Why Choose a Career in Respiratory Therapy at RWJBarnabas Health?

We Help Patients Breathe Better So They Can Heal Faster

Respiratory therapist and her patient using an inhalerRWJBarnabas Health’s respiratory therapists provide exceptional, compassionate care to patients experiencing breathing disorders or diseases. We care for adult, pediatric and neonatal patients from the critically to the chronically ill. With evidence-based respiratory therapy practices and the latest technology and research, we not only care for patients, we advance the science of respiratory care.

RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest academic health system. Our vision is to be the leader in the development of innovative respiratory care throughout the region and beyond.

Join us.

  • Be a critical part of the multidisciplinary patient care team
  • Be an expert in a specialized field and develop a meaningful career at RWJBarnabas Health
  • Gain experience in variety of practice areas
  • Use state-of-the-art technology and learn the latest techniques
  • Enjoy great benefits and career advancement opportunities
  • Participate in cutting-edge research

“We stamp out disease and save lives.”
—Dina Z.

Be A Critical Part of the Care Team

Respiratory therapists play an integral part in patients’ multidisciplinary care plans. They collaborate with a team of experts including pulmonologists and cardiologists, surgeons, physical and occupational therapists, and specialists from a variety of other fields. They provide vital information and input that enables the team to provide the best care. Respiratory therapists support a variety of departments, using their skills in their unique specialty within a broad spectrum of practice areas.

A Meaningful Career

Breath is life. When people have trouble breathing, it’s hard to do almost anything else. Respiratory therapists play a critical part in helping patients improve their health and wellness by increasing their lung function and helping them to breathe easier.

A deep focus on patient- and family-centered care is integral to the way we practice. We treat our patients with respect and commitment, involving their families in their care conversations. It can be extremely rewarding to improve the quality of life of your patients.

“We operate the ventilators you’ve been hearing so much about. We make an impact on someone else’s life, one breath at a time. Our team is like a family, committed to each other and to helping our patients.”
—Maria D.

Respiratory Therapy Roles and Opportunities

Respiratory therapists can play many roles in a patient’s care:

  • Diagnostics. Respiratory therapists administer pulmonary function tests to determine how easily air moves in and out of the lungs and how much oxygen moves from the lung to the blood. We also perform blood tests to measure oxygen, carbon dioxide and pH levels to help diagnose respiratory conditions.
  • Therapeutics. Respiratory therapists provide medication, perform therapeutic procedures and use sophisticated equipment to monitor and treat patients.
  • Education. A respiratory therapist’s job includes educating patients and their families about their conditions or diseases. They explain what the specific conditions are and preventive and cautionary actions to take to improve a patient’s health, or to prevent certain conditions from worsening. For example, a respiratory therapist could teach disease management techniques to patients with chronic diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Gain Experience in a Variety of Practice Areas

Respiratory therapists don’t just work in pulmonary or cardiopulmonary areas. They support patients in a variety of areas of the hospital including:

  • Emergency Department
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Burn Unit

Use State-of-the-Art Technology and Learn the Latest Techniques

With the resources of the largest academic health system in New Jersey, respiratory therapists at RWJBarnabas Health facilities have access to the most sophisticated tools in their profession. You’ll learn to use the latest mechanical ventilation and monitoring tools.

Our partnership with two medical schools, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School facilitates an environment of continual learning and growth, and offers opportunities to participate in groundbreaking medical research that are just not available at most other hospitals.

Benefits of a Career in Respiratory Therapy at RWJBarnabas Health

  • Robust benefits. RWJBarnabas Health offers a generous benefits package including:
    • Vacation
    • Holidays and floating holidays
    • Sick time
    • Medical, dental, and vision benefits
    • Short-term disability
    • Long-term disability
    • 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans
  • Flexible hours. A range of shift days and hours are available, from 12-hour days to four-hour part-time shifts. (Varies by hospital.)
  • Opportunities for advancement. There are opportunities for advancement and transfers between hospitals throughout the RWJBarnabas Health system.
  • Large network. Respiratory therapists who join our team are joining an enormous professional network. Meet others who do what you do, or what you want to do.
  • Transferrable benefits within the RWJBarnabas Health system. If you transfer to another position within your health facility or to another RWJBarnabas Health facility, you would retain the benefits and paid time off you have accumulated during your time at the original facility.
  • Continuing education. Several times a year, RWJBarnabas Health facilities provide continuing education opportunities for courses required to maintain a respiratory therapy license for free or at a discount to employees.
  • Tuition reimbursement. With a grade of C or above, students are fully reimbursed for tuition. Unlike other hospitals, RWJBarnabas Health does not prorate based on grades.

“Respiratory care can be a stepping stone to other professions. I know at least four respiratory therapists who went on to become physician assistants. Some became nurses, nurse anesthetists … two became hospital presidents. It can be an interesting path if you choose to take it.”
—Rob S.


An important benefit of working in a large academic health care system is the opportunity to participate in research that advances the science of respiratory therapy and pulmonary care.

Frequently Asked Questions About Respiratory Therapy in New Jersey

What is respiratory therapy?

Respiration, or breathing, is a core function of the human body. When breathing becomes irregular – too slow or too fast – the way the body processes energy is disrupted. Organs like the heart and the lung stop working the way they are supposed to. That can have serious and even fatal consequences.

A respiratory therapist administers tests to help establish a diagnosis, monitors patients’ breathing, operates ventilation machines and provides therapies to improve air flow. They also educate patients and their families on the conditions and how to manage their diseases.

What skills do I need to be a respiratory therapist?

Respiratory therapists should be detail-oriented, focused and able to communicate well with all levels of medical staff, doctors, patients and their families. An affinity for science is important. Curiosity, creativity, and the ability to think on your feet are also characteristics of many respiratory therapists.

What kind of training is involved to become a respiratory therapist in New Jersey?

To become a respiratory therapist, you must have a high school diploma and basic prerequisites in the science fields. You’ll need a degree from 2-year or 4-year program and you’ll need to take the Boards administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care to become a registered respiratory therapist and obtain a license practice in the state of New Jersey.

What schools in New Jersey offer a degree in respiratory therapy?

There are four respiratory care training programs in New Jersey. They are:

Resources for Students/Career Changers

If you are thinking of moving from out of state, visit the New Jersey Board of Respiratory Care.

For more information about the Respiratory Therapy program, contact us.