Happy RD Day!
March is National Nutrition Month! Each year during March, one day is designated to celebrate Registered Dietitians, or RDs.
Registered Dietitians (also called Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, or RDNs) are known as the nation’s food and nutrition experts. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which is the overseeing agency of Registered Dietitians, requires extensive training to earn the RD credential:
- Completion of a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university of college in a program with course work approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
- Completion of an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (commonly referred to as a dietetic internship) that includes rotations at health-care facilities, community agencies, and/or foodservice corporations. Dietetic internships can last anywhere from six to twelve months, or longer if combined with a master’s degree program.
- Successful passage of the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
- Completion of continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration status.
With all the required training necessary to become a RD, RDs are passionate about using their knowledge and training to make a difference in the health of the nation using safe, evidence-based nutrition practice. This aspiration can be undermined by those who practice nutrition without proper training or knowledge. While earning the title of Registered Dietitian is intensive and time-consuming, the title of ‘nutritionist’ is one that anyone can use. Even people who have no experience with nutrition can call themselves a nutritionist and provide general nutrition advice. (It is important to note here that ‘Registered Dietitian Nutritionist’ is an accepted variation of ‘Registered Dietitian,’ and is not synonymous with ‘nutritionist.’) There are some very knowledgeable, reliable nutritionists out there, but it is important to consider training and credentials when seeking expert sources of nutrition information. Registered Dietitians exist to help you achieve better health.
Registered Dietitians work in many different capacities. These include hospitals and other healthcare facilities, sports nutrition and corporate wellness settings, food and nutrition-related businesses and industries, private practice, community and public health settings, universities and medical centers, and research areas. Registered Dietitians are often carving out new, unique niches in various fields.
Do you know any Registered Dietitians? Celebrate with them today!
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist? EatRight Pro. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/about-us/what-is-an-rdn-and-dtr/what-is-a-registered-dietitian-nutritionist. Published 2015. Accessed March 2015.