want to join your team. We need the programs that you offer. You have had the program available to us before why not now? We have the knowledge needed to pass these courses. We have already shown our dedication to the health care field by passing 1-3 board examinations. This should show we have the ability to apply what we know with what you can teach us and pass our NCLEX.  

References:

Associate in Nursing Degree Programs. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2017, from http://www.excelsior.edu/programs/nursing/nursing-associate-degrees

 



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