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All respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians who are renewing registration of their license, are required by law to complete continuing education coursework. Respiratory therapists must take 30 contact hours of continuing education in each three-year registration period; respiratory therapy technicians must take 24 hours of continuing education in each triennium.

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No. You do not need to take continuing education during the first three-year registration period after you graduated from a respiratory therapy program. By law, the first registration cycle is three years in length. The second registration cycle is adjusted, anywhere from 28 months to 40 months so that future registration cycles correspond with your month of birth. For that second registration cycle, respiratory therapists must take .83 hours of approved coursework for each month of the registration cycle; respiratory therapy technicians must take .67 hours for each month of registration. From then on registration cycles are fixed at three-year intervals based on your birth month. Respiratory therapists must take 30 contact hours of continuing education in each three-year registration period; respiratory therapy technicians must take 24 hours of continuing education in each triennium.

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Both formal and informal self-study courses. For respiratory therapists, informal self-study courses must constitute not more than half of the total hours (a maximum of 15 contact hours out of 30). For respiratory therapy technicians, informal self- study courses must constitute no more than half of the total hours (a maximum of 12 contact hours out of 24).

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Examples of informal self-study courses include courses offered by internet or video format, which are taken by the respiratory therapist or therapy technician without a live instructor or a long distance facilitator's assistance.

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Examples of formal self-study courses include college courses and approved classes, conferences, seminars, and lectures with an instructor present to immediately respond to questions and concerns.

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No. All the courses can be "live" courses in which you interact with an instructor, if you wish.

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No. The State Education Department considers a telecourse or teleconference in which you and other practitioners discuss a taped presentation with the facilitator's assistance is a live course. A course offered by computer in which you interact directly with the instructor is a "live" course. On the other hand, a televised lecture with no means of direct interaction would not be acceptable as a "live" course even if it is a live telecast.

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Respiratory Therapists may earn up to a maximum of 10 continuing education credits for experience gained as a clinical instructor where such experience demonstrates that the instructor has met competency standards. Preceptors seeking to claim continuing education credit should download, complete, and keep the Preceptor Evaluation Form with their continuing education records.

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No. The law requires that respiratory therapy courses be provided by approved sponsors.

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The New York State Education Department recognizes three types of approved sponsors of continuing education for the purpose of re-registering a license to practice as a respiratory therapist or respiratory therapy technician:

  1. Sponsors approved directly by the Department after review and approval of an application by members of the State Board for Respiratory Therapy
  2. Colleges, universities, and other degree-granting institutions offering respiratory therapy degree programs that are registered by the New York State Education Department or that are accredited by an equivalent accrediting agency, for respiratory therapy courses
  3. Courses approved by professional organizations such as the American Association for Respiratory Care or the American Medical Association, provided that the courses are in subjects acceptable to the State Board as stipulated in regulations.

A list of sponsors in each category follows:

  • Category I - Sponsors Approved by the State Board for Respiratory Therapy

    North Shore University Hospital
    300 Community Drive
    Manhasset, New York 11030
    Phone 516-562-2548
    Fax 516-562-2503
    Identification Number: 04-28-07-003

  • Category II - New York State Registered Respiratory Therapy Programs

    Please note: that while the following listing includes all colleges and universities with Department registered respiratory therapy programs, not all of the programs provide continuing education for respiratory therapists and respiratory therapy technicians.

    Borough of Manhattan/Community College of the City of NY
    199 Chambers Street
    Department of Allied Health Sciences - Room N742
    New York, NY 10007
    Phone 212-346-8000

    Erie Community College/North Campus
    6205 Main Street
    Williamsville, NY 14221-7095
    Phone 716-851-1531

    Genesee Community College
    1 College Road
    Batavia, NY 14020
    Phone 716-343-0055 Ext. 6860

    Hudson Valley Community College
    80 Vandenburg Avenue
    Troy, NY 12180
    Phone 518-629-7454

    Long Island University
    University Plaza Brooklyn Campus)
    Brooklyn, NY 11201
    Phone 718-488-1492

    Mandl School
    College of Allied Health
    254 W. 54th St. New York, NY 10019
    Phone: 212-247-3434

    Mohawk Valley Community College
    1101 Sherman Drive
    Utica, NY 13501
    Phone 315-792-5367

    Molloy College
    1000 Hempstead Avenue
    Rockville Centre, NY 11570-1199
    Phone 516-678-5000

    Nassau Community College
    Stewart Avenue
    Garden City, NY 11530
    Phone 516-572-7550

    SUNY Sullivan Community College
    112 College Road
    Loch Sheldrake, NY 11530
    Phone: 845-434-5750

    SUNY at Stony Brook
    School of Health Technology and Management
    Level 2, Room 414A
    Stony Brook, NY 11794-8203
    Phone 631-444-3180

    SUNY Upstate Medical University
    College of Health Professions
    Department of Cardiorespiratory Sciences
    750 East Adams Street
    Syracuse, NY 13210
    Phone 315-464-5580

    Westchester Community College
    75 Grasslands Road
    Valhalla, NY 10595-1698
    Phone 914-785-6883

  • Category III - Courses in Acceptable Subject Areas Approved by the Following Professional Organizations
    1. American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC)
    2. American Heart Association (AHA)
    3. American Medical Association (AMA)
    4. American Nurses Association (ANA) or Member States such as the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)
    5. American Red Cross
    6. National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. (NBRC)


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Yes, acceptable subjects include:

  • Relevant disease management
  • Child abuse
  • Vent management control
  • Airway management
  • Conscious sedation
  • Pharmacology
  • Infection control
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Hemodynamics
  • HIV/AIDS management
  • Documentation
  • Legal aspects
  • Ethics
  • Safety
  • Respiratory care equipment management
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Advanced cardiac life support
  • Pediatric advanced life support
  • Neonatal resuscitation protocol
  • Others...

The subject matter must be related to professional practice to be acceptable to the State Board. Continuing education courses relevant to respiratory therapy practice, such as courses in the pharmacology of new drugs, or courses in anatomy and physiology, for example, are acceptable; courses not related to respiratory therapy practice, such as courses in foot surgery or English drama, would not be accepted.

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You will need to keep the following five items of information on each course for six years from the date you completed it: (1) title of the course or program and any identification number assigned to it by the sponsor, (2) number of contact hours completed, (3) the sponsor's name and any identifying number, (4) verification by the sponsor of your attendance, and (5) the date and location of the program or course. All five elements are likely to be provided on a certificate of completion issued from the sponsor. BE SURE TO KEEP IT! You will need these certificates of completion if your continuing education records are requested by the Department.

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No, you are not required to send continuing education records to the Education Department when you renew your registration. You will, however, have to attest to the fact that you have completed the requirement. You are required to make your continuing education records available for inspection by the Education Department upon our request. Department staff will audit random samples of records to ensure licensees are in compliance with the continuing education requirement.

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With respect to each continuing education course or program that you completed, you must provide documentation from the course or program sponsor that includes the five items of information described above (question 12). An official list/summary of your courses provided by an approved sponsor may be submitted, as long as it includes all required items of information described above. 

Note: Coursework transcripts and letters of good standing that DO NOT include all five items of information described above ARE NOT acceptable for verification of your continuing education coursework. 

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    You may be subject to disciplinary proceedings for professional misconduct. Willfully making or filing a false report is unprofessional conduct, according to Section 29.1(b)(6) of the Rules of the Board of Regents. Penalties may include censure and reprimand, fine, and/or suspension or revocation of your license.

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    On a case-by-case basis, the Department may issue a conditional registration for up to one year. To be granted such a conditional registration, you would have to (1) agree to complete any remaining hours of required continuing education during the period of conditional registration, (2) complete the regular continuing education requirement at a rate of .83 contact hours per month for respiratory therapists and .67 contact hours per month for respiratory therapy technicians, (3) pay the regular registration fee and a fee for the conditional registration (which is equal to the regular registration fee), and (4) complete and submit the Registration Remittance Addendum (14 KB).

    At the end of one year, if you do not comply with the conditions of the conditional license, you will be unable to renew your registration and practice respiratory therapy in New York State. If you practice your profession after the Department has denied renewal of your registration for failure to report completion of the required contact hours of continuing education, you are subject to disciplinary proceedings for professional misconduct.

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    If you have notified the Department that you are not practicing your profession and your registration is in inactive status, you do not have to complete the continuing education requirement. However, when reactivating your license you must meet all previous continuing education requirements.

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    Please contact the State Board for Respiratory Therapy, New York State Education Department, 89 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12234-1000, telephone: 518-474-3817 Ext. 120, fax: 518-474-3706, e-mail:

    For current information on continuing education and any changes in the continuing education requirements in respiratory therapy, check this Web site periodically.