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NBRC-ELE (National Board for Respiratory Care Entry Level Examination) is an examination for the certification credential of respiratory therapists in the United States. This was originally the only examination for all respiratory therapists until the RRT credential was created.

The NBRC-ELE is developed and owned by the National Board for Respiratory Care and administers the examination through its for-profit private stock testing company Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. In the United States all 48 contiguous states require at minimum the credential awarded from the NBRC-ELE for eligibility to procure licensure to practice respiratory therapy in that state.


The NBRC requires the candidate be 18 years old at the time of application for the examination. Applicants must have a minimum of an associate degree from a respiratory therapist education program supported or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC). Applicants enrolled in an accredited respiratory therapy program in an institution offering a baccalaureate degree may be admitted to the CRT Examination with a "special certificate of completion" issued by a sponsoring educational institution.

Exam content[edit]

The Entry-Level CRT Examination is designed to objectively measure essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required of entry-level respiratory therapists. The examination consists of 160 multiple-choice questions (140 scored items and 20 un-scored items) distributed among three major content areas: clinical data, equipment, and therapeutic procedures.


The NBRC-ELE examination costs $200 USD with a $50 USD application fee and is administered by Applied Measurement Professionals, a for-profit company owned by the National Board for Respiratory Care.

External links[edit]