What is a Registered Dietitian, and what is required to maintain credentials?

Sometimes the term gets confused with "health coach" or "nutritionist". A registered dietitian must meet certain academic criteria as well as professional requirements in order to sit for the exam. Once you see that word- "PASSED"- you are officially credentialed! The process includes:

  • A bachelor's degree in dietetics or nutrition from an academic program accredited by ACEND- the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Completion of a supervised practice program through an accredited facility (Dietetic Internship). I received my Master's degree during the same time as the internship, but a Master's degree is not required to become credentialed at this time.
  • Pass the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetics Registration.
  • After passing the examination, RD/RDN's must complete 75 continuing education hours within a 5 year period in order to maintain registration and credentialing.

I am an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as the Louisville District Dietetic Journal Club.

What do my credentials stand for?

I may have too many, but at this point, I am SUPER proud of them and will use them until the end of time.

MS- Master of Science

RDN- Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD's have the option to use RD or RDN as their credentials once passing of the exam)

LDN- Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist, Dual

CDCES- Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (Formerly CDE- Certified Diabetes Educator) 

MLDCES- Master License Diabetes Care and Education Specialist