The Office of Health Protection, Professional Licensure Division regulates the practice of dieticians in the State of Mississippi. The Mississippi Dietetics Practice Act outlines clear licensure for dieticians in the State, yet does not license nutritionists. However, the title of nutritionist is a protected title in the State, and only licensed dieticians may provide nutrition services, nutrition care, and all aspects of medical nutrition therapy.
Dietetics practice in Mississippi includes, but is not limited to:
Medical nutrition therapy is defined as nutritional diagnostic therapy and counseling services for the purpose of disease management and assessing the nutritional status of patients with a condition, illness, or injury who require medical nutrition therapy as part of their treatment. Nutrition therapy in this sense may mean diet modification, nutrition counseling, or the administration of specialized nutrition therapies.
To practice nutrition care in Mississippi, candidates must meet the requirements for licensure as a dietician, which are equivalent to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics requirements to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam.
Specifically, candidates must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university with a major in food and nutrition dietetics; food system management; or human nutrition and pass the CDR examination.
Candidates must also complete specific supervised experience requirements to be eligible to sit for the CDR exam and become licensed in Mississippi, which include at least 900 hours.
Individuals may apply for a provisional license to practice dietetics and nutrition for a period one year, provide they have met the educational and dietetic experience requirements that makes them eligible for registration by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. To achieve a provisional license, applicants must practice under the direct technical supervision of a dietician during this time. A provisional license may be renewed, from year to year, for a period of up to 5 years.
Only those candidates who have passed the CDR examination and possess a valid CDR card are eligible for a regular license in Mississippi.
The cost of initial licensure as a dietician/nutritionist in Mississippi is $100, and the cost of a provisional license is $50. Candidates who upgrade their provisional license to standard license must pay an upgrade fee of $50. The biennial renewal fee for a regular license is $100, and the renewal fee for a provisional license is $50.
The Application for Dietician/Nutritionist must be completed and notarized and mailed to:
Mississippi State Department of Health
Professional Licensure: Dietitians
Post Office Box 1700
Jackson, Mississippi 39215
The successful completion of at least 30 clock hours every two years is required for biennial license renewal for regular licenses in Mississippi.
Many institutions and organizations seek the services of licensed dieticians in Mississippi. Whether providing medical nutrition therapy through one of the State’s hospital systems or providing counseling in health and disease through employee programs at some of the largest companies in Mississippi, these qualified professionals continue to be sought out for their expertise in nutrition care.
Some of the largest employers in Mississippi that likely employ licensed dieticians include:
Both state and national professional associations and organizations serve nutrition professionals by offering professional certification, networking, and continuing education opportunities:
American Nutrition Association
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
National Association of Nutrition Professionals
International and American Associations of Clinical Nutritionists
American Society for Nutrition
Mississippi School Nutrition Association
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Mississippi Chapter of Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals