National Board for Respiratory Care Exam (NBRC)

What is the National Board for Respiratory Care Exam?

The National Board for Respiratory Care Exam is an exam that certified respiratory care students take to become entry level health care professionals. There are three areas of specialization that candidates can test for, Respiratory Therapist, Specialization of the Respiratory Therapist, and Pulmonary Function Technologist. Candidates must have obtained a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapy program supported by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) to be eligible for NBRC examinations. Once a candidate passes their specified exam and has obtained all other qualifications, they can move forward as a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) or Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). The CRT and RRT designations are the standard credentials in respiratory care.

What are the different National Board for Respiratory Exams?

Respiratory Therapist:

  • NBRC-TMC - The Therapist Multiple Choice Examination. The TMC consists of 160 multiple-choice questions (140 scored items and 20 pretest items) distributed among three major content areas: Patient Data Evaluation and Recommendations, Troubleshooting and Quality Control of Equipment and Infection Control, and Initiation and Modification of Interventions. Candidates are given three hours to complete the TMC Examination.
  • NBRC-CSE - The Clinical Simulation Examination. This exam is conducted as a mock clinical. Candidates will be asked to perform intensive therapy tasks of an RTT. Candidates that pass both the NBRC-TMC and the NBRC-CSE will earn the RRT credential. CSE lasts 4 hours and consists of 22 separate patient management problems (20 scored and 2 pretest) designed to simulate the everyday clinical tasks of respiratory care.

Specialization of the Respiratory Therapist

  • NBRC-SDS - The Sleep Disorders Specialty Examination. This exam is designed specifically for a respiratory therapist with an NBRC respiratory care credential and experience in sleep medicine.
  • NBRC-ACCS - The Adult Critical Care Specialty Examination. This exam is designed specifically for a respiratory therapist with the RRT credential and experience in the field of adult critical care.
  • NBRC-NPS - The Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialty Examination. This exam is designed specifically for a respiratory therapist with an NBRC respiratory care credential and experience in the field of neonatal/pediatric care.

Pulmonary Function Technologist

  • NBRC-PFT - The Pulmonary Function Technologist Examination. This exam is designed to measure fundamental knowledge and skills required of pulmonary function technologists.

If you’re interested in a respiratory therapy career, learn more about Goodwin’s Respiratory Care program!

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