Frequently Asked Questions

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Question:

Who can become licensed as a dietitian?

Answer:

The requirements for licensure as set forth in the Dietetics Practice Act are as follows:

Each applicant for a license as a licensed dietitian/nutritionist shall meet the following requirements:

  1. Submit a completed application as required by the Board;
  2. Submit any fees required by the Board; and
  3. Either:
    1. Provide evidence of current registration as a Registered Dietitian by the Commission on Dietetic Registration; or
    2. (1) Have received minimum of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a major course of study in human nutrition, foods and nutrition, dietetics, community nutrition, public health nutrition, or an equivalent major course of study, as approved by the Board. Regardless of the course of study, applicants must have successfully completed the Board’s minimum course requirements in food sciences, social and behavioral sciences, chemistry, biology, human nutrition, diet therapy, advanced nutrition, and food systems management. Applicants who have obtained their education outside of the United States and its territories must have their academic degree validated by the Board as equivalent to a baccalaureate or masters degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university in the United States; and
      (2) Have completed a planned, continuous program in approved clinical practice of not less than 900 hours under the supervision of a licensed dietitian/nutritionist as approved by the board; and
      (3) Have passed an examination as defined by the Board; or
    3. (1) Have received from a regionally accredited college or university a masters degree in human nutrition, nutrition education, foods and nutrition, public health nutrition or an equivalent major course of study as approved by the Board. Applicants who have obtained their education outside of the United State and its territories must have their academic degree validated by the Board as being equivalent to a master degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university in the United States; and
      (2) Have a documented supervised practice experience component in dietetic practice of not less than 900 hours under the supervision of licensed health care provider; and
      (3) Have passed an examination as defined by the Board; or
    4. Have received from a regionally accredited college or university a doctorate in human nutrition, nutrition education, foods and nutrition, public health nutrition, or an equivalent major course of study as approved by the Board, or have received a Doctor of Medicine. Regardless of the course of study, applicants must have successfully completed the Board’s minimum course requirements in social and behavioral sciences, chemistry, biology, human nutrition, diet therapy and advanced nutrition. Applicants who have obtained their education outside of the United States and its territories must have their academic degree validated by the Board as being equivalent to a doctorate of Doctor of Medicine conferred by a regionally accredited college or university in the United States.

Registered Dietitians with the Commission on Dietetic Registration do not need to take an additional examination.

What nutrition care services can unlicensed assistive personnel such as dietary managers or dietetic technicians registered provide? I've seen academic and online programs advertising "certified nutritionist" degrees. What can I do with this? What areas of nutrition and dietetics require licensure? Who can become licensed as a dietitian? What titles are restricted by the law? How does licensure impact my Registered Dietitian (R.D.) title? What are the penalties for violations of the law? What other states require a license to practice dietetics/nutrition? How often am I required to renew my license? What can happen if I forget to renew my license? Do I need to renew my license if I am currently unemployed? What should I do if my licensure card is lost or stolen? What documentation of continuing education is required to maintain a license? Who is eligible for a provisional license? What are the requirements for supervision of persons claiming exemption from licensure such as dietetic technicians registered or certified dietary managers? Who is exempt from licensure and regulation by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition What nutrition care services can the dietetic student or student dietetic technician provide? What can an unlicensed person, who is not otherwise exempt, do in the field of dietetics/nutrition? Is it within the scope of practice for NC LDNs to write diet orders? What do I need to do if I get married or divorced and my name changes? Is my license valid for one year from when I first apply and get licensed?