A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is a food and nutrition expert who had to meet certain criteria to earn the RDN credential.
They have to complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
They have to complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program is 12 months in length.
It is required to pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR’s website at www.cdrnet.org
They maintain their registration status by completing continuing professional educational requirements.
Some RDNs hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice. These are awarded through CDR, the credentialing agency for the Academy, and/or other medical and nutrition organizations and are recognized within the profession, but are not required. Some of the certifications include pediatric or renal nutrition, sports dietetics, nutrition support and diabetes education.
In addition to RDN credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners. Frequently these state requirements are met through the same education and training required to become an RDN.
Unfortunately, New York States does not protect the RDNs scope of practice by providing licensure. This means, anyone can practice nutrition and that is a threat to the health and safety of New Yorkers. New York State has certification, deemed by the Certified Dietitian Nutritionist title. Certification doesn’t protect our scope of practice or your health and safety either. Certification separates us as having additional education hours.