Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care

Dear fellow NYSSRC members,

There has been a lot of discussion as of late in regards to academic growth within our profession. Specifically, many RTs have expressed great concern and anxiety over the proposed legislation (S8484) which currently sits in the NYS Assembly which, if passed, would require Bachelors as the entry level into our profession for licensure in NYS.

In Response to questions about the proposed S8484 legislation:

  • This is just a bill. It has no impact on programs until and if it becomes a law. It has a long way to go through the legislative process before it becomes law.
  • We introduced the bill to begin the conversation on the issue. We are in the initial stages of the issue. In the off session, our lobbyist will meet with SED to get their feedback on the legislation.
  • The legislation has a five year delay once it becomes law. For instance, if the bill passes next year programs won’t have to be at the bachelor’s level until five years from 2019 or 2024. If it passes in 2020 then programs will have to be at the bachelor’s level in 2025.
  • Current licensed therapists already practicing at the time this becomes law would be grandfathered in and not require a bachelor’s degree to continue practicing.

Why BSRT entry is good for the profession in NY State:

  • Advancements in cardiopulmonary medicine and technology require more education.
  • AAS in SUNY NYS is limited to 64 credits.
  • This gives the SUNY system impetus to move forward with creating more BSRT programs.
  • Medicare will not consider us a profession until we have a minimum of bachelors entry level.
  • Projects an opportunity to be reimbursed for work in outpatient arena.
  • Provides pathway for APRT mid-level status within the healthcare system.

The respiratory therapy profession is looking to transition to a bachelor’s degree nationally. Both CoARC which accredits RC programs and the AARC have issued position statements to that effect. This legislation is in keeping with that goal. Regardless of how everyone feels about the necessity or importance of this, it feels inevitable. As a Board we support this and feel that it is imperative to have a plan in place for an educational pathway that can get us there. Therefore, we have called for an academic summit of RT educators and invited all of the programs to attend. That event is scheduled for a month from today, and BMCC has graciously agreed to host.

I hope that this email serves to assure you that the NYSSRC Board of Directors is actively engaged in these activities and that we are working in your best interest and that of the profession. We will continue to try to update you through emails, Facebook, website, and at live conferences. Additionally you may want to reach out to your local Regional Directors for information and updates. For example if you are in the Western Region, you might want to talk to Leslie Chesher or Caroline Spoth. Please refer to our website for who your current Regional Directors.

Thank you for your continuing support of our profession and have a Happy Respiratory Care Week!


Josh Escudero, MBA, RRT NYSSRC President