What is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?
A registered dietitian nutritionist 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 and foodservice corporation.
- Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
- Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
How is an RDN different than a nutritionist?
- The “RDN” credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Some RDNs may call themselves “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians.
- Individuals with the RDN credential have fulfilled specific requirements, including having earned at least a bachelor’s degree, completed a supervised practice program and passed a registration examination — in addition to maintaining continuing education requirements for recertification.