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Obtaining An RT License In PA -
Holders of Out of State RT License


Respiratory therapists are licensed under one of two licensing bodies - the PA State Board of Medicine or the PA State Board of Osteopathic Medicine.  The majority of RTs in the state are licensed under the State Board of Medicine (about 90%), however, there is really no difference which one is chosen.

Respiratory therapists who hold the CRT or RRT credential from the NBRC and who are licensed in another state may apply for licensure in Pennsylvania. The process is virtually the same as for those individuals who are applying as a new graduate.


The following steps must be taken in order for a respiratory therapist who holds the CRT or RRT credential from the NBRC and who is licensed in another state to obtain a license to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The applicant must:


  1. Graduate from a CoARC accredited school of respiratory care which, by definition, means the applicant must hold a minimum of an Associate's Degree.

  2. Obtain an official notification of information (Self Query) from the National Practitioner Data Bank/Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.  The fee is $8.00 and the application can be completed at the following link:

    NOTE:  Be sure you forward the results of the "Self Query" to the Board under which you are applying for licensure, either the State Board of Medicine or the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

  3. Contact the NBRC to purchase a "Credential Verification Letter" to be sent directly to the Board of Medicine under which you are applying for licensure (either the State Board of Medicine or the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine - see below).  To do this, go to and move your mouse over (but do NOT click) the "Credentialed Practitioners" link on the left side in the menu.  A sub-menu will appear - click on the link for "Credentialed Practitioners" and log in using the email and password created when you registered to take your exam. If you forget, there's a link to retrieve your information.  Once you are logged in, you'll see a list of services and a link to purchase the letter.  The fee is $5.00 if you are a member of the NBRC and $20 if you are not (membership is currently $25 a year).

  4. All new licensure applicants must complete a 3 hour state approved course in the recognition and reporting of child abuse.  You CANNOT use a course completed elsewhere for other purposes.  There are several approved courses but the PSRC recommends the free online course provided by the University of Pittsburgh / PA Department of Wellfare.  You can access that course at the following page:  Note that you must register for the course by clicking "Register" at the top right center of the page before you will be able to log in and take it.  When registering, select "State Board of Medicine" as the Board under which you are applying.

  5. Complete a license application online at   Note that if you have never held a license in the state (which is the case for 99% of applicants), you will need to register.  Follow the link on the page to do so.

    When completing the application, you may be asked if you are applying to be licensed under the State Board of Medicine or the Osteopathic Board of Medicine.  You may choose to be licensed under either, however, the PSRC recommends licensure under the "State Board of Medicine".  Currently, of the 7,500 licensed practitioners in the state, over 7,000 are licensed under the Board of Medicine.


  6. Contact the state board office(s) where you hold or ever held licensure/certification to practice as in any healthcare profession and request a letter of good standing.  The letter must include the following:  

         - License issue and expiration date
         - License status (current or expired)
         - Disciplinary standing

    The letter must be sent directly to the Pennsylvania Board from each state board office in an official board envelope.


Initial review of the application can take 30-60 days depending on the time of year the application is submitted.  Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. Once the initial review of the application is completed, you will be notified by mail if any additional items are required in order to complete the application.


Questions regarding any of the above should be referred to the PA State Board to which you are applying.

State Board of Medicine:  717-783-1400 or email

State Board of Osteopathic Medicine:  717-783-4858 or email

NOTE:   This web page is provided as a service to AARC / PSRC members.  The information provided has been obtained from various resources including the websites of the PA State Board of Medicine and the PA State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as the official forms found on the site.  The PSRC is not responsible for errors or misinterpretations provided on this page as requirements can change without notice.  Users should contact the State Board of Medicine or the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine with any questions they may have.


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