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How easy is it to transition to a career in dietetics?

I am transitioning from a high school biology teaching career. I was a biology major in undergrad, and now I am returning to school for a second degree in dietetics. Thankfully, some of my previous courses count toward the dietetics degree.

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Michelle’s Answer

Dietetics is a great field to be in since it's always going to be needed and you have a wide variety of options to choose from career wise. Once you get your degree, you'll need to do 1200 hours of supervised practice by doing an internship and then you'll need to pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination. During your internship I would recommend building a relationship with your preceptors since they'll able to give you tips and advice on how to prepare for the exam as well as when you apply for jobs. The workload involved with the internship as well as preparing for the exam is intense but push through it because it's extremely rewarding at the very end. Best of luck with your studies and your career change! It will be totally worth it in the long run.

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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi there, Vanessa!

I've been an Australian Dietitian for 35 years and I'm here to help you understand the steps to become a registered dietitian in the United States. It's a fulfilling career path and I'm excited to guide you through it!

Here's a simple breakdown of what you need to do:

1. Start by earning a bachelor's degree in nutrition or a related field from a college or university that's accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
2. Next, you'll need to complete an internship or supervised practice in nutrition and dietetics. You can do this through an accredited program or as part of a graduate degree program.
3. It's also beneficial to earn a master's degree in nutrition or a related field, although this isn't a requirement in every state.
4. You'll then need to pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians (RD) which is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). This exam will test your knowledge of nutrition science, food science, and dietetics practice.
5. Finally, you'll need to get licensed in the state where you wish to practice. Some states require this, others don't.

Remember, the exact requirements can vary from state to state, so it's a good idea to check with the state where you plan to practice for the most current information. Some states might also require additional things like continuing education or certification in a specialty area.

To help you further, here are three resources that provide more details on the requirements:

1. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) website: It has information on the registration examination and the requirements for becoming a registered dietitian.
2. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) website: It provides information on the accreditation of degree programs and the requirements for becoming a registered dietitian.
3. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) website: It provides information on the job outlook and salary range for registered dietitians.

I hope you find this information useful! Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.

Additionally, here are some online resources that might be helpful:

1. www.cdrnet.org: It provides information about graduate degree requirements for dietitians.
2. www.eatright.org: It guides on how to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
3. www.publichealthdegrees.org: It provides a step-by-step guide to becoming a Registered Dietitian.
4. www.unr.edu: It shares details about the requirements for licensure in dietetics.
5. www.eatrightpro.org: It answers FAQs about careers in dietetics and provides a fact sheet about becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
6. www.emilieeats.com: It provides a guide on how to become a Registered Dietitian without a Bachelor's in Nutrition.
7. health.oregonstate.edu: It provides a guide on how to become an RDN through the Dietetics and Nutrition program at the College of Health.
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Ameera’s Answer

Dietetics is a great field when it comes to oppurtunities, creativity & knowledge. It is an ever green field and has especially become more important after covid pandemic. With everyday people becoming more & more health conscious, Dietetics & Nutrition always come into action. The road may not seem to be very easy but is very promising. After your degree completion you should go for internships, online courses, webinars & camps. Wishing you best of luck!
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Leen’s Answer

Studying nutrition is very advantageous is terms of transition from or to it. Because to be a nutritionist you need a solid background in chemistry, biochemistry and biology, I believe that it's not gonna be that hard for you to take a second degree in nutrition, but pay attention to the differences between "Nutrition" and "Dietetics" terms. They are not the same although people use these terms interchangeably. I believe that you will enjoy studying nutrition and finding a career as a nutritionist/Dietician. Because you need to be always up to date. You can also find more course in ASPEN and ESPEN for more credits and more learning. In addition to Aberdeen university that provides master short courses. You can read there credits policy. These courses are online.
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Nina’s Answer

I'm a second career dietitian - I transitioned from working in data analysis in a market research firm.

If you're already in school, you're aware that you need at least 2 years of class work (known as the Didactic Program in Dietetics or DPD), which you can get as a post-baccalaurette certificate, or pair with a second bachelor's degree or a Master's degree. I chose the Master's degree option, but one isn't better than another - you just need that coursework. Once you've completed the DPD, you apply to a dietetic internship, which currently has an acceptance rate of about 50% nationwide - the best thing you can do for your internship application is to volunteer or work in different areas of dietetics - hospitals/clinics, community centers, WIC offices, sports teams with dietitians on staff, food service operations in schools or hospitals. Also, shadow different dietitians in your area to get a sense of what their day to day jobs are like. RDs are everywhere and they do so many things! I work in a hospital, but I know people in outpatient clinics, private practice, food service management, food science, sales and marketing, teaching, policy (in and out of DC), WIC centers, community health centers - and that's not an exhaustive list.

Easy isn't the word I would use. Rewarding and exciting are two I would use instead. I LOVE my job and I'm so glad I made the switch.
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