Jul 09, 2021 | Health Sciences , Academics , Featured

Columbia State Respiratory Care Program Wins National Award

Spring 2021 respiratory care graduates from Maury County. Pictured (left to right): Amy Tennant, Maggie McKnight, Brittany Meadows and Lakihya Taylor.

For the sixth consecutive year, Columbia State Community College’s respiratory care program has received the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award.

“It is humbling to receive this award for six consecutive years,” said Cindy Smith, program director and assistant professor of respiratory care at Columbia State. “The challenges presented to faculty, clinical sites and students as a result of the coronavirus pandemic were met because of the quality of all the communities of interest that support our program. COVID-19 has raised awareness of the important role the respiratory therapist plays in successful patient outcomes.”

The award recognizes the small group of respiratory care programs that meet the following criteria: (1) have three or more years of outcomes data; (2) hold accreditation without a progress report; (3) document first-attempt RRT credentialing success rates of 90% or above; and (4) meet or exceed established CoARC thresholds for the Therapist Multiple Choice high cut score and retention.

According to the 2020 CoARC outcomes data report, Columbia State graduates’ three-year average RRT credentialing rate is 93% compared to the national three-year average of 72%. Columbia State graduates’ three-year average in-field employment rate is 95% compared to the national three-year in-field placement rate of 88%.

Only 130 of the 451 respiratory care programs in the country were awarded. Out of the nine programs in Tennessee, three received this recognition.

“Respiratory therapists play a vital role in patient care and treatment,” said Dr. Kae Fleming, Columbia State dean of the Health Sciences Division and professor of radiologic technology.“Anyone interested in a satisfying and rewarding career in healthcare should look into Columbia State's outstanding respiratory therapy program.”

At the last re-accreditation visit, Columbia State’s respiratory care program was granted full re-accreditation by the CoARC with zero deficiencies. 

For more information about the respiratory care program, contact Cindy Smith, Columbia State program director and assistant professor of respiratory care, at 931.540.2663 or online at www.ColumbiaState.edu/Respiratory-Care