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Respiratory Care

About Respiratory Care

Breathing is a privilege many people may take for granted. However, those with cardiopulmonary diseases know just how hard breathing can be. At SDSU, students can become a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) and help patients breathe easier.

Now is a good time to become respiratory therapist in South Dakota. South Dakota’s health care industry is projected to add 6,472 workers to the state’s economy between 2018 and 2028. The rate of growth is projected to be 11.3%, much faster than the 7.1% projected for all industries. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 14% growth in the respiratory therapy from 2021 to 2031, with about 9,400 job openings projected each year. Median Pay for a respiratory therapist is $70,540 per year or $33.91 per hour.

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BREATHE-SD Scholarship for students pursuing the A.S. in respiratory care

BREATHE-SD is an HRSA grant-funded project focused on increasing and strengthening the respiratory care and public health workforce in South Dakota.

Through BREATHE-SD, half-tuition scholarships are available to students pursuing an A.S. in respiratory care at SDSU. All A.S. degree requirements also count toward the B.S. in respiratory care.

There is no separate application for the BREATHE-SD scholarship. Students simply need to apply to the A.S. in respiratory care program and they will be automatically considered for the half-tuition BREATHE-SD scholarship.

Faculty Feature: Lacy Patnoe, Director of Respiratory Care

Explore Our Programs

The respiratory care program offers associate and baccalaureate respiratory care degrees. Graduates demonstrate competence in the cognitive, psychomotor and affective learning domains of respiratory care practice, to prepare and perform as registered respiratory therapists.

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Respiratory Care News

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SDSU’s BREATHE-SD project to improve respiratory care and public health in South Dakota featured on The Prairie Doc

The BREATHE-SD project was recently featured on a segment of The Prairie Doc, which airs on SDPB. BREATHE-SD is a new grant-funded project to increase the respiratory therapy and public health workforce in South Dakota.

SDSU to lead $1.545 million BREATHE-SD project, partner with area hospitals

South Dakota State University is partnering with hospitals in Brookings, Huron and Madison to expand the public health and respiratory therapy workforce. The Community Practice Innovation Center within the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions at SDSU has received a three-year, $1.545 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Sanford Sponsorships Available to Students in the Growing SDSU Respiratory Care Program

Beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year, Sanford will commit to sponsorships for up to 24 students in the Respiratory Care program at South Dakota State University. This is the next step in a pilot program that began in 2020 but has previously only been open to students based in Sioux Falls. Now all SDSU Respiratory Care students are eligible to receive the Sanford sponsorships.