Registered Dietitian Qualifications

A Registered Dietitian (or Registered Dietitain Nutritionist) is a food and nutrition expert who has met academic and professional requirements including:

  • Earned a bachelor's degree with course work approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Completed an accredited supervised internship/practice program at a health-care facility, community agency or foodservice corporation.
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
  • Completes continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Many of our Kaiser Permanente RDs hold advanced degrees and/or additional certifications in specialized areas of practice including diabetes education, weight management, lipid management (cholesterol), renal (kidneys), pediatrics (children), geriatrics (elderly), sports nutrition, and nutrition support (tube feedings).

How is an RD Different Than a Nutritionist?

The "RD" (or "RDN") credential is a legally protected title that can only be used by practitioners who are authorized by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Some RDs may call themselves "nutritionists," but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. Colorado does not have licensure laws that define the scope of practice for someone using the designation "nutritionist," so virtually anyone can call him-or herself a "nutritionist" regardless of education or training. Various other states do have licensure laws for the term "nutritionist."