RT to RN online programs?


So, this is kind of the short version of a very long and complicated story. Please bare with me. I once did a year of nursing school. Then, I got ill. I am asthmatic and when I get ill, I GET REALLY ILL. So, I opted out of a semester and then life happened. I got married, started raising my two step-daughters full time instead of half the time and my husband (an RN at the time) began working on his BSN, then went to get his MSN. So, bottom line... I kind of never went back. During an ER visit for my asthma, a respiratory therapist was talking to me about respiratory school and how it was the best thing she ever did and has been one for 20 some years. So, more so on a whim, I applied and got in by the afternoon for the Fall semester. Weird!! I love what I do. However, there is something more for me. I feel like a traitor since, at least in my hospital, there is always a chip on the RT's shoulder regarding nursing. I would not change my mind about being an RT first. I almost think that all nurses should be but that is another thought. Anyway, after a very scary set of events involving a needlestick with an HIV+ patient, I decided that I had to do everything on my to-do list at once. I applied for nursing school, again on a whim, and HOLY CRAP! got in for the fall!! So, I started the first 2 weeks of the program. Content wise it was easy stuff and actually pretty boring, but time wise it sucked. It was pretty much monday through friday 8am to 5pm (except it was not that cut and dry and was really the most whacked out schedule I had ever seen.) I was still working full time and now have 2 teenage daughters to keep up with. My husband had recently finished his MSN and passed his NP test so he was all done, but, all of us were so used to him being in school that I still had to provide all the answers and keep everyone organized. Well, it didn't take but a little over 2 weeks and I got sick again. This time I woke up in a trauma room at MY hospital with them talking about intubating me. WEIRD!!! Anyway, I ended up with pnuemonia/H1N1 and missed week 3 & 4. I was beside myself. I ended up having to make the decision to drop out. About a week after dropping out, I had sort of a realization. I really hate school. I think that at this point in my life, tradtitional nursing school is just not for me. So, I have started seeking out alternatives. I would like to eventually get my BSN and have just started looking into online stuff when my husband told me about this site. So, I am throwing a thread out there to anyone that may have any help for me. Any suggestions. Online RT to RN completion programs that I can get a BSN from eventually. Thanks for listening.



542 Posts

I haven't heard of online RT to RN programs....?

Specializes in MICU, neuro, orthotrauma. Has 7 years experience.

I didn't know that RT's had a chip on their shoulder about RN's. Can you explain further?


2 Posts

geekgolightly - awesome name by the way!

I was not aware of it either until I became an RT. It was very odd being married to a nurse and being in the Respiratory world. I personally don't have any issues with nurses and I get along quite well with most of them. Nearest I can figure (this is all based on my hospital since I do not have knowledge of anywhere else) RT's feel as though no one really understands the Respiratory world. It is hard to explain some of the things that we know and some nurses have a way of treating us like treatment jockeys instead of someone that went through just as much schooling as they did. I also think that some RN's don't like that we are the code team/trauma team. I have seen more as a brand new RT than nurses that have been around for years. We learn how to trouble shoot quickly and rig together what we need on the spot and some nurses have real issue with that. However, not all. It is a very interesting perspective to have. Nurses have honestly no clue about our world. The juggling of not a set number of patients but entire units at a time. On any given night I can have 10 critical patients on ventilators (compared to the RN's 1:2 ratio) 2 adult floors which can consist of 30 some patients and the ER with who knows what comes in. I would never say that one is better than the other, just different. Just the other night, I was assisting in a Code on the second floor, had a trauma coming into ER with no airway, and a nurse on the fourth floor that called requesting a treatment on a non-compliant COPD patient in no distress. Given the 3 options which one gets put at the bottom? Well, the floor nurse did not like that it took me 45 minutes to get there and that the patient was asleep when I arrived. We try to explain to them that it is not like I am sitting on a couch somewhere trying to avoid my job. But Airway and Breathing beat out "because they want one." I just kind of blow it off because I know they don't know what we do. But some RT's get mad and mean about it. My husband was a critical care nurse for years and he was amazed at the things we have to juggle. Now that he is the Rapid Response Team at night he has a better idea and also knows that we are his biggest resource. Lots of new nurses and a Respiratory Department that is known for being a bit, um, edgy...

Specializes in MICU, neuro, orthotrauma. Has 7 years experience.

Well, I love RT's and ask them questions all the time. I've learned lots from them. One explained various settings for recruitment and derecruitment for me when I started and I am forever grateful for the time he took.


985 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, educator.

I'd say probably no specific programs for that, since they are 2 entirely different disciplines. If you're happy being an RT, who cares.....If you really feel you just HAVE to be a nurse, then follow that link above in previous post.....but remember, looking at the current economic climate, most new nurses can't even find a job......good luck and let us know what you decide to do!

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU. Has 19 years experience.

RTs are the experts on respiratory and deserve the utmost respect. Kudos to you.


35 Posts

That Excelsior College mentioned earlier, states that you can get an AS in nursing if you are a RT.


5 Posts

My mother is an RT and she is getting her RN through Excelsior. Be aware that some states do not accept the program. She just moved to Louisiana from Texas. Louisiana does not recognize the program but luckily Texas does so she is able to use her license through Texas for the program.


135 Posts

I read on this forum before that there used to be a RT to RN program but it no longer exists.

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