AARC BOD Sets 80% Bachelor Degree Goal by 2020

 Updated: August 3, 2015

The AARC Board of Directors (BOD) met in Phoenix recently and continued making progress on actions to move the Association and the profession forward, as momentum builds on strategic goals and professional direction projects.

Revising its former goal for bachelor’s degrees held by respiratory therapists, the BOD made a statement aspiring to 80% of practicing respiratory therapists having earned or being actively working on a bachelor’s degree by 2020. The most recent survey shows this to be 65% at this time.

To assure the profession is on track to meet that goal, interim surveys and evaluations will be done leading up to 2020 to measure that forward growth is being realized.

Many factors impact how quickly the profession can move to a bachelor’s degree minimum, including the number of respiratory care educational programs. Currently there are 22 states with no bachelor’s educational programs. While a necessity to move the profession forward, a bachelor’s degree minimum could create some initial barriers or obstacles with a more rapid implementation

“This is a bold goal, but we will not leave our profession hanging without help,” said Frank Salvatore, AARC president. To help RTs attain higher levels of education, a workgroup is developing toolkits. One will assist schools to transition from associate to bachelor programs. The other will assist respiratory therapists in seeking degree advancement programs.

These toolkits are coming from one of five workgroups that are actualizing the strategic goals of the Association. Input is still being sought from the membership on these goals and is being collected for use in planning, and we invite you to provide input by clicking on the link above.

In other actions taken by the Board, bylaws changes were recommended. These will be circulated to the entire membership for review and input in the next couple of weeks.

Several Position Statements were either added, revised, or retired as well:

  • Insertion and Maintenance of Vascular Catheters by Respiratory Therapists (NEW)
  • Insertion and Maintenance of Arterial Lines by Respiratory Therapists (NEW)
  • Definition of Respiratory Care (REVISED)
  • Respiratory Therapy Education (REVISED)
  • Best Practices in Respiratory Care Productivity and Staffing (REVISED)
  • Development of Baccalaureate and Graduate Education Degrees (RETIRED)