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Nutrition F.A.Q.

You may have many questions about the Nutrition Option of the Health Science degree at Keene State. Below we've tried to answer some of those questions, but if you don't find the answers you're looking for, please contact us.

Click any question below to display the corresponding answer.

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What is the difference between a nutritionist and a Registered Dietitian (RD)?

Nutrition professionals who have completed all of the required coursework and successfully passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians may use the legal credential RD. Only professionals who have passed the examination can call themselves RDs. The education and training of professionals calling themselves nutritionists varies widely.

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What are some examples of jobs for Registered Dietitians?

Clinical dietitians assess patients’ nutritional needs, may manage food service departments, and provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT) to treat and prevent diseases. Common work settings include hospitals and nursing care facilities. Annual salary range: $46,009 to $69,576.

Management dietitians oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation, budgets, enforce regulations, and supervise other RDs and food service workers. Common work settings include healthcare facilities, company cafeterias, schools, and prisons. Annual salary range: $60,008 to $87,006.

Community dietitians provide nutrition education and counseling to groups and individuals. Typical work settings include state and local health departments, home health agencies, WIC, and other grant-funded programs. They often work with special populations such as people with low incomes, elderly, children, and individuals with special needs. Annual salary range: $42,993 to $62,441.

Non-RD-required jobs in a variety of management, health, community, education, and industry fields (link to non-RD jobs)

1 Salary range for RD positions is 25th to 75th percentile. Source: ADA Compensation and Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, 2011

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What are examples of specialty certifications for Registered Dietitians?

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) offers the board-certified specialist designation in:

  • Gerontological Nutrition (CSG)
  • Sports Dietetics (CSSD)
  • Pediatric Nutrition (CSP)
  • Renal Nutrition (CSR)
  • Oncology Nutrition (CSO)

Visit www.cdrnet.org for more information.

The Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) certification is offered through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. Visit www.ncbde.org for more information.

For more information on becoming an RD, please visit www.eatright.org.

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If I am unsure about becoming a Registered Dietitian, can I still major in Health Science/Nutrition Option?

There are a number of career options for those who complete the program and are not certain that they want to become a Registered Dietitian. Link to the examples of non-RD jobs

Job shadowing is a great way to identify career paths you like and ones that you do not like. Gaining experience through internships, volunteering, or paid job experiences are vital in making you more marketable, which will be helpful in attaining a job after graduation. Gaining experience is also crucial, because you are able to make contacts with other professionals already in the work field.

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What are some examples of jobs for non-RDs?

There are a variety of employment options, however, some may require additional training or education. Some examples include:

Media

  • Writer (medical/technical)
  • Health speaker
  • Author (magazines, books, cookbooks)
  • Food critic

Hospital Setting

  • Diet technician
  • Nutrition assistant
  • Dietary aide

Counseling

  • Nutrition educator
  • Community nutritionist (Women, Infants, and Children [WIC] nutritionist, for example)
  • Wellness/health coach

Community

  • Government-based programs (Cooperative Extension, WIC, others)
  • Grant-funded programs
  • Corporate wellness

Food Service Management

  • Food service manager/assistant manager (hospitals, assisted living centers, schools, restaurants, hotels)
  • Restaurant consultant
  • Quality control
  • Health inspector
  • USDA inspector
  • FDA inspector

Sales Representative

  • Food company
  • Medical supplies/devices
  • Pharmaceutical company
  • Nutritional supplement sales

Education (may need additional education or credentials in order to teach)

  • Research
  • Research assistant
  • Grant writer

Industry

  • Taste tester
  • Food stylist
  • Food technologist/scientist
  • Research chef
  • Marketing specialist (developing and introducing new foods)

Government Positions

Health and Human Services (many government positions)

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What are examples of certifications that do not require an RD?

  • Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES): National Center on Health Education Credentialing
  • Certified Personal Trainer: American Council on Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine
  • Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)
  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
  • CPR and First Aid: American Red Cross
  • Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional: Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals (ANFP)
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Will I be a registered dietitian after finishing my B.S. degree at KSC?

No. To become an RD you must earn a DPD Verification Statement by passing the KSC Verification Statement Examination, and apply for and be accepted into a dietetic internship. After completing the dietetic internship, you then must pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

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Do I have to take the Verification Statement Examination to get my degree?

Your B.S. degree in Health Science/Nutrition Option does not require that you take and pass the KSC Verification Statement Examination. The Verification Statement Examination is a requirement for the DPD Verification Statement only, which is what is needed to qualify for dietetic internship.

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What is a dietetic internship?

The dietetic internship is a post-baccalaureate program that provides a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice in dietetics. The cost of these programs varies but the student can expect to spend the equivalent to a year of college on program fees, tuition and living expenses

The training includes rotations in food service management, clinical, and community nutrition. A dietetic internship must be successfully completed to qualify to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Dietetic internships are also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

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What is the national Registration Examination for Dietitians?

This is the final step to becoming a Registered Dietitian. The Commission on Dietetic Registration administers the national examination and credentials dietitians. Once the student has successfully completed both the DPD coursework and the dietetic internship component, he or she is eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

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What is the Dietetic Technician Registered and how do I become one?

Dietetic Technicians Registered (DTR) are food and nutrition professionals that have either completed an accredited DTR program and passed the national Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians, or have a four-year degree from an accredited DPD (Health Science Nutrition Option) program and have passed the national Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians.

DTRs typically work alongside Registered Dietitians in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other health care facilities. Other career opportunities for DTRs include food service management and community nutrition programs.

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What are some additional resources that may be useful?


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