Registered Dietitians often work in hospitals or other clinical settings to provide specialized care to patients undergoing treatment or in recovery from illness.
An Essential Member of the Modern Health Care Team
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics defines registered dietitian as a food and nutrition expert who has met the minimum academic and professional requirements to qualify for the RD credential.
In addition to RD credentialing, many states including Kansas have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners. State requirements frequently are met through the same education and training required to become an RD.
Registered dietitians must meet the following criteria to obtain the RD credential:
Some RDs hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice. These are awarded through the Commission on Dietetic Registration, and/or other medical and nutrition organization and are recognized within the profession. These are not required credentials but note expertise in specialty fields. Some of the certifications include renal nutrition, pediatric nutrition, nutrition support, sports, and diabetes education.
A Career in Demand
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered dietitians is expected to grow because of increased emphasis on disease prevention, the growing elderly population and public interest in nutrition.
Registered dietitians are trained to work in a variety of areas:
The Importance of the Registered Dietitan
Some individuals call themselves “nutritionists” and offer nutrition services without education, formal training, and licensing as a nutrition professional. However, the registered dietitian has a college degree and years of advanced training plus has passed a national examination to obtain the RD credential. The registered dietitian is the nutrition expert.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics maintains a list of registered dietitians providing medical nutrition services to the public. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment maintains a list of dietitians licensed to practice in the state of Kansas. Licensed Dietitians from Kansas use the “LD” credential.