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NBRC
Sleep Disorders Specialty Credential ​​​​

In 2008, the NBRC launched a new specialty examination for respiratory therapists performing sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention. We sought input from a variety of organizations representing professionals involved in sleep disorders testing and care to create a valuable credential that your employer, colleagues and patients will recognize and respect.

The new program was built on a collaborative effort with other organizations with a vested interest in protecting the public and improving care for patients who suffer from sleep disorders. Because of this effort, this program has wide support from organizations such as:

  • The American Association for Respiratory Care
  • The American College of Chest Physicians
  • The American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • The American Thoracic Society

The Sleep Disorders Specialty Examination program is designed specifically for a respiratory therapist with an NBRC respiratory care credential and experience or education in the field of sleep medicine.

Eligible certificants have already demonstrated their minimal competence in some areas used when diagnosing and treating patients with sleep disorders; therefore, the examination focuses on competencies that are unique to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with sleep disorders and will not include items about general respiratory care content. It is important to note that candidates for this examination should expect to find polygraphic tracings based on old and new recording guidelines in the examination.

Why should you earn the CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS credential? The answer is simple—the new specialty examination is unique to your daily tasks as a sleep disorders specialist. It goes above and beyond general activities so you can demonstrate your acquired skill level in an expanding specialty within the field of respiratory care.

If you are planning to take any of the credentialing examinations offered by the National Board for Respiratory Care, Inc. (NBRC), the Self-Assessment Examination provides an excellent opportunity for you to find out in advance how well you will do. The SAEs are available in web-based format and more information can be found by clicking the Self-Assessment Examination Quick Link.

Admission Requirements

  1. Be a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) having completed a CoARC or CAAHEP accredited respiratory therapist education program including a sleep add-on track
  2. OR

  3. Be a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) for at least 6 months prior to applying for the Sleep Disorders Specialty Examination.
  4. OR

  5. Be a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for at least 3 months prior to applying for the Sleep Disorders Specialty Examination. 

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Free Practice Examination

The web-based NBRC practice examinations are designed to simulate taking an NBRC examination. The software is identical to that which is used for the administration of NBRC examinations. To use this software, you will need a compatible internet browser such as the current version of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Other browsers may or may not work. Cookies and scripting must be enabled. Pop-up blocking must be disabled.

Clicking the hyperlink below will open the practice examination login page. Please read the following instructions:

  • Login using your e-mail address. Your results will be sent to this address.
  • Use the mouse to select your responses and to maneuver through the examination.
  • To obtain your results, you must take the entire examination in one sitting. Your results are not saved if you exit the examination.
  • When you have completed the examination, click Finish and Display. Your results are displayed onscreen and will be e-mailed to you if you provided your e-mail address on the login page.
  • If you need help using the examination software, click on the Help button in the lower portion of the screen once you begin the examination.
Free Sleep Disorders Specialty Practice Examination
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Sleep Disorders Specialty Credential ​FAQs

    • Can I schedule my examination online?​

    Yes, if you are already approved to take an NBRC examination and all fees are paid, you may schedule online from the NBRC website or from the testing agency's website, www.goAMP.com.​
    • What is the application process?​

    You may apply online using the "Submit Application" link located on each examination page or complete and submit a paper application and appropriate fee when the admission requirements are satisfied. if mailing your application, the NBRC recommends using certified mail or a certificate of mailing and keeping your receipt as proof that your application was sent to the NBRC. Ineligible applications submitted to the NBRC will be returned less a $50.00 processing fee.​
    • ​What are the examination fees?

    ​The Sleep Disorders Specialty Examination costs $300 for new applicants and $250 for reapplicants.

    • What guidelines were followed when examination items about scoring of sleep results were developed?​

    The AASM Manual for Sleep Scoring, dated 2007.​
    • What does the examination cover?​

    Candidates for this examination have already demonstrated their minimal competencies in some areas used when diagnosing and treating patients with sleep disorders. The examination concentrates on those competences that are unique to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with sleep disorders. It will not include items about general respiratory care.​
    • When was the examination first offered?​

    NBRC partnered with AARC to offer the first examination during their International Congress on December 15, 2008. We offered the examination via mobile computer-based testing units to interested candidates at that time.​
    • How long does it take to process my application?​

    If applying and paying by credit card online, your application is processed immediately. If mailing your application and fee to the NBRC, your application will be processed within approximately two weeks after receipt by the NBRC. A confirmation notice of your eligibility will be sent to you. If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, a letter explaining the information that is still needed will be sent to you.​
    • What information does the confirmation of eligibility notice contain?​

    The confirmation notice contains a website address and toll-free telephone number for you to contact the NBRC to schedule an examination appointment. Appointments may be scheduled a minimum of three days prior to the desired testing date. Note: Examinations will not be offered on nationally recognized holidays.​
    • Is there a practice test available?​

    The NBRC has created a full-length, free practice examination available to candidates at no charge to familiarize themselves with the content and type of questions.​
    • When are NBRC examinations administered?​

    NBRC examinations are administered by computer on a daily basis (Monday - Saturday) at over 170 Assessment Centers across the country. A complete list can be found here.​
    • When is the application deadline?​

    There are no application deadlines and if you meet the admissions requirements for an examination you may submit your application and fee at any time. Your application may be submitted online or can be downloaded and printed from this website.​
    • How is this examination different than a polysomnography examination?​

    The Specialty Examination for Respiratory Therapists Performing Sleep Disorders Testing and Therapeutic Intervention is for respiratory therapists already having earned the CRT or RRT credentials. Content of this specialty examination is focused on sleep focused testing and intervention conducted by respiratory therapists and requires respiratory therapy education for eligibility.​
    • What if I do not receive a confirmation of eligibility in the mail once my application has been submitted?​

    If you do not receive a confirmation of eligibility or an incomplete notice from the NBRC within four weeks after mailing your application, contact the NBRC. If your application is not on file, you will be asked to send a replacement application form and fee.​
    • Why did NBRC create the Sleep Disorders Specialty Examination program?​

    The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) requested that NBRC determine the desirability and feasibility of developing a specialty examination for respiratory therapists performing sleep disorders testing and therapeutic intervention. After following a long established, five-step process to determine if a new specialty examination for respiratory therapists in this area was warranted and feasible, we discovered that the answer was overwhelmingly yes.​
    • How did NBRC determine the content for the examination?​

    The NBRC conducted a job analysis study to ensure examination content would be job related and based on tasks performed by practitioners in this specialty area. We sent several thousand surveys to individuals who are involved in the delivery of care to patients with sleep disorders to rate the importance of job tasks.​
    • How long does the examination last?​

    Candidates will have four hours to complete the 180-item examination.​
    • Where can I find more information on the new examination?​

    Visit www.nbrc.org and click on the "Examinations" menu item. NBRC constantly updates the Web site to keep the information current.​
    • Why should I earn the CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS credential?​

    The answer is simple - the new specialty examination is unique to your daily tasks as a sleep disorders specialist. It goes above and beyond general activities so you can demonstrate your acquired skill level in an expanding specialty within the field of respiratory care.​
    • When I earn the CRT-SDS or RRT-SDS credential, do I have to recertify?​

    NBRC strongly supports continued competency for the practitioners it certifies by requiring recertification every five years. CRT-SDS and RRT-SDS certificants are no different. They will also be required to demonstrate their continued competence through the NBRC’s Continuing Competency Program (CCP).​
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