Dietetics and Nutrition in New York State

The practice of dietetics and nutrition requires competency in three core areas:

  1. Assessing nutrition needs and food patterns of individual and groups
  2. Planning for and directing the provision of food appropriate for physical and nutritional needs
  3. Providing nutritional counseling

The qualified practitioner needs a thorough understanding of the principles of nutrition in health and disease throughout the lifespan; evaluation of nutritional status; nutrient composition of foods; modification of diets; foodservice management; and the counseling, education and communication skills necessary to interpret nutrition information and assist individuals in making dietary changes

Three credentials can be used to identify qualified dietetic and nutrition professionals in New York State:

  1. Registered dietitian (RD)
  2. Dietetic technician, registered (DTR)
  3. Certified dietitian or certified nutritionist (CDN)

The RD and DTR are regulated and conferred by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the "Academy"), a private national organization of nutrition professionals. The CDN is a credential that is regulated and conferred by the New York State Board of Regents and the State Education Department (SED).

Registered dietitian: The RD must hold a bachelor's degree from a college or university dietetic program that has been approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND); must complete 1,200 hours in a supervised dietetic internship, and must successfully pass the national registration examination for dietitians administered by Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Dietetic technician, registered: The DTR must hold a degree from an ACEND-approved program for dietetic technicians (usually a two-year program), must complete 450 hours in a supervised dietetic technician practice program, and must successfully pass a national exam. DTRs generally work under the supervision of an RD.

Certified dietitian/nutritionist: Based on section 8004 of the State Education Law, the qualifications for becoming a CDN are:

  1. a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent, in dietetics/nutrition from an accredited college or university;
  2. completion of a supervised practice program or an equivalent work experience under the supervision of a CDN or a dietitian or nutritionist who is registered by or is a member of a national dietetic or nutrition organization; and
  3. passing an examination.

OR

  1. an associate's degree in dietetics or nutrition from a program approved by SED,
  2. 10 years of experience,
  3. the endorsement of three dietitians or nutritionists, and
  4. passing the same examination required of those with a four-year degree.

Additional information can be obtained from the New York State Department of Education, Office of the Professions Dietetics-Nutrition.