Steps to Becoming a Registered Dietitian
The DPD is a degree track of the B.S. degree area called Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Management. The two other degree tracks in this area are Nutrition and Foods and Food Management. The dietetics track (DPD) is the first step in the process to become a Registered Dietitian. A person must have a B.S. degree and successfully complete all the required DPD courses and receive a Verification Statement from the DPD Director. The second step is to complete an accredited Dietetic Internship Program which provides 1500 hours of supervised practice experience in order to ensure competence for entry level practice. Dietetic Internship Programs are located in universities and health care facilities throughout the nation. The process of getting accepted into an internship program is very competitive. Students must have good grades, volunteer experiences, work experiences, as well as other positive characteristics in order to be considered for an internship. After successful completion of an internship program, a person must pass the national certification exam to be a Registered Dietitian. A credential as a Registered Dietitian is required in order to get licensure as a dietitian in the state of Kentucky. A credential of Licensed Dietitian is a legal requirement to practice in the state, while a credential of Registered Dietitian is a professional requirement. In order to maintain RD status, a dietitian must complete 75 continuing education credits every 5 years, so learning never stops! A list of internship programs and more information about becoming a Registered Dietitian can be found at www.eatright.org.