Becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD) / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
What is a RD/RDN?
- The titles RD and RDN are synonymous.
- RDs are food and nutrition expert who has met registration certification criteria set by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND), Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition & Dietetics (ACCEND), and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
- RDs are often referred to as “nutritionists,” but RDs have more education and training than nutritionists and have greater job responsibilities.
- Another credential is Dietetic Technician Registered (DTR/NDTR).
What does a RD/RDN do?
- RDs uses evidenced-based practice to promote good health through nutrition (eating).
- Registered dietitians assess the nutritional needs of both sick and healthy people and then develop individualized plans of care to improve or maintain health.
In what settings do RDs/RDNs work?
- Clinical – hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, home care
- Community – public health agencies, WIC, schools
- Corporations – businesses
- Management – food service, administration
- Private practice
- Sports nutrition
- Education - teach
How does one become a RD/RDN?
Complete registration certification criteria:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. accredited university
- Complete ACEND-accredited coursework in a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD verification statement)
- Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program in a Dietetic Internship (DI)
- Pass national RD exam administered by CDR
Once registered, must complete continuing professional education to maintain registration.
Note: Starting 2024, an advanced degree will also be a requirement.
Various paths to becoming a RD/RDN offered at SJSU:
- BS in Nutritional Science with Dietetics Concentration includes DPD at SJSU --> External/Internal DI --> RD Exam
- Bachelor's degree with DPD from another university --> MS in Nutritional Science at SJSU --> External/Internal DI--> RD Exam
- Bachelor's degree without DPD from another university --> MS in Nutritional Science at SJSU with DPD coursework -->External/Internal DI --> RD Exam
- BS = Bachelor of Science
- DPD = Didactic Program in Dietetics
- Internal DI = Dietetic Internship through SJSU
- External DI = Dietetic Internship through another institution (outside of SJSU)
- RD = Registered Dietitian
- MS = Master's of Science degree
For more information: www.eatright.org