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Thinking of Transitioning From Nutritionist to a Certified Dietitian? Here’s How to Do It.

Thinking of Transitioning From Nutritionist to a Certified Dietitian? Here’s How to Do It.

October 12, 2018
Author: ProSight Direct

Obtaining your Registered Dietitian (R.D.) certification is typically more time consuming than the traditional Certified Nutrition Specialist (C.N.S.), but it can open doors. If you have the passion and persistence to complete the necessary steps towards certification, here’s some helpful information. Make sure to research and learn the details of the necessary requirements when striving for and completing the R.D. certification.

First, What’s the difference between the two certifications?

Both dietitians and nutritionists elevate the health of their clients. Although their roles are similar, they aren’t quite interchangeable.

Nutritionists usually hold a tertiary qualification in nutrition, food science, or public health. Some states require nutritionists obtain an occupational license from the state’s Board of Nutrition, while other states allow individuals to practice without a certification or license.

A day in the life: Most nutritionists center their work around food behavior. They teach clients about the general nutrition and health properties in food and offer supervision. Nutritionists are frequently self-employed or run their own business.

R.D.s typically work with food service businesses, patients in hospitals, clinics, colleges and many other healthcare facilities. They organize nutrition plans to prevent and treat illnesses and educate people on public health issues. If you want to work in a hospital or a business that does consulting, chances are you’ll need to be an R.D. Only R.D.s are qualified to provide medical or clinical therapy. If pursuing new opportunities, make sure to do your own research to learn the certification and licensing requirements necessary to obtain the opportunity.

A day in the life: Your day-to-day will depend on the career path you choose. R.D.s who work in the food service industry may consult with multiple restaurant clients per day, evaluating menus or teaching employees about food-borne illnesses. Other R.D.s work side-by-side with doctors to evaluate patients’ conditions and needs.

How do you make the switch?

Understand the basics: According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration, one of the options to obtain the R.D. certification requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of supervised practice hours.. Finally, you’ll have to pass the CDR test.

Do your homework: Don’t underestimate the CDR test – it’s challenging! The commission on Dietetic Registration offers study guides, a handbook, and various other resources to help you prepare.

Plan for the future: To maintain certification, you’re required to complete continuing education. This can be done through the Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) process, which provides tools and guidance for maintaining your R.D. title.

ProSight Global Inc., and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“ProSight”) do not endorse nor recommend the Registered Dietitian (R.D.) certification described above. These descriptions discussed are for informational purposes only. ProSight shall not be held liable for your registration or matriculation in the R.D. certification program nor any payment you make for the R.D. certification program. Completing the R.D. certification does not guarantee employment or employment opportunities and ProSight shall not be held liable for any employment opportunity or lack of employment opportunity resulting from obtaining the R.D. certification.