BLOOMINGTON – Vanessa Van Vlymen, graduate of Ivy Tech Bloomington, is now a registered respiratory therapist (RRT) and works full-time at St. Francis in Indianapolis, so she can remain close to family in Indiana. Van Vlymen completed clinical hours at seven different hospitals before graduating from Ivy Tech.

Van Vlymen says Ivy Tech’s clinical requirement allowed her to make important connections. She completed clinical hours at Columbus Regional Health, Daviess Community Hospital, Eskenazi Health, Franciscan Health, IU Health, Terre Haute Regional Hospital and Union Hospital Terre Haute.

“Being in the program has helped me to establish professional connections with many of the clinical sites that I have visited, which will help me in the long run in achieving my goals,” she said.

Van Vlymen says she took a career assessment in high school and realized she wanted to be a respiratory therapist. After high school, she started college at Indiana University Bloomington. However, Respiratory Therapy was not offered at IU’s Bloomington campus.

“I knew that I wanted to do Respiratory Therapy but my only other choice would be to move to Indy and get into their program,” said Van Vlymen, who discovered Ivy Tech’s Respiratory Therapy program by researching online. “I knew the Bloomington Ivy Tech was well-rated, so I transferred from IU Bloomington because I had already become attached to Bloomington and did not want to leave the town,” she said.

While she was a student, Van Vlymen was awarded the Robert E. Glass Memorial Scholarship from the Indiana Society for Respiratory Care, for receiving the highest scores on her physician-reviewed essay.

Van Vlymen credits her instructors for helping her earn her scholarship. “I would not have gotten this scholarship without Jennifer because she made it into an assignment, but made it optional to submit,” she said. “Jennifer Purdue and Christina Stone always push me to do my best work and are there for me if I have any questions or am in need of advice. Ivy Tech has provided me with a solid education along with great friendships from my program.”

For more information about Ivy Tech’s Respiratory Therapy degree visit

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.