The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Dhiren K. Chatterji1, Thomas John1, Christa E. Sala1

Background: Several studies included various admission criteria to select students into the Respiratory Care program. They have chosen science GPA (SciGPA), non science GPA (NSciGPA), and cumulative GPA (CumGPA) to predict success in the National Board Exams. In our study, we used the American College Test (ACT) and the entrance CumGPA as predictors for success in the Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) exams.

Methods: We created a longitudinal database of the 45 graduating students from the years of 2005, 2006, and 2007. Out of the 45 students who completed the program, 41 (91.1%) were minority students. The ACT and entrance CumGPA were collected and analyzed from each admission file. The CRT and RRT exam results were collected from the NBRC secured data for educators. The CRT passing rate and RRT passing rate results were analyzed for different ACT scores and CumGPA scores.

Results: Three (3) groups were made for the ACT category, and two (2) groups were made for the cumGPA category. The ACT categories are as follows: (1) ACT of 19 or above, (2) ACT of 16 - 18, and (3) ACT of 15 or less. We found the highest passing rate in the CRT and the RRT exams for ACT category 1. The second highest passing rate for the CRT and the RRT exams were found with ACT category 2. For ACT category 3, we found the lowest passing rate for the CRT and the RRT exams. From the statistical analysis, it is evident that ACT scores significantly predict RRT exam results (*p = 0.045). The GPA categories are as follows: (1) CumGPA of 3.01 or above and (2) CumGPA of 2.50 to 3.00.Even though we found a higher passing rate for the CRT and the RRT exams in the GPA category 1 students for CumGPA, the results were not as significant (p=0.210) when compared with ACT category 1. Although we used ACT scores and CumGPA, ACT scores showed a significant prediction of NBRC RRT exam results.

Conclusion: Identification of important factors for predicting student success on the NBRC examinations is important for student professional growth and accreditation. This study identified that ACT score is an important predictor of student success.