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How can I break into the nutritional field?

I would like to be a nutritionist but I don't know where to start? any suggestion on schools? certifications I should earn? or even type of things I should research for?

Thank you comment icon Hello and this is such a great question that can be applied to all studies/disciplines/industries. 1) Educate yourself to innovate. 2) Determine a pathway to demonstrate your ideas in prototype format. 3) Market the product or service. 4) Consistently, Repeat steps 1-3. Willie Hughes

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Kelsi’s Answer

Hi Emoni!

To legally give nutrition advice in any setting you have to be a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist (RD/RDN). You would have to complete an accredited program (Bachelor's), a Master's if after 2024, 1200 internship hours, and pass a registration exam. The Master's is a new requirement and at the moment can be in any field. I'm currently finishing my Masters, but I finished my Bachelors in 2020 so technically I could have sat for registration without my M.S. The internship is typically another year of school (7 months or so depending on the program), most are unpaid, and some are distance. It seems complicated and it was overwhelming for me at first, if you have any questions be sure to reach out!

Directory of accredited programs:
https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/accredited-programs/accredited-programs-directory
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Savannah’s Answer

Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, but if you want to become a registered dietitian you must complete a bachelor’s degree (accredited by ACEND), complete a dietetic internship, pass the registration exam, then maintain your registration by completing 75 education credit hours every 5 years.
Note: a master’s degree will be required after 2024 to sit for the exam.
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Cesar Augusto’s Answer

It is an amazing thing that you want to become a Nutritionist, it is indeed a nice major, although it may seem simple in some ways the truth is that it is a huge amount of information that you can learn and that you can help your patients with.
The things that you might want to research is diseases and the way you can involve in that disease with Nutrition, there's a whole universe there.
If you want to become even better is go and have a diploma of Diabetes Educator, that's a nice one indeed.
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Christina’s Answer

Hi hi Emoni!
Arizona State University has a great program for getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition. They even have an Uber Scholars program and a Starbucks barista to help you pay for it with scholarship money.

If you are more interested in getting a certification, every community college has those and also associates degree programs. Certifications that are very helpful in this field include: NASM, Whole30 Management certification, nutrition Manager certification (this is important and a state certification that’s fairly easy to get) also, safe serve certification can help you in your journey. I highly recommend Precision Nutrition certification for being a health coach. It all depends on which route you are interested in perusing. Do lots of research but don’t let that stop you from moving forward with at least a certification. Get on linked in, tell EVERYONE about your goal. You can do this! It will just take dedication and following the stepping stones to reach your goal. I believe in you.

Christina recommends the following next steps:

https://www.nasm.org/continuing-education/certified-nutrition-coach
https://coach.whole30.com/join-team/
https://asuonline.asu.edu/study/online-nutrition-degrees/
https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/food-and-nutrition-bs/
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Emoni!

Welcome to the exciting world of nutrition! This field is a rewarding pursuit for those who have a deep interest in health and wellness. As a nutritionist, you'll be guiding others to make wise food choices that will boost their overall health. To excel in this career, you'll need the right education, certifications, and research abilities. This guide will walk you through the steps to kickstart your career in nutrition, offering advice on schools, certifications, and research topics.

Educational Path
The first step to becoming a nutritionist is earning a bachelor's degree in a related field such as nutrition, dietetics, or health science. Here are some schools that provide nutrition programs:

Bastyr University: They offer a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Exercise Science, and a Master of Science in Nutrition and Environmental Health.
University of North Dakota: They offer a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences.
Michigan State University: They offer a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, and a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences.
During your studies, focus on subjects like nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, and food science. Also, try to gain practical experience through internships or other hands-on opportunities.

Certifications
Once you have your degree, consider getting certified. This will boost your credentials and make you more appealing to potential employers. Here are some certifications you might consider:

Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS): Offered by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS), this requires a master’s degree, supervised practice, and passing an exam.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN): Offered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this requires a bachelor’s degree, supervised practice, and passing an exam.
Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN): Various organizations offer this certification, which typically requires a degree in nutrition, passing an exam, and adhering to a code of ethics.
Research Topics
To stay up-to-date and give the best advice to your clients, you should always be learning about the latest in nutrition. Here are some research topics you might explore:

Nutritional needs for various age groups, genders, and activity levels.
How nutrition can help prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The effect of diet on mental health and cognitive function.
The role of specific nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, in promoting health and preventing disease.
The latest findings on dietary supplements and their role in promoting health.
By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to a successful career as a nutritionist, helping others make smart choices about their health.

Authoritative References
American Dietetic Association. (2019). “The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Your Source for Nutrition and Dietetics Information.”
Bastyr University. (n.d.). “Bastyr University Nutrition and Environmental Health.”
Michigan State University. (n.d.). “Michigan State University Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences.”
These references provide important information on the educational requirements, certifications, and research topics for those interested in a nutrition career. They'll help you make informed decisions about your educational and professional journey.

Don't forget to check out my autobiography for a list of foods that can boost your academic and physical performance. Thank you!

May God bless you abundantly,
JAMES.
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Susie Park’s Answer

Hello Emoni, during my college days, I initially started on a pre-pharmacy track. However, I soon discovered that it wasn't the right fit for me! I took the initiative to contact a Registered Dietitian on campus (through the school directory) and requested to shadow them. This marked the start of my networking and relationship-building journey. It also provided me with the opportunity to ask numerous questions, helping me determine if this was truly the career I wanted to follow. Enrolling in some foundational courses like Microbiology, Biology, and Anatomy could be a great way to begin as well.
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Lisa’s Answer

Find a college that has a 4 year BS in Nutrition along with a Dietitian internship program. You would get your degree then go for internship then take the RD exam. This is the best way as when you are done you are qualified to work anywhere…hospitals, nursing homes, community etc. it’s a great field with so many fields of interest. I never regretted it.
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