Respiratory Care

Most people take breathing for granted.  It’s second nature, an involuntary reflex.  But for the thousands of Americans who suffer from breathing problems or diseases, each breath is a major accomplishment.  Those people include those with chronic lung problems such asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema but they also include heart attack and accident victims, premature infants, and people with cystic fibrosis, lung cancer or AIDS.

The Respiratory Care program is a two-year plus six-week summer session program accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Respiratory Care. Each course is sequential and leads to an Associate of Science Degree in Respiratory Therapy.  It is highly recommended that each student request an appointment with a college counselor to determine graduation requirements.

Upon successful completion of the program, the student will receive and Associate of Science degree.  Graduates are registry eligible and may take the National Board for Respiratory Care examinations to become a Registered Respiratory Therapist.  Additionally, the successful graduate can sit for the state licensing examination.

Career Opportunities

The program faculty work hard to prepare  students for their career in Respiratory Care.  Students who attend the RC program are highly likely to pass the licensing examination on their first attempt  and be eligible for gainful employment immediately following licensure.

An AS degree in Respiratory Therapy typically leads to employment in an acute or subacute hospital setting, sleep clinics, healthcare clinics, or homecare.

Contact Information


Health and Safety
Building: 800, Rm. 810
Phone: (707) 256-7600


Robert Harris
Dean of Health and Safety
2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Napa, CA 94558
Phone: (707) 256-7605

Department Coordinator

Ricardo Guzman, MA, RRT, RCP
Department Coordinator, Respiratory Care 
2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Napa, CA 94558
Phone: (707) 256-7628

Clinical Coordinator

Todd McCarl
Professor, Respiratory Care
2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Napa, CA 94558

In order to be accepted into the Respiratory Care Program, there are several steps you must complete before you turn in your application. Make sure you fully understand what is expected to be done and allow adequate time for requirements, such as official transcript requests and foreign transcript evaluations. You should make an appointment with a counselor to review program requirements and create an educational plan.

  1. Attend a mandatory Respiratory Care Information Meeting.
    1. The Respiratory Care Information Meeting is designed to provide information you need about the admission process and the program. The meeting lasts approximately 60 minutes with a Q&A period. Individual assistance is provided as needed after the group session. The Respiratory Care application form will be distributed. No registration is required for this meeting. This meeting is for information sharing only; you do not apply for the program at this time. (Application forms are only available to those who have attended a mandatory information meeting.)
  2. Complete a Napa Valley College Application.
  3. Meet with a counselor to develop your education plan.
  4. Complete the following Prerequisite courses with a “C” or better.
    1. MATH-106 OR MATH-232 
    2. BIOL-218 
    3. BIOL-219 
    4. BIOL-220 
    5. CHEM-110 

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Priority is given to students who have completed ENGL-120​ or higher and Physics.
  • Napa Valley College will accept 4 unit/lab core biology courses for transfer.
  • If your College transcripts are from outside the U.S. they must be evaluated by an International Evaluation service prior to submission of your application.
  • When you have met all requirements, you may then submit your application to the Admissions & Records (A&R) office (with any official sealed transcripts not already at the school) during the published application period. Deliver in person or mail to Margarita Ceja, A&R Office, 2277 Napa-Vallejo Highway, Napa, CA 94558.
  • All Respiratory Care program applicants and current students must maintain an active email address during their time in the program and check it regularly.