Pediatric Respiratory Therapy Residency Program

Norton Children’s Hospital welcomes new graduates to the first pediatric respiratory therapy residency program in the region. Through evidence-based care, diagnostic interventions, disease management and education, the respiratory care professionals at Norton Children’s Hospital improve lives and work to ensure best outcomes for the patients and families that we serve.

This program aims to successfully transition respiratory therapists into pediatric respiratory therapists through a comprehensive and holistic introduction into to the pediatric and neonatal environments of Norton Children’s Hospital.

Designed with our culture of community and belonging in mind, this program creates a safe space for learning and builds interpersonal relationships. Students will have support from other new graduates, respiratory therapists, educators and the entire Norton Children’s community every step of the way.

Program Overview

  • A 10-month program for new graduates provides individualized preceptor orientation, guided classroom learning and peer-support sessions.
  • The program supports the transition from novice therapist to advanced beginner respiratory therapist by building upon the knowledge and experience gained during academic study.
  • Respiratory therapists will provide educational experiences and hands-on practice with skills and simulation in addition to the hospital and unit/area-based orientations.
  • The program can enhance career satisfaction and growth by:
    • Increasing confidence, competence and critical thinking skills
    • Strengthening communication and organizational skills
    • Facilitating interprofessional relationships
    • Improving patient care outcome knowledge

Program Eligibility and Qualifications

  • Participants must be either new graduate respiratory therapists who have received Kentucky Board of Respiratory Care licensure within the last 12 months, or licensed respiratory therapists with at least three years’ experience in an adult intensive care unit.
  • Participants must receive approval from their department leader(s).
  • Participants must agree to attend and actively participate in the classroom instruction and simulations offered.

Curriculum Objectives

  • Supports development of neonatal/pediatric respiratory therapists with broad understanding of multidisciplinary team roles and responsibilities
  • Positively impacts recruitment and retention of respiratory therapists
  • Prepares participants to care for acutely ill and injured patients in today’s increasingly complex health care environment

Curriculum Schedule

Week 1: Program Outline

  • Review program components, participant expectations and introduction to the program.
  • Further develop assessment skills and build relationships with team members who will support residents during the program.
  • Prepare for unique patient populations and unit training with specialty classes.
  • Understand the mission, vision and values of Norton Children’s Hospital.

7-week Blocks: Unit Scheduling

  • Spend seven weeks in each of the following units: pediatric intensive care, cardiac, neonatal intensive care, emergency department.
  • Work alongside critical care staff, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other professionals.
  • These focused learning opportunities are a foundational period of the residency program, with ample opportunity for learning and development.

Competency Assessment Weeks

  • Simulation and competency work that demonstrates an understanding of skills taught in class and during orientation hours
  • Enrichment opportunities offered through various departments, including imaging, child life, infection prevention, pharmacy
  • Exposure to legal and ethical aspects of critical care medicine, including end of life

Immersion Weeks

  • Upon competency validation, residents will function as an independent practitioner, revisiting the completed units to practice and retain knowledge and skills.

Month 10:  Graduation


Dedicated residency coordinators lead classes and conduct scheduled check-ins. Coordinators actively participate in the education and mentorship of their respective units and specialties, serving as an invaluable resource and mentor throughout the program. Resident meetings will also be scheduled with leaders to further provide support and feedback.

Feedback and Evaluations

Residents receive progress updates regularly, aiding in the assessment of educational requirements and tailoring each experience accordingly.

Residency coordinators gather feedback from residents, directors, managers, unit coordinators, preceptors and mentors to assess program success through continuous development.

How to Apply

For questions or information on applying, email

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