Section 23W. An applicant for licensure as a respiratory therapist shall have:—
(a) completed a respiratory therapy program that is accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or a member of the Council on Postsecondary Education, and that is approved by the board,
(b) successfully passed an examination approved by the board for licensure as a respiratory therapist. Such examination shall be written and shall test the applicant’s knowledge of the basic and clinical sciences related to the respiratory care theory and practice, including the applicant’s professional skills and judgments in the utilization of respiratory care techniques and methods, and such other subjects as the board may deem useful to determine the applicant’s fitness to act as a respiratory therapist pursuant to section twenty-three R. The examination shall be conducted by the board at least twice each year and at times and places to be determined by the board; provided, however, that the board may utilize any existing national examination that meets the requirements of this section.