Becoming a Registered Dietitian
Steps to Becoming a Registered Dietitian
The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is a degree track of the B.S. degree area called Nutrition & Dietetics. The other degree track in this area is Nutrition and Foods. The dietetics track (DPD) is the first step in the process to become a Registered Dietitian. An individual must earn a B.S. degree and successfully complete all the required DPD courses in order to receive a Verification Statement from the DPD Director. A Verification Statement is necessary to proceed to the next step in the credentialing pathway.
The second step in the credentialing pathway is to complete an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) that provides a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice experience in order to ensure competence for entry level practice. Dietetic Internship (DI) 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 accredited Dietetic Internship (DI), a person must then pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians to be credentialed as a Registered Dietitian (RD). Credentialing as a Registered Dietitian (RD) is required in order to get licensure as a dietitian in the state of Kentucky. A credential of Licensed Dietitian (LD) is a legal requirement to practice in the state, while a credential of Registered Dietitian (RD) is a professional requirement recognized nationally. In order to maintain the RD credential, a dietitian must complete 75 continuing education credits every 5 years. So the learning never stops!
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In the state of Kentucky, graduates also must obtain licensure to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD at Murray State are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervise practice program. For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN please visit: https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students.
For more information regarding accredited Dietetic Internships (DIs) and credentialing as a Registered Dietitian visit www.eatright.org/acend.