National Nutrition Month is in full swing with Week Two featuring the role of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and what an RDN can do for you! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' (AND) key message this week outlines the various services and tools that RDNs can provide. With Registered Dietitian's specializing in unique dietary needs of populations and individuals, there are numerous services that can be provided by an RDN. A great first step in seeing what a Registered Dietitian can do for you is to speak with your physician regarding a referral to an RDN or using the AND website to locate Registered Dietitian's in your area. The link to the "Find a Nutrition Expert" tool is located below:
With the Academy's key message this week highlighting the benefits and services RDNs provide, it is also fitting that March 9th is recognized as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! Beginning in 2008, RDN Day set out to commemorate the dedication of Registered Dietitians as health and nutrition advocates. More information regarding this holiday can be found on the Academy's website below:
As an RDN myself, I thought it would be most fitting to answer the most common questions I receive in terms of my profession. The first question to be addressed is, "How do you become an RD?" The answer to this question can be summarized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 5 steps:
Complete a bachelor's degree and receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited program (Didactic Program in Dietetics, Coordinated Program, Future Graduate Program, Foreign or International Dietitian Education Program) Note, effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration. (Dietetic registration exam.)
Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice dietetic internship program or Individual Supervised Practice Pathway is an option. Supervised practice/experiential learning is combined with the Coordinated Program, Future Graduate Program, and International Dietitian Education Program.
Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration's dietetic registration exam.
Gain licensure in your state of practice, if applicable.
Maintain continuing education.
The second question that I am often asked as a Registered Dietitian is, "What is the difference in a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist?" The graphic below from All Access Dietetics best depicts the difference of these two terms.
As an RD, I have the privilege of working alongside many wonderful healthcare professionals and community members who share the common goal of working to achieve positive health related outcomes of individuals and populations. With week two of National Nutrition Month highlighting my profession, I consider it an honor to share this information with you. If you have any further questions about what a Registered Dietitian can do for you or any comments or concerns you'd like to share, feel free to contact me via the email contact form located on the Dietitian's Blog home page. See you next week for more information on National Nutrition Month!