Is becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist right for me?

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Overview
What do registered dietitian nutritionists do?
Career Satisfaction
Are registered dietitian nutritionists happy with their careers?
Personality
What are registered dietitian nutritionists like?

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How to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Aspiring registered dietitian nutritionists must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college, and have course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The student will study a variety of subjects, ranging from food and nutrition sciences, foodservice systems management, computer science, business, economics, culinary arts, sociology and communication to science courses such as biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, anatomy and chemistry.

They must also complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation. A practice program will run six to twelve months in length.

Finally, the student must pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), and complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Some registered dietitian nutritionists hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice, such as pediatric or renal nutrition, sports dietetics, nutrition support and diabetes education.

Note: If a student already has a bachelor's degree that is not in dietetics and is interested in becoming a registered dietitian, they should have their college transcript evaluated by a director of a dietetics program accredited or approved by ACEND. The program director will evaluate previous academic preparation and identify the courses that will need to be completed at that school to meet the educational requirements for dietetic registration.