How To Become A Certified Nutrition Specialist
How To Become A Certified Nutrition Specialist

How To Become A Certified Nutrition Specialist

How To Become A Certified Nutrition Specialist – As a registered dietitian, I always get questions about CNS® certification and RD certification. This post will help clear up the confusion and figure out which route is right for you!

This post is part of the Nutritionist Behind the Scenes series hosted by Frugal Nutrition to help CNS® nutritionists navigate the industry after graduation.

How To Become A Certified Nutrition Specialist

In Baltimore, Maryland, where I currently live, the education is different, but the scope and license of CNS® is the same as RD. However, this is not true in all states.

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Let’s see the differences in education and what it really means to become a licensed or certified dietitian.

A dietitian is assumed to be a well-trained, nutritionist, and authorized to give nutrition counseling.

This means Crossfit gym owners can do a lot of research online and call themselves nutritionists without the terms “licensed” or “accredited”.

Personal trainers and health coaches with no biochemistry background, and Instagram influencers with no formal training may call themselves nutritionists and may legally (not ethically) provide nutritional advice in several states.

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It’s very important to acknowledge that there are some incredibly intelligent, well-intentioned, untrained individuals who do a really good job in nutrition counseling. However, the training required to provide the full picture is often lacking.

One of the biggest lessons you can learn from an advanced nutrition degree is how much we don’t know about nutrition, and how much we may not know about nutrition. Anyone with a legitimate education knows the limits of our nutritional knowledge and nutritional science.

As we would like to say, it is impossible to conduct a true double-blind, randomized controlled trial (the gold standard) with whole foods. You can tell if you are eating an apple or not.

I’ve also seen many of these well-meaning people promote and cause eating disorders.

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It’s really important to note that if it’s powerful enough to heal, it’s also powerful enough to harm. Certified practitioners are well versed in this dichotomy and understand the benefits and limitations of supplements, therapeutic regimens, and research biases.

“Certified Nutritional Specialist (CNS®): A Certified Nutrition Specialist is a highly qualified nutrition professional with a fully accredited university advanced degree (master’s or doctoral) in the field of nutrition and a 1,000-hour supervised internship and rigorous exam administered by the following institutions You must pass the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists…the most widely recognized nutrition certification by the federal and state governments, and it is the only non-nutrition qualification and exam widely named under the State Nutrition Licensing Act. ” “Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN): A CCN is an outstanding nutrition professional with a 4-year bachelor’s degree and 900-hour internship, 56-hour postgraduate intensive study in clinical nutrition or a master’s degree in human nutrition. CCN focuses on how food is digested, absorbed, assimilated, and ultimately how it affects the body biochemically…” “Registered Dietitian (RD) : The RD is a food and dietary professional who has passed the Registered Dietitian Exam through an accredited program with a four-year bachelor’s degree and a 900-1200 hour nutrition internship. Food quality, meal planning, evaluation of standard measures of food, specific diets for specific conditions, eating patterns based primarily on f ood groups such as food pyramids and other guidelines based on daily food intake strictly described by health institutions [10] ]. Dietitians often work as clinical dietitians, managed dietitians in healthcare settings, but may also work as community or consultant dietitians.”

There is also a relatively new committee established in 2008 that now certifies holistic nutritionists. Although not strictly regulated, it teaches current practitioners how to master holistic nutrition.

The Certified Nutrition Specialist® is a federally-recognized board certification with state-specific licenses that are not federally recognized. About five states give CNS® dietitians and RD dietitians the same license (referred to as LDN in Maryland), and 13 other states support CNS® certification without a license.

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Based on this post, CNS® nutritionists must graduate with a master’s degree in human clinical nutrition, complete a 1,000-hour internship, and pass the board exam.

Certified Nutrition Specialists® play an important role in functional medicine. Functional medicine is a “root cause approach” to health. Skilled practitioners are trained to find the root cause of disease and perform preventive treatment.

For this reason, CNS dietitians cannot usually be found in hospitals, but a 2014 ruling says you can technically order a therapeutic diet in a hospital! CNS’s high-quality training in personalized nutrition is not always the best use. Most CNS dietitians work in private clinical practice with other modalities such as functional MDs, chiropractors, and acupuncturists. You will also find people working in community nutrition and public health in positions similar to RD. Work in corporate health, school systems, and college campuses.

Summary: Postgraduate education at CNS focuses on functional medicine and root cause approaches for optimal health. While some science classes are similar, their integrated approach to the CNS is completely different from what is covered in an undergraduate nutrition degree on the RD pathway. (Some programs may be exceptions to this rule, but I haven’t found one yet!)

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And just because someone is “certified” and “licensed” as a Certified Nutrition Specialist® or registered dietitian doesn’t mean they’re versed in the latest research.

Based on this post, RD Dietitians must have earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or nutrition, complete a 1,200-hour internship, and pass the board exam.

The state recently added nutritionists to the title to emphasize that all RDs are technically dietitians, but not all nutritionists are RDs.

Registered dietitians play an important role in the world of traditional medicine. They learn about federal nutrition guidelines, are trained to support and utilize USDA’s resources, and hold a variety of positions working in hospitals, large corporations, school systems, and university campuses.

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They are trained in parenteral nutrition and have historically been taught to support the low-fat, calorie-counting mindset of traditional medicine.

In recent years, however, it has become common to see registered dietitians taking different paths, such as training in functional medicine or working in private clinical practice.

As in any field, there are RDs who are complacent and those who are creative and outstanding. The registered dietitians who did themselves for additional functional training are perfectly suited to exploring the intersection between general and functional medicine, and everyone I know is doing a great job!

In short: the undergraduate education of registered dietitians is very customary. They have to go out on their own to learn about functional medicine approaches to nutrition.

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There are several online programs that certify health coaches and create their own nutrition certifications such as IIN, CNC, NTP/NTC, but these are short certification programs and sometimes only 200 hours of online lessons.

The scope of these online programs differs from the two-year master’s degrees, rigorous clinical internships and challenging board exams at accredited universities.

It’s like comparing an EMT-trained person to a nurse. That’s the difference between a 200-hour training program and a two-year program that includes clinical practice and challenging board exams. Some similar coursework. A completely different level of education. Completely different requirements.

Again, many of these practitioners are excellent health coaches, but they shouldn’t work with board-certified dietitians because they don’t have high-level science courses and relatively generous programs.

Differences Between A Dietitian And Nutritionist

Both CNS and RDN are required to complete 75 continuing education credits every five years. Additional country-based requirements may apply.

Regarding the standard career path, RDNs are trained in acute care, such as hospital care, including parenteral (tube) nutrition, while CNSs are trained in chronic care and working in private clinical practice, doctors’ offices, or private wellness centers.

Both can be seen working on public health and university campuses, but CNS has no experience in tube feeding and is less likely to find work in hospitals.

The biggest difference between CNS and RDN is the content exposed during training and internships. RDN is trained in traditional medicine. This means they are trained to follow the USDA’s guidelines and their training includes more general recommendations for the general population rather than personalized nutrition.

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The CNS is trained in functional medicine to find the root cause of an imbalance or disease and recognize that an individual’s biological entity may not fit within the framework of existing medical recommendations. This means that the CNS doesn’t usually support USDA recommendations, generally doesn’t recommend calorie counting, and looks for more basic solutions.

You can often find RDNs that depart from conventional medicine to learn and practice integrative and functional medicine, but few CNSs practice conventional medicine.

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