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Licensed Nutritionist

Nutritionist & Dietitian Licensing Bodies

Nutritionist & Dietitian Licensing BodiesThe national licensing department for nutritionists and dietitians in the United States is the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The ADA oversees the registration and certification for all 50 states, yet directly oversees certification for just 27 of these states. The remaining 23, although overseen by the ADA, are directly monitored and certified by the affiliate Dietetic Association of that State. States with individual Dietetic Association oversight are listed below. All other states refer to the ADA and their national examination and certification.

The respective body in Canada is the Dietitians of Canada, or Les Diététistes du Canada (DC). The Canadian licensing bodies however, unlike those in the US, rely on each individual province’s Provincial College of Dietitians organization for all certification and registration. These are listed below.

US Dietitian & Nutritionist Licensing

There are currently 23 states that require individual state specific Dietetic licensure. Overall, 46 of 50 states as well as DC and Puerto Rico currently regulate dietetics practice. State specific licensure and certification are treated separately from the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s (CDR) national certification process. Thus, while the CDR oversees national certification for most states, 23 states require an additional state specific certification process to that of the CDR. State information is listed below.

In the US, the term ‘nutritionist’ is not regulated by any particular governing body. For this reason, anyone can call himself or herself a nutritionist. Not so for a dietitian. Registered Dietitians (RD) and Dietetic Technicians, Registered (DTR) must complete criteria, either within their state’s board of licensing or examiners or under the guidance of the American Dietetic Association. This criteria includes the following:

  1. One needs to complete a Bachelor's degree program from an accredited university or college having a curriculum which has been approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) from the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
  2. One needs to complete a 6 to 12 month CADE accredited internship, which specifies the number of supervised working hours in a healthcare/community facility or food service corporation or agency. This should also include either undergraduate or graduate courses from an accredited university or college.
  3. One should successfully complete an examination nationally administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), which ADA accredited.
  4. All applicants must continue to update their accreditation annually with coursework and research in the field.

Contact information for the American Dietetic Association can be found below:

American Dietetic Association
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995

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