Registered Dietitians: The Nutrition Experts
Healthfulfilling.com strives to provide credible nutrition and health related
information. Registered Dietitians are a main part of Healthfulfilling.com, and
thus we want to devote a page to the profession to inform our visitors of what is a
Registered Dietitians are food and nutrition experts who must have a minimum of
a Bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, with
course work approved by the Commission on Accreditation on Dietetics
Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association. In addition, an approved
CADE internship must be completed which is about 6-12 months.
These internships usually have limited seats so they have application and
admission requirements. After these requirements are met, the dietitian is
eligible to sit for the National Registration Exam, administered by the
Commission On Dietetic Registration (CDR), which upon passing will grant the
credential, Registered Dietitian, (RD).
RD: The Nutrition
There are also programs which are Coordinated Undergraduate Programs in
Dietetics which offer the combination of the Bachelor's degree and /or Master's
degree and internship program. These programs are often quite intensive since
they combine the practical training within the academic program.
They also have separate acceptance and admission guidelines, and there is
usually a limited number of seats for each program based on availability.
These programs are often of interest, since upon graduation with the bachelor's
degree, and completion of the included internship, they are then eligible to sit for
the Registration Exam.
Sometimes, people in the field of Nutrition say they are Nutritionists, which is very
commonly heard. However, Nutritionists may not have the same educational
background and may not have attended an internship program and may not have
the RD credential. There are also Nutritionists who have Master's degrees or Ph.
D's in Nutrition who are very knowledgeable about Nutrition, and may specialize
in a particular area of Nutrition.
Some states also have a licensing mandate called, LD, or LDN which are
Licensed Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist which Nutrition
professionals must apply for in order to practice the profession in the state. This
is an important and useful credential for Nutritionists to have if they are not
Registered Dietitians. It is also very important as it protects the public from being
counselled or consulted with by a Nutritionist without the proper educational
background, degrees and requirements.
If you need to seek the services of a Nutrition professional, always seek a
Registered Dietitian and ask for his/her CDR credential certification which
should be credentialed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)
which is the credentialing agency of the American Dietetic Association.
Accredited hospitals or outpatient health facilities only employ or contract with
If you see a Nutritionist in private practice who is not a Registered Dietitian,
then ask for their licensing credential by the state, which could be LD, LDN, or
another credential depending on the state. Check with your state government
about the specific licensing requirements or credential, because some are
less restrictive than others. Be aware that not every state has licensing
requirements for Nutritionists--which means anyone can portray himself/herself
as a Nutritionist and practice. Fortunately, currently 46 out of 50 states have
licensure requirements for dietitians and nutritionists. When a state does not
have licensure requirements, then you should only see a Registered Dietitian
and ask for their credential certificate, especially if they are in private practice.
Registered Dietitians are the most qualified and credible nutrition experts to
contact for any questions in Nutrition/Dietetics. All registered dietitians are
required to maintain Continuing Professional Education throughout their
careers in order to maintain the RD credential. Some also do additional
certifications to specialize in specific areas of Dietetics such as Diabetes
Education, Renal Nutrition, Nutrition Support, etc.
For further information on the profession of Dietetics and Nutrition and
Registered Dietitians, visit the American Dietetic Association at www.
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