State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

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Nebraska

Nebraska Nutritionist Certification

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services licenses medical nutrition therapists, professionals who are assess the nutritional status of patients through medical nutrition therapy. The Department does not license nutritionists.

Licensed medical nutrition therapists assess a patient’s nutritional status and follow it up with specific treatment that may range from diet modification to specialized nutrition support, which may include determining nutrient needs and monitoring and evaluating the patient’s response to treatment.

Medical nutrition therapy must be performed under the consultation of a licensed physician in Nebraska; however, the statutes of the Uniform Credentialing Act outline a number of exceptions where individuals may provide general nutrition services without a license. These include normal nutritional requirements related to:

  • Identifying the nutritional needs of individuals and groups
  • Planning, implementing, and evaluating nutrition education programs

How to Qualify to Become a Medical Nutrition Therapist in Nebraska: Degree and Experience Requirements

To qualify to become a medical nutrition therapist in Nebraska, candidates must be at least 19 years old, they must be a United States citizen (or legal alien), and they must have met the requirements for education and experience through one of four paths:

  • Have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major course of study in human nutrition, food and nutrition, dietetics, or an equivalent course of study approved by the Board; AND

Have successfully completed a program of supervised clinical experience approved by the Department of no less than 900 hours of planned, continuous experience in human nutrition, food and nutrition, or dietetics under the supervision of an individual who meets the qualifications of a medical nutrition therapist; AND

Have successfully passed a licensure examination (May include the Registration Examination for Dieticians through the Commission on Dietetic Registration or another examination established by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and determined to be equivalent by the Board)  

  • Have successfully completed a master’s or doctoral degree program from an accredited college or university in one of the following:
    • Nutrition education
    • Human nutrition
    • Food and nutrition
    • Public health nutrition
    • An equivalent course of study with a degree that is “nutrition in nature” and approved by the Board
  • Have successfully complete a master’s or doctoral degree program from an accredited college or university with a major course of study in clinical nutrition, which includes at least 200 hours of biochemistry and physiology and at least 75 hours in human nutrition; AND

Have successfully passed a licensure examination (May include the Registration Examination for Dieticians through the Commission on Dietetic Registration or another examination established by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and determined to be equivalent by the Board)

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How to Apply to Become a Medical Nutrition Therapist: How to Become Licensed in Nebraska

To apply to become a licensed medical nutrition therapist in Nebraska, applicants must complete and submit a Medical Nutrition Therapy Application for a License to the Department. The application must include all required documentation regarding education and experience qualifications, which details that their initial license in based on:

  • American Dietetic Association (ADA)
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Master’s or doctoral degree

All documentation, the completed application, and the $114 (made payable to Licensure Unit) licensing fee must be sent to:

Licensure Unit, Medical Nutrition Therapy
P.O. Box 94986
Lincoln, Nebraska, 68509

Medical nutrition therapist licenses in Nebraska expire on September 1 of odd-numbered years. The cost of renewal is $114. Individuals can expect to receive a notice of renewal about 90 days prior to the expiration date. To renew a medical nutrition therapist license in Nebraska, individuals must document the completion of at least 30 hours of approved continuing education.

A list of approved continuing education programs can be found here.
Individuals may earn up to 20 hours of continuing education for completing a certification program through associations/organizations such as:

  • National Board of Nutrition Support Certification – Certified Nutrition Support Clinician
  • National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators – Certified Diabetes Educator
  • American Council on Exercise – Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant
  • Commission on Dietetic Registration – Board Certification as a Specialist in: Renal Nutrition, Gerontological Nutrition, Pediatric Nutrition, or Oncology Nutrition

Health Coach Job Description in Nebraska

In North Platte Nebraska, a 23 year-old woman, Sydnee, and her 44 year-old uncle, Roger, worked tirelessly toward competing in their first bodybuilding competition, losing 120 pounds between them in the process. Initially, this goal came from a desire to lose weight and improve health but their personal success story far exceeded anybody’s expectations.

The Omaha World-Herald’s online resource Live Well Nebraska is chock full of inspiring stories like this, and has become something of a go-to resource for health coaches interested in networking with other professionals in the health and wellness industry, finding programs or organizations with which to partner, and advertising/marketing their own events or resources.

Working in hospitals, for corporate wellness programs, in spas, schools and more, Nebraska’s health coaches take advantage of every tool and resource they can get their hands on. Their hope is that stories like Sydnee and Roger’s will help inspire and challenge their own clients to evaluate personal health priorities and physical fitness long after a personal health and wellness coaching session.

Degree and Professional Certification

If you’ve felt inspired to pursue a career in health coaching, you have a number of options available for gaining the education and experience you need to land a job or even start your own practice. Building a portfolio of credentials in the field is largely a matter of personal preference and meeting employer and client expectations.

If you prefer to pursue the nutrition angle of health coaching, you might choose nutrition as your degree as well as work towards becoming a registered nutritionist. Perhaps you prefer to pursue the fitness or personal trainer aspect of health coaching in which case you can pursue the degree and certification that best fits the fitness area of the health coaching field.

Several suitable degrees and standard certifications for employment are listed below.
 
Degree Options

If you are eager to get into the health coaching field, an associate’s degree is suitable for an entry-level position. You may choose from one of the following degree concentrations or another closely related associate’s in applied science program:

  • Nutrition
  • Holistic Health
  • Health & Wellness
  • Exercise Science
  • Kinesiology

A bachelor’s degree is the most common qualification for employment as a health coach and a requirement for some leading certifications. Most employers will require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement for a career in health coaching. Some common options include:
 

  • Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences: Community Health and Wellness option
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences: Nutrition and Dietetics option
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences: Nutrition, Exercise, & Health Science option

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field and are considering a career change, you may wish to expand your education and credentials as a health coach by pursuing a master’s degree. Some common options include:

  • Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition
  • Master of Science in Health & Wellness Psychology
  • Graduate Certificate in Health & Wellness

 
Professional Certification

It’s wise to become certified after completing your academic training. It can be overwhelming reviewing certification options for health coaching because there are so many, some of which have strict standards that include holding an existing bachelor’s degree and others that are more accessible. Rather than researching health coaching certification options, you might consider starting with job searching or speaking with other health coaches in the field. There are a few standard certification programs that are almost universally accepted but the certification you are expected to hold will often vary from position to position. Many employers and/or companies will provide time for you to complete the necessary certification upon being hired. Certification serves as a field-specific credential denoting hands-on experience and expertise contributing to your academic training.
 
Health coach certification through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is just one example. ACE certification provides “standard” or “premium” self-study packages as preparation for the examination leading to the Health Coach Certification and is currently the only program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). If you are certified through ACE, you are responsible for renewing your certification every 2 years by completing continuing education approved by ACE. The ACE Certification Candidate Handbook provides thorough details about the maintenance process and certification examination.

Health Coaching in Nebraska: Career Paths and Job Opportunities

Nebraska has a variety of health coaching positions available. As in many cases, these positions vary with some more specifically focused upon fitness and others more specifically focused on nutrition. Each of these positions would involve an approach to health and wellness that is holistic in nature, though the companies often tend to focus primarily upon the fitness side of health or the nutrition side of health. Due to these variations, the requirements from one position to another are also slightly varied. You can expect to see certification and degree requirements vary according to the expectations and needs of different employers.
 
The following job vacancy announcements, sourced in August 2016, represent the types of employment opportunities available to properly credentialed health coaches in Nebraska. These job vacancy announcements are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to represent job offers or provide an assurance of employment.
 
Health Coach for Provant - Nebraska City, NE

You will be responsible for managing and overseeing health screenings through Provant Health Solutions in a corporate setting.
 
Requirements:

  • License or certification as a Registered Dietitian, Registered Nurse, Health Educator, Exercise Physiologist
  • Experience in clinical health education, tobacco cessation, weight loss management, physical activity, stress management
  • Understanding of biometric testing and results including but not limited to blood pressure, BF/BMI, cholestrol, etc.
  • Comfortable with one-on-one communication
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment


Nutrition Coach for Lifetime Fitness - Omaha, NE

You will have personal clients who you will work with to achieve specific nutrition and fitness goals.
 
Requirements:

  • Degree in Kinesiology, Dietetics, Nutrition, Exercise Science or a related field preferred
  • Nutrition counseling experience and/or experience in the fitness industry preferred
  • Product or service sales and marketing experience recommended
  • Experience in setting and striving for personal business productivity quotas
  • Personal training experience preferred
  • Group health, fitness, or nutrition event organization/facilitation experience recommended
  • Certified personal trainer within 6 months of hire (at least one: ACE, ACTION, AAPTE, ACSM, CSCCa, Cooper Institute, NASM, NCSF, NCCPT, NESTA, NETA, NFPT, NSCA, PTA Global, LT Academy)
  • CPR/AED certification within 6 months of hire
  • Nutrition Coaching/Counseling Certification (at least one: Registered Dietitian Nutrition, Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified, Sports Nutritionist, Certified Nutrition Specialist, other nutrition certification may be accepted based on discussion with Lifetime Nutrition Program Managers or hiring managers)

Sales and Service Weight Loss Center Manager for Metabolic Research Center - Lincoln, NE

You will be responsible for driving and managing sales as well as encouraging and supporting clients with their goals for health improvement.
 
Requirements:

  • Five years of experience in sales and/or management
  • Customer service experience
  • Ability to meet and exceed sales and service goals
  • Capable of producing positive and uplifting environments for clients
  • Competitive drive for results in sales and services
  • Ability to coach and train team of sales and service consultants/coaches
  • High school education or equivalent
  • One year of experience in sales, customer service, marketing, and nutrition
     
Local Resources and Nebraska Health Departments

Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors
Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department
Public Health Association of Nebraska
City of Lincoln Nebraska Health Department
Eat Well Nutrition and Wellness, Inc.
Live Well Nebraska

 

 

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