An RD is the way to be!

Can I get a what-what from all the Registered Dietitians and RD’s-to-be out there?

I have received a lot of emails from readers wanting to know more about becoming a dietitian and the job outlook for dietitians (which are great questions, by the way!). I figured what better place to pimp my profession other than my nutrition blog?

First things first, the correct spelling is, in fact, dietitian…not dietician. I personally don’t get worked up over this minor detail, but many RD’s do 😉 Another thing – there IS a difference between “dietitians” and “nutritionists”. Basically, dietitians have the education and credentialing to practice in dietetics, while anyone can be considered a nutritionist. Most states require licensing for their dietitians and thus the title “Licensed Nutritionist” (LN) or “Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist” (LDN) is often used. In Oklahoma, “Licensed Dietitian” is the title assigned to licensed dietitians.

So, what does one need to do in order to become a dietitian? Several things.

  1. Obtain a bachelor’s degree from a CADE-accredited nutrition/dietetics program
  2. Complete a CADE-approved dietetic internship (ranging between 6 and 12 months, on average)
  3. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)
  4. Obtain state licensure and/or registration, where applicable
  5. Complete continuing professional educational requirements (CPE’s) to maintain registration

Most importantly, what is the job outlook for dietitians?

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, average employment growth is projected for dietitians. While that doesn’t sound impressive, it’s great news! The job outlook rate is anticipated to increase by 9% during the 2008-2018 projection decade. This is sound information in support of the continued growth and demand of dietetics and dietitians in the US.

And days like yesterday make being a dietitian one of the most rewarding jobs. I met a patient this fall that had just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He was distraught, absolutely torn-up over his diagnosis. I met with him a week later after he had time to digest the news, and he begrudgingly listened with open ears to the information and insight I provided. We created a diabetic meal plan for him. Three months later, he’s looking to get off his ONE Biguanide drug. WOW! And his lipids? Astonishing! He’s LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol were elevated 3 months ago, and yesterday his labs all fell within reference range. I had to bite.

“So, what was the biggest change you’ve made since we met back in October?”

His response: “Vegetables and exercise.”

There is a God. 😉

*Patient details changed for confidentiality and HIPPA compliance.

The sweet Stef over at More To Life Than Lettuce (what an awesome blog name, by the way!) awarded me the Happy 101 award! Thank you, Stef! <3 The instructions are to: list 10 things that make me happy, do at least one of them today (I’ll highlight the ones I did!), and pass it along to 10 bloggies. So, here we are…

  1. Lily (probably not all that shocking to “Prevention Regulars”!)
  2. Looking at wedding pictures
  3. King size beds laden with thick, down comforters
  4. A kick-butt run where you feel like you could run forever and ever
  5. Waking up and knowing that you have NOTHING you need to accomplish that day
  6. Cuddling with my husband (cliche, but true!)
  7. Cooking, eat, restaurants, and all things food-related
  8. Helping others reach their health and nutrition goals
  9. Having a clean house (so…one might think it’d BE clean, right? Wrong!)
  10. Complimenting others

I would like to pass the Happy 101 Award on to…

Gina of The Candid RD
Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes
Karla of Foodologie
Georgie of Ask Georgie
Barbara of Barbara Bakes
Amanda of Fake Ginger
Holly of The Balance Broad
Paige of Running Around Normal
Leslie of Leslie Lifting Life
Jessica of How Sweet It Is

I’m trying to spread the love some!! I read a TON of blogs each day (too many, probably!), and I enjoy each and every one!!!

Question: Do you think being an dietitian would be a career path of interest to you? Why or why not?

Who’s watching The Biggest Loser tonight?????

While I am biased, of course, there are a TON of other professions I am really interested in!! 🙂

Share With Your Friends!

29 Comments

  1. January 5, 2010 / 8:37 am

    for years now I’ve wanted to become a Dietitian but I have some reservations.

    I don’t think I can afford to go back to school and I doubt I could pass all those chem classes necessary to graduate!! grr. but i’m very jealous of all of you who work in the profession 🙂

  2. Allison
    January 5, 2010 / 8:51 am

    Thanks for the great info! I’m a 3rd year in the Dietetics program at UW-Madison. I will be graduating in 2 years (5 total) because I am also majoring in Spanish. Not only do I love the language, but I hope there is a niche for Spanish-speaking RD’s!

    Just a tip- you may want to mention the importance of grades and the difficulty of the classes. My school just changed Dietetics to a pre-professional program. This means that you can’t declare it as your major until you have X number of credits (including some chemistry) and then you must be ACCEPTED to the major according to GPA, leadership, etc.

    A lot of girls (at least at my school) think- Dietetics…food…making people “healthy”…that sounds easy. WRONG! Dietetics is a VERY challenging major, and if you want any chance of getting an internship (with the current placement rate at 50%!!!) you must work extremely hard and be naturally a “science person.”

    Just thought I’d throw my 2 cents in because I get SO many people coming up to me asking about the major because they are interested. As soon as I mention all of the Chemistry and upper-level science classes they say “I can’t do that!” Not that I don’t want people trying to if it’s what they love, I just think many don’t realize the difficulty-level of it. 🙂

    • Nicole
      Author
      January 5, 2010 / 6:13 pm

      Allison, thank you for this information and sharing! I really appreciate it! And, I completely agree. Chemistry and biochemistry had me in tears on several occasions! Thanks for commenting, and hope to see you around more! Good luck in completing your degree and all the best in our wonderful field!

      • Allison
        January 6, 2010 / 10:01 am

        Thanks 🙂 I love reading your blog!

  3. January 5, 2010 / 11:00 am

    I’m a RD!!! Way to pimp the profession and explain the profession and why a nutritionist is something different (requiring no schooling even and could even be a homeless alcoholic bum, ok that maybe a tad extreme, hmmm). Good job pointing out the correct spelling. I once pointed that out at a gym while the guy was unsuccessfully trying to sell RD time to someone in a dietetic internship, I don’t know why he kept trying to sell me on this, but I picked up his brochure and said, that’s nice, now can you spell it correctly. He swore it was correct so we walked over the dietitians door and sure enough I was right. Also, we used to get points taken off papers in undergrad if we spelled it wrong. The dictionary will show both spellings, but the ADA spelling is dietitian. I think we just like to confuse people. RD’s and future RD’s RULE!!!

  4. January 5, 2010 / 11:12 am

    This is a great post! I nutritionist saved my life so I praise anyone who works in this field!

    Ohhh that’s right a new BL tonight!!! WOOHOO

  5. January 5, 2010 / 11:18 am

    I bet the job market for dietitions would grow even more int he next decade as movies and books like Food INC… etc become more popular. Almost everyone who has seen food inc has made some sort of change in their diet and I constantly hear at work that they want to see a dietition or nutritionist to help them with thier health issue… 🙂 You have a rewarding job 🙂

  6. January 5, 2010 / 11:25 am

    I could totally see me being a RD one day, I’ve been thinking about it lately actually (but I am currently starting school for an Education Assistant) so we shall see what happens!!

    Great post and congrats on the award! 🙂

  7. January 5, 2010 / 11:32 am

    I would love love love to be a dietitian! Ive made inquiries about going back for my masters but trying to swing it with work right now is hard. So we’ll see. I love that you explained the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian. I honestly wasn’t sure so it was great to have this info! Congrats on the award!!! I loved reading all those fabulous facts about yourself. I love 4 and 10 especially! I hope you are having an amazing day sweetie!

  8. January 5, 2010 / 12:33 pm

    I’ve often thought about trying to become a dietitian because of my natural love for health and nutrition. I’m on my way to becoming a journalist, but I often think I’ll end up back at school for nutrition. We’ll see. And those job prospect statistics are quite well considering the job field and economy of today…but better than the outlook for prospective journalists!

  9. January 5, 2010 / 12:38 pm

    ive always thought about being a dietitian!! its my minor..so we will see! its SO interesting

  10. January 5, 2010 / 12:45 pm

    I enjoy nutrition but cooking is my passion. I would love to go to culinary school and refine my skills.

    I am so looking forward to BL! What motivation for the new year.

  11. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    January 5, 2010 / 1:07 pm

    hey thanks! my blog name is cheesy but i love it anyway ;). awesome that you’re pimping your profession, great info! i know so many dietitians who get really peeved when people call them nutritionists, and rightfully so!

  12. January 5, 2010 / 4:30 pm

    I’m actually really interested in nutrition and always thought it would be “fun” to go back to school to study nutrition. I took a couple nutrition classes in college and really liked them. However, after grad school, I’m seriously burned out with school and being a student again would be a bit too much, at least at this time in my life. But who knows how I’ll feel in a few years… 😉

    Thanks for the award! 🙂

  13. January 5, 2010 / 6:23 pm

    Great information! People always seem to get a nutritionist and RD confused so thanks for clearing that up.
    I love being a dieitian!

  14. January 5, 2010 / 7:49 pm

    So many things to say to you! Where do I begin?

    1) Thanks SO MUCH for your kind comment on my blog (about my video clip) AND for the award! I’m not good at posting about the awards I get, I’ll admit it, but I really do appreciate it.

    2) Your post was fantastic. I saw that article in the ADA journal about how RDs pays are increasing, and I almost fell off my elliptical. I couldn’t believe it!

    3) YEAH for your patient who increased his exercise and veggies! Going off any number of meds is a huge accomplishment.

    4) Heck yeah I’m watching BL tonight! I’ve got it on Tivo right now so I can ff through the commercials 🙂

  15. January 5, 2010 / 7:55 pm

    Great post! I also wanted to add that you CAN become an RD without a BS in dietetics. I received my BA in women’s studies, and am now finishing my MS at a CADE-accredited dietetics program. It takes a little longer than regular Masters degrees because I still have to take some undergraduate courses too to fulfill the DPD requirements, but if you have a Bachelors in something different I think it’s definitely worth checking out instead of a second Bachelors!

  16. January 5, 2010 / 11:43 pm

    Haha, I’m guilty of spelling dietitian as dietician. 🙂
    Thanks for this post! I’m not looking to be a RD, because I’m really not into those kind of scientific fields (I HATE science), but I do like to know about nutrition. Just enough without getting too deep into all the chemical and biology and stuff, of course.

  17. January 6, 2010 / 12:42 am

    Yay for happiness! Thanks!

    Being an RD sounds really interesting! I’m not sure it’s necessarily for me though. I’m really into politics and policy related issues but I do love the idea of being able to work with individuals. But honestly I don’t know too much about it.

  18. January 6, 2010 / 6:36 am

    Sounds like you put a lot of work into getting where you are in your profession. It’s so great you like it and that you get fulfillment out of doing it–there is nothing better than helping people make good choices that could save their lives 🙂

  19. January 6, 2010 / 8:01 am

    Thank you SO much for the award, Nicole!! I loved your things…I, too, love a clean house. The smells…everything!

    I would LOVE to go back and be an RD. Unfortunately, that would mean a lot of school (and the closest school that offers that program is over an hour away). But I do know that I need to be in a career where I’m helping people, PLUS I have such an interest in food/nutrition. So….until my next life, I will live through you. 🙂

  20. January 6, 2010 / 8:47 am

    All I wanna say is whoop-whoop! Love the post girl! And, adore the RD promoting!!! You tell ’em:) Congrats on another award!!! xxx

  21. January 6, 2010 / 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the award! =)

    When I was first applying to colleges, I thought about doing the dietitian route but got scared of all the science courses. And then somehow I ended up in nursing school which makes no sense, because… hello nothing but science courses!

    (That crab salad in the post above this looks awesome!)

  22. January 6, 2010 / 9:40 pm

    I had the opportunity to work with a dietitian last year ’cause of some stuff I was dealing with. I learned so much more than I thought I all ready knew about health, balance and great eating habits. I was burning more than my intake……the good news was I was able to take in more healthy calories with him looking over my shoulder. We wanted to increase lean muscle mass while maintaining my all ready low body fat. I truly respect what you guys do!!!!

  23. January 6, 2010 / 10:01 pm

    Congratulations on your award! It was fun learning more about you. I love my king size bed too and the warmer the better. Thanks so much for thinking of me to pass the award on to. I’m flattered!

  24. January 7, 2010 / 9:29 pm

    I love food and have spent a lot of time figuring out what makes me feel and perform my best, and I’ve made it my hobby to come up with interesting and ever-changing menus that fit those needs. I would love to help enlighten others on their journey, so yes, I could see myself as a dietitian. At the same time, I’d love to combine it with my love of fitness and teach others how to get the most out of their time in the gym.

    And yes, another Biggest Loser fan here!

  25. January 8, 2010 / 6:43 am

    Being an RD is a dream come true for me. Its the best job in the world. With little exception, I still haven’t felt like I “worked” a day in my life. It’s great to help people reach their goals!

    Everyone should be so lucky!

    Georgie Fear RD
    http://www.askgeorgie.com

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