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.
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:
To qualify as a licensed nutritionist in New Mexico, applicants must possess one of the following:
To qualify as a licensed nutrition associate in New Mexico, applicants must possess the following:
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.
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:
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:
The completed application and all documentation must be mailed to:
Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Board
P.O. Box 25101
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
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 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.
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.
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.
Some employers will accept associate degrees or certificates for entry-level jobs:
Bachelor’s degree majors that employers of health coaches in New Mexico often look for include:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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