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Despite research in other allied health professions and medicine, the influence of gender on student performance in respiratory therapy (RT) academic programs and on the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) examinations is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the impact of gender on student academic performance from admission to graduation and to determine whether gender differences affected student success on the NBRC examinations. This study consisted of a retrospective analysis of 91 female and 22 male graduates at a southeastern U.S. university between 2003 and 2007. The variables of academic success included the students' entering GPA, exit GPA, and first-attempt performance on the Certified Respiratory Therapy (CRT) examination and on the Written Registry for Respiratory Therapy (WRRT) examination. Independent sample t-test and paired sample t-test analyses at a level of significance of α = 0.05 were utilized. No significant gender differences were observed in the measures of students' entering GPA, exit GPA, or performance on scaled CRT and WRRT examinations (p > 0.05). When we compared entering GPAs and exit GPAs, a statistically significant difference was found (p < 0.05). Both male and female RT students had significantly higher exit GPAs than entering GPAs. The results of the study showed that gender plays no role in the academic success of RT students. When looking at the changes on academic success, we conclude that RT students work hard, as the graduation scores are higher than admission scores.


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(c) Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions