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Nutritionist and Dietitian Programs in Oklahoma

Nutritionists and dietitians study food, the effects of food on the body and the results -- or consequences -- of the everyday diet. They advise individuals and the public on how to plan healthy meals, embark on specific diets or achieve health-related goals that involve their nutrition intake. They might work with individuals or specific populations, such as the children who partake of school lunches or the patients in nursing homes. Nutritionists and dietitians are responsible for choosing the meal plans, helping patients or clients implement them, evaluating the effectiveness and changing the plans if necessary to keep moving closer to the ultimate nutrition goal.

Career Options

Graduates of Oklahoma nutritionist and dietitian schools have a good job outlook on the horizon, with 20 percent growth projected nationally from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment for nutritionists and dietitians can be found in a wide variety of settings, including schools, cafeterias, food services, clinics, prisons, nursing homes and the like. The BLS reported that 32 percent of dietitians worked in hospitals nationally in 2010, and another 15 percent were self-employed. Employment possibilities also exist in restaurants, catering establishments, private practice and as personal chefs.

Education and Training

In order to become licensed to practice, aspiring nutritionists and dietitians in Oklahoma must earn a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university, as well as complete at least 24 semester hours in one of the following: dietetics, food systems management, human nutrition, food and nutrition, or an equivalent major course of study.

In addition, graduates of nutritionist schools in Oklahoma must be eligible for registry with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), including the work requirement of at least 1,200 supervised practice hours. This can be earned through the preplanned programs at many Oklahoma nutritionist and dietitian schools, or can be completed with internships.

The following credentials are available to those who qualify:

  • Registered Dietitian (RD): By completing all the work hours and education required for CDR registration, a student can take the exam to become a registered dietitian.
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN): This is an optional title that can be used by registered dietitians. This can allow RDs to describe their work in a broader scope.
  • Dietetic Technician (DTR): The dietetic technician must earn 450 hours of supervised work, hold an associate degree and in most cases, work under the supervision of a registered dietitian.
  • Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS): Earning this designation requires courses in science-based nutrition therapy as well as a master's degree in nutrition or a related subject.

Those who choose to specialize can do so with several designations through the CDR. Some of these include the board certified specialties in oncology nutrition (CSO), renal nutrition (CSR) and sports nutrition (CSSD), among others.

Salary and Employment Outlook

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionists in Oaklahoma made an annual median wage of $47,110 (bls.gov, 2013) with the highest and lowest 10 percent earning $70,770 and $29,900 respectively. In addition, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, dietitians and nutritionists within the state may experience an job outlook growth of up to 22.35 percent from 2010 to 2020 (ok.gov, 2011).

The following table provides nutritionist and dietitian salary information by metropolitan area within the state (bls.gov, 2013).

Oklahoma Metropolitan Area
Annual Mean Wage
Tulsa
$47,880
Oklahoma City
$49,470

Licensing Requirements

Those who graduate from nutritionist and dietitian programs in Oklahoma must adhere to the following rules in order to become licensed in the state:

  • Earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, including at least 24 semester hours in food and nutrition, food systems management, human nutrition or dietetics
  • Pass an exam presented by the state dietetics board or by the CDR
  • Complete at least 1,200 hours of supervised work to be eligible for CDR registration
  • Pass an extended background check

Licenses can be renewed every year, no later than October 31, for a small fee. Completing the proper amount of continuing education to maintain the CDR registration is also required to keep the license up to date.

For more information on how to become a nutritionist in Oklahoma, visit the site for Oklahoma Licensed and Provisional Dietitians.

For more information:

Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision
P.O. Box 18256
Oklahoma City, OK 73154-0256
405-962-1400


Sources:

Commission on Dietetic Registration
Dietitians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision
Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Oklahoma

Nutritionist Schools in Oklahoma

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