Updated: Sep 30, 2021
It's not easy being an expert in Nutrition and Dietetics, but somebody has to do it. Nutrition and me were mint-to-be. From the first class I took and the first patient's room I walked into, I loved it. I believe that good health and nutrition are simple. I love that nutrition is a growing science and I want that science to be accessed by everyone. If you feel the same way then the Nutrition field may be calling you too.
Here are the six required steps to becoming a Register Dietitian:
1. Complete the four year Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited program. This is a Didactic Program in Dietetics,
Coordinated Program, Future Graduate Program, Foreign or International Dietitian Education Program.
2. Effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree in Nutrition will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration Exam.
3. Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice Dietetic Internship program or Individual Supervised Practice Pathway. Supervised practice/experiential learning can be combined with a Coordinated Program, Graduate Program, or an International Dietitian Education Program. This is unpaid and requires you to work for free for 40 hours a week for up to a year. Currently, there is about a 47% acceptance rate for these internships.
4. Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration's Dietetic Registration Exam. And this exam is no joke.
5. Gain a state license in your state of practice.
6. Maintain continuing education forever. 75 CEUs are due every 5 years and many states require CEUs every 2-3 years to retain your license.
There are also board-certified specialist certifications and advanced practice certifications. Each requires a number of hours supervised in that field and a board exam.
Some Dietitians will go on to get their Ph.D. in a nutrition-related field or their Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition, or DCN.
I love learning about nutrition a waffle lot. It's all worth it.
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