top of page

Nutritionist vs. Registered Dietitian

Today was national match day for dietetics students/graduates across the nation. Match day? What is that you may be asking? Match day is an important milestone for dietetic students. Match day allows students/graduates to see if they were placed into a mandatory internship they must complete before sitting for their Registered Dietitian national exam. Some of this may seem like gibberish but this blog is here to help you understand the difference between a “nutritionist” and “dietitian”. Many people commonly use these two terms interchangeably however, you should be aware of the major differences between these two titles.

What is a nutritionist?

The title of being a “nutritionist” comes with very loose government regulations. These regulations do not require nutritionist to have an educational or work experienced inquired background. Some states have different regulations but for the most part, the title “nutritionist” is not very controlled. Many people who label themselves as a nutritionist has steamed from a “self proclaimed” status. Before hiring a nutritionist is important as a patient/client to understand someone's qualifications and educational background. Some nutritionist can obtain credentials that certifies their nutritional knowledge. These credentials are Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) or Certified Nutritionist (CN). Nutritionist cannot give medical nutrition advise for clients with diseases or conditions and are limited in some areas of nutrition counseling. Here are the requirements mandated to obtain a CNS through the Board of Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS).

- Master of Science or doctoral degree in nutrition or a related field

- 35 hours of relevant coursework related to the practice of personalized nutrition

- 1,000 hours of supervised practice experience

- Five BCNS personalized nutrition case study reports

What is a Registered Dietitian?

A dietitian first begins their career with obtaining a bachelor of science in dietetics or nutrition with a dietetics concentration through a university that has underwent revision by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). There degree incorporates coursework around lifecycle nutrition, community, food service, medical nutrition therapy, nutrition counseling and education, biochemistry, medical microbiology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology and more. After the B.S. is received, students then apply to ACEND dietetic internships programs where they will obtain 1,500 supervised practice hours along with possible credits towards there masters degree. After the internship is completed, then students can sit for the Registered Dietitian national exam. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has implemented a new rule requiring a masters degree for all students before they sit for the Registered Dietitian exam. After dietitians earn there credentials they are mediated to continue their education for 75 credits every five years.

What Forever Fitness offers?

Forever Fitness has a variety of individuals who work together to give our members the best possible guidance to achieve their fitness goals. On top of all our fitness gurus we have recently obtained a nutritionist, Rachel Rodriguez who is working towards her Registered Dietitian credentials by next year. She has just completed her B.S. in dietetics and is now going on to enter her supervised practice with a M.S. in Exercises Science. Our Forever Fitness staff is one big team that works together to put our best foot forward for all our members. If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to talk to any member of our staff!

How to find local Dietitians?

Using websites like can help you find an expert closest to you! Doctors can also help you find a Registered Dietitian in network of your insurance if needed for a medical condition.(


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page