Dietitian Requirements in Florida FL
Qualifications to become a Dietitian or Nutritionist in Florida
*Do not assume that any schools and programs listed on this site are a path to obtaining the RD credential. For credential information on actual schools that offer programs to the RD credential, view the ADA's official website at www.eatright.org.
It is critical for students of this field to be aware of the different qualifications to practice nutrition, dietetics or become a Registered Dietitian. Dietetics is a specialized field of study that ows persons at the completion of their studies to take The National Registration Examination to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). RD is a well-recognized term, legy protected term that only Registered Dietitians can use. However, self-styled nutritionists or diet counselors often provide advice and counseling to clients. One must decide which field most interests them, and pursue the required education.
The following is information about dietetic registration requirements and levels of certification in the state of Florida, there are three.
Registered Dietitian (RD)
RDs have a required program of course-work that includes, earning a minimum of a bachelors' degree, and completing 900 practice hours in a supervised internship or practice. This qualifies students to then take the Registered Dietitian Exam. Once the exam is passed, the RD status is rewarded. In addition to this, RD's are required every five years to earn at least seventy-five hours of continuing education units (CEU). There are pre-approved (CEUs) by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Continuing education helps move entry-level professionals beyond the basic knowledge and skills needed to pass the national registration exam. This (CEU) requirement also ensures that professionals engage in a lifelong learning process to remain competent in their field of practice. Nutrition is always changing as new discoveries are made.
Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist (LD/N)
Florida enacted a licensure law, 4689.501-468.518, about the practice of nutrition and dietetics in 1988. According to the law in Florida: "No person may engage for remuneration in dietetics and nutrition practice or hold himself out as a practitioner of dietetics and nutrition practice unless a person is licensed in accordance with the provisions of ss. 4689.501-468.518."
A licensed dietitian/nutritionist in Florida will be granted the designation LD/N. They may use the title dietitian, licensed dietitian, nutritionist, or licensed nutritionist, in connection with their business to indicate their level of expertise in the state of Florida.
LD/Ns are expected to fulfill academic and pre-professional practice requirements similar to the standard to achieve a RDs license, to take the state licensure examination. In addition, licensed practitioners in Florida need to pursue an ongoing program of continuing education to maintain their licenses. This is critical to ensure that the public will receive up-to-date and accurate information when they seek the services of an LD/N.
According to The CDR: "Dietetics practitioners are licensed by states to ensure that only qualified, trained professionals provide nutrition services or advice to individuals requiring or seeking nutrition care or information. Only state-licensed dietetics professionals can provide nutrition counseling. Non-licensed practitioners may be subject to prosecution for practicing without a license."
Licensed Nutrition Counselor (LNC)
In 1988, when the new licensure law was enacted in Florida, nutrition counselors who had been practicing prior to 1988 were owed to designate themselves as a licensed nutrition counselor (LNC). LNCs may use the words nutrition counselor, licensed nutrition counselor, nutritionist, or licensed nutritionist in connection with their names or places of business to show their level of expertise in the state of Florida.
Prior to 1988 there were no laws in Florida to regulate the practice of nutrition counseling, Because there were no laws, some LNCs may be highly qualified or completely unqualified in the area of nutrition/nutrition counseling depending on when they began their practice. Individuals will need to inquire about background and experience in order to determine for themselves whether a counselor meets their standards. Like RDs, and LD/Ns, LNCs in the state of Florida must continue their education to maintain their license.