National Board for Respiratory Care

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National Board for Respiratory Care
non-profit organization
Industry Health care
Founded 1960
Headquarters Olathe, Kansas, United States
Area served
United States

The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Inc. is a non-profit organization[1] formed in 1960 with the purpose of awarding and maintaining credentialing for Respiratory Therapists in the United States. The NBRC is the only organization in the United States which develops certification examinations for Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRTs) and Certified Respiratory Therapists (CRTs). The NBRC also offers additional specialization credentialing for respiratory practitioners that hold its certifications. The CRT and RRT designations are the standard credential in respiratory care for licensure requirements in the portions of the United States that have enacted a Respiratory Care Act. States that license respiratory therapists sometimes require the practitioner to maintain their NBRC credentialing to maintain their license to practice.[2] The NBRC is headquartered in Olathe, Kansas. It has been in the Kansas City metropolitan area since 1974. Both the NBRC and Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP), are located at 18000 W. 105th St., Olathe, Kansas 66061-7543.[3]

Certification levels[edit]

Entry level certification[edit]

Certification is the entry level and is separated as such by the NBRC. Certified Respiratory Therapists and Certified Pulmonary Function Technologists require oversight and supervision by their advanced-practice counterparts.

Advanced practice certification[edit]

The term the NBRC uses to designate an advanced practitioner is "registered" and the addition to an advanced practitioner registry which is not permanent but has a re-certification fee associated with it. Registered Respiratory Therapist and Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist are currently the advanced credentialings maintained by the NBRC.


The NBRC has sub-specialties for the Respiratory Therapist designations. Both the CRT and the RRT are eligible to sit for additional credentialing but the CRT still requires the same supervision by the RRT in clinical applications.

  • Sleep Disorders Specialist — The sleep disorder specialist (RRT-SDS or CRT-SDS) is a credential recognized by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for the role of Scoring in sleep studies.
  • Neonatal & Pediatric Specialist — The neonatal and pediatric specialist (RRT-NPS or CRT-NPS) is a respiratory therapist that may work in advanced care in pediatrics and neonatology centers and units.
  • Adult Critical Care Specialist — The adult critical care specialist is only available to the RRT (RRT-ACCS) that is a pulmonary and hemodymanic specialist in intensive medicine in adult practice.


The NBRC owns its own testing corporation, the for-profit company Applied Measurement Professionals.[4] AMP is a private stock corporation located in the Kansas City metropolitan area. AMP was incorporated in the state of Kansas in 1982 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Inc.

Examinations maintained by the NBRC[edit]

Respiratory Therapist[edit]

  • NBRC-ELE — The Entry Level Examination is the initial test that awards the Certified Respiratory Therapist credential.
  • NBRC-WRE — The Written Registry Examination is an advanced test used alongside the CSE to grant credential for the Registered Respiratory Therapist.
  • NBRC-CSE — The Clinical Simulation Examination is a test in which the test-taker accepts the role as an autonomous respiratory therapist handling all sorts of intervention and therapy.

Specialization of the Respiratory Therapist[edit]

  • NBRC-SSE — Sleep Specialist Examination, an examination for Sleep Disorder Specialization demonstrating competency to perform and interpret polysomnography

Those who are actively certified as a neonatal and pediatric specialist respiratory therapist are permitted to use the post-nominal letters "SDS", "RRT-SDS" or "CRT-SDS" depending on their level and preference.

  • NBRC-ACCSE — Adult Critical Care Specialist Examination

Those who are actively certified as a Respiratory Care Adult Critical Care Specialist are permitted to use the post-nominal letters "ACCS" or "RRT-ACCS" depending on their preference.

  • NBRC-NPSE — Neonatal and Pediatric Specialist Examination

Those who are actively certified as a neonatal and pediatric specialist respiratory therapist are permitted to use the post-nominal letters "NPS", "RRT-NPS" or "CRT-NPS" depending on their level and preference.

Pulmonary Function Technologist[edit]

  • NBRC-CPFTE — Certification examination for Pulmonary Function Technology
  • NBRC-RPFTE — Registry examination.

Related organizations[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Mathews P, Drumheller L, Carlow JJ, with the assistance of the American Association for Respiratory Care. National Board for Respiratory Care. Council on Accreditation of Respiratory Care (2006). "Respiratory care manpower issues.". Crit Care Med 34 (3 Suppl): S32–45. doi:10.1097/01.CCM.0000203103.11863.BC. PMID 16477201. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ ; AMP website, .
  5. ^ AARC website,