What is a registered dietitian?
Registered dietitians (RDs) are food and nutrition experts who have met academic and professional requirements to qualify for the credential “RD.” In addition to RD credentialing, many states require licensure of registered dietitians to protect the health of the public. State requirements frequently are met through the same education and training required to become an RD.
Qualifications of a Registered Dietitian:
A registered dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who has met academic and professional requirements including:
- Earned a bachelor’s degree with course work approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Coursework typically includes food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, business, economics, computer science, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry.
- Completed an accredited, supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency or foodservice corporation.
- Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
- Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
Approximately 50% of RDs hold advanced degrees. Some RDs also hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice, such as pediatric or renal nutrition, nutrition support and diabetes education.
Registered dietitians who are members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are not only food and nutrition experts—they are leaders in the field of dietetics. Every one of the Academy's wide array of member benefits is designed to advance their knowledge and skills and enhance their networking opportunities.
Where do dietitians work?
The majority of registered dietitians work in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy, as part of medical teams), often in hospitals, HMOs, private practice or other health care facilities. In addition, a large number of registered dietitians work in community and public health settings and academia and research. A growing number of registered dietitians work with food and nutrition industry and business, journalism, sports nutrition, corporate wellness programs and other non-traditional work settings.
Careers in Dietetics
Registered Dietitians… Bring Food and Nutrition Expertise to the Table
What a Registered Dietitian Can Do for You
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