State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

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New Mexico

New Mexico Nutritionist Certification

The New Mexico Nutrition and Dietetic Practice Board licenses both dieticians and nutritionists. It is legal in New Mexico to furnish nutritional information on food and vitamins, but only licensed nutritionists and dieticians are permitted to call themselves nutritionists or dieticians.

In New Mexico, individuals working in the field of nutrition may be licensed as nutritionists or nutrition associates, depending on their education and experience.

Licensing for Nutritionists and Nutrition Associates

Individuals who want to learn how to become a nutritionist in New Mexico must first determine whether they meet the requirements for licensure as a nutritionist or nutrition associate:

Nutritionist License Requirements

To qualify as a licensed nutritionist in New Mexico, applicants must possess one of the following:

  • A master’s or doctoral degree from an institution accredited by a member of the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation in one of the following majors: nutrition education, foods and nutrition, human nutrition, or public health nutrition; OR
  • A current, valid membership in one of the following:
    • American Clinical Board of Nutrition Certification (ABCN): Must possess a professional degree and at least 300 hours of nutrition education beyond the professional degree and two years of practice experience; must write an article or paper on some aspect of nutrition that could be published; and must pass the ABCN examination
    • American Society for Nutrition: Must possess a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in nutrition or a related field from an accredited college or university and must be able to demonstrate leadership in the field of nutrition as an educator, speaker, advocate, or administrator

Nutrition Associate

To qualify as a licensed nutrition associate in New Mexico, applicants must possess the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university; AND
  • The completion of requirements needed to qualify for an internship or equivalent program that is approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration

Examination Requirements for Nutrition and Nutrition Associates in New Mexico

To qualify for licensure as a nutritionist or nutrition associate in New Mexico, candidates must pass an examination related to entry-level nutrition practice and nutrition care services that has been approved by the board or be licensed in another state that has standards for licensure that are no less stringent than those in New Mexico.

Currently, the required examination for registration as a dietician, which is developed and administered by Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), is required for licensure.

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Applying for a Nutrition License in New Mexico

Candidates for nutritionist licenses in New Mexico must submit a completed and signed application, the required fee of $200 ($150 for the initial license fee and $50 for the application fee), and the following documents:

  • Official transcripts verifying the degree, mailed directly from the college or university; OR
  • Proof of membership in the American Clinical Board of Nutrition Certification or the American Society for Nutrition; AND
  • A copy of any previous or current licenses in other states

Candidates for nutrition associate licenses in New Mexico must submit a completed and signed application, the required fee of $200 ($150 for the initial license fee and $50 for the application fee), and the following documents:

  • Official transcripts verifying the degree, mailed directly from the college or university; AND
  • A copy of any previous or current licenses in other states; AND
  • A verification statement completed by a program director that verifies eligibility for an internship or equivalent program approved by the CDR; AND
  • Completed employment information form documenting supervision by a New Mexico licensed dietician or nutritionist

The completed application and all documentation must be mailed to:

Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Board
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Initial Licensing and Renewals for Nutritionists and Nutrition Associates in New Mexico

All licenses in New Mexico are valid for one year, and all renewal licenses are valid for one year beginning the day after the expiration of the license being renewed. In addition to completing the online license renewal application, licensed nutritionists and nutrition associates must show proof of compliance with continuing education requirements and pay the required license renewal fee of $75.

Licensed nutrition and nutrition associates in New Mexico must provide proof of the completion of at least 15 clock hours, or they must verify current registration with the CDR.

Professional Organizations for Nutritionists in New Mexico

Professional organizations and associations provide a number of services for nutritionists in New Mexico, including professional certification and membership, continuing education opportunities, and networking seminars and conventions.

New Mexico School Nutrition Association
New Mexico Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Nutrition Association
National Association of Nutrition Professionals
American Society for Nutrition


Health Coach Information in New Mexico

The obesity rate in New Mexico has steadily risen since its 1990 level of 8.1 percent (Trust for America’s Health). By 2000, it had increased to 17.4 percent, and as of 2016, the adult obesity rate in New Mexico has hit an all-time high of 28.4 percent of the state’s population. Obesity in New Mexico also plays a factor in the rise of the adult diabetes rate in the state, now at 11.5, placing New Mexico in 11th place among the states with the highest diabetes rates. The good news, however, is that New Mexico’s childhood obesity rate has dropped among 2 to 4 year olds from low income families—falling from 12 percent to 11.3 percent (CDC).

Other largely preventable chronic diseases and illnesses affecting New Mexico include asthma, alcohol-related chronic diseases, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Luckily, destructive behaviors can be changed. Now more than ever, the state is relying on those motivated and willing to encourage others to make positive lifestyle changes that could literally save their lives.

Health coaches like Cindy Ballard of Albuquerque work one-on-one with clients helping them to define and achieve their health goals and objectives. Ballard focuses on creating a healthy nutritional diet plan personalized for each individual’s lifestyle that is easy to follow.
She notes that, through her support, guidance and instruction, she can help anyone improve their health within a six-month period.

Other New Mexico health coaches focus on helping clients to quit smoking, reduce stress, increase physical activity, and improve their self-image. Health coaches are specially educated and trained to provide guidance and instruction to clients who want to make important changes in their lives.

Becoming a Health Coach: Earning a Relevant Degree and Professional Certification in New Mexico

Health coaching jobs in New Mexico typically require a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness coaching or a health-related field. There is no state registration or licensure requirement for health coaches, so you may choose from a variety of health-related degree majors in your pursuit of a health coaching career.

You may find that some health coach jobs are only available to Registered Dietitians (RD). This involves becoming registered with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Commission on Dietetic Registration, as well as with the New Mexico State Nutrition and Dietetic Practice Board.

Degree Options

Some employers will accept associate degrees or certificates for entry-level jobs:

  • Certificate in Health, Wellness and Public Safety
  • Associate in Science in Health and Wellness
  • Associate in Science in Health Sciences

Bachelor’s degree majors that employers of health coaches in New Mexico often look for include:

  • Nutrition
  • Psychology/Counseling
  • Holistic Health
  • Health Education
  • Health Promotion

If you have a bachelor’s degree in a non-health-related area, but want to become a health coach, you could pursue a master’s degree or graduate certificate in health coaching or another related major.


Professional Certification and Registration

Professional certification can provide credentials that you may choose to earn in addition to your degree. Some employers specifically seek candidates who have received certification from one of these organizations:

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE) – The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredits ACE’s health coaching certification program. ACE offers two certification levels- standard and premium.
  • International Coach Federation (ICF) This health coaching certification program is recognized internationally and offers the following credentials: Associated Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC).
  • Diet for Living School of Natural Nutrition- This school based in Albuquerque offers a Certified Holistic Health Coach Program that is nationally recognized and valued especially in the state.

Health Coaching Career Paths and Job Opportunities in New Mexico

The following job vacancy announcements, sourced in August 2016, represent the types of employment opportunities available to properly credentialed health coaches in New Mexico. These job vacancy announcements are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to represent job offers or provide an assurance of employment.

Nutritional Health Coach for Natural Grocers- Albuquerque, NM
You will serve as a professional health resource for employees and customers. You will provide community education and retail support, presenting nutrition classes to store customers and conducting individualized health coaching sessions with them.
Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a related field
  • Ability to obtain and maintain liability insurance

Health Coach for Provant- Albuquerque, NM
You will conduct face-to-face health coaching sessions. You will also perform biometric screenings such as body fat and cholesterol checks on clients.
Requirements:

  • Education in nursing, health education, exercise physiology or dietetics
  • RN/LPN or RD preferred
  • One to two years of clinical health education preferred

Bilingual (Spanish) Behavioral Coach for AbilTo- Santa FE, NM
You will give clients tools to make lifestyle changes, meeting with them via video chat or phone. Clients will include those with chronic illnesses, mental health problems and chronic pain.
Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology or health related field
  • RN psychiatric preferred
  • Three years of counseling experience

Health & Wellness Coach for Presbyterian Healthcare Services- Albuquerque, NM
You will conduct behavioral coaching assessments with clients and address their readiness for change. You will also conduct biometric screenings and develop goal-oriented action plans for clients. You will monitor and document coaching interventions on a regular basis.
Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in health and wellness related field
  • Three years of experience in health and wellness
  • Bilingual (Spanish) a plus

State and Local Resources for Health Coaches in New Mexico
New Mexico Department of Health
New Mexico Hospital Association
New Mexico Infectious Disease Data
Dona Ana County Department of Health & Human Services
New Mexico General Health & Wellness
New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking
Public Health New Mexico
New Mexico HIV/Hepatitis/STD Online Resource Guide

 

 

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