The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

NATIONAL BOARD FOR RESPIRATORY CARE WRT EXAMINATION SCORES AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO ACADEMIC DEGREE.

Kathy S. Moss; Department of Cardiopulmonary and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

BACKGROUND: Eligible candidates for NBRC examinations in 2011 achieved an associate or higher degree from an accredited respiratory care education program. In 2011, 92% of eligible candidates applying to challenge the WRT examination had earned the associate degree. The relationship between academic degree earned upon completion of respiratory care educational program and WRT examination score is unknown. The present study was designed to identify any relationship that may exist between NBRC WRT examination score and the academic degree earned upon completion of the candidate’s respiratory care educational program. METHODS: Ordinary least squares analysis was employed to regress NBRC WRT examination z-scores on academic degree earned from candidate’s respiratory care education program, controlling for the effects of age, gender, application status (new or repeat), and application type (WRT only or WRT and CSE). The use of WRT z-scores permits comparison across WRT test forms and satisfies the underlying assumptions of normal distribution of data and linearity of transformations associated with inferential analysis. WRT z-scores ranged from -2.753 to 3.044 in 2011. The analysis employed census data from the population of 11,677 individuals who challenged the NBRC WRT examination in 2011. RESULTS: Twenty one percent of the variance in WRT z-scores was explained by variation in the additive effects of academic degree and the control variables. After controlling for the effects of age, gender, application status, and application type, the regression coefficient indicates that status of having earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited respiratory care education program was associated with a 0.18 z-score unit increase in WRT examination score, on average. Interactions between academic degree and the other control variables in the prediction of WRT z-scores were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: The status of having earned a baccalaureate degree upon completion of an accredited respiratory care education program is associated with a gain in WRT z-scores, though the coefficient for the effect is small. Data employed for this analysis represents the entire population of individuals who applied to challenge the NBRC WRT examination in 2011, and might be expected to support inferences regarding future WRT examination attempts. Sponsored Research - None National Board for Respiratory Care WRT Examination Scores and the Influence of Academic Degree *** p < .001