State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

North Carolina

North Carolina Nutritionist Certification

The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (NCBDN) is responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of North Carolina from harmful nutrition practice by regulating and licensing dieticians and nutritionists.

The Act to Regulate the Practice of Dietetics/Nutrition was passed in July 1991. The first dieticians/nutritionists were licensed by June 1992. To date, there are now more than 2,300 licensed dieticians and nutritionists in North Carolina.

Becoming a Licensed Nutritionist in North Carolina: Education and Experience Requirements

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Individuals who want to learn how to become a nutritionist must become licensed as to practice nutrition in North Carolina. Minimum requirements for nutritionist licensure in North Carolina include:

  • Completing a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a major course of study in one of the following:
    • Human nutrition
    • Foods and nutrition
    • Dietetics
    • Community nutrition
    • Public health nutrition
    • An equivalent major course of study; AND
  • Completing a planned internship that meets the standards of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND); AND
  • Passed an examination approved by the Board

However, individuals may also qualify for licensure as a nutritionist in North Carolina if they possess a Doctor of Medicine or doctoral degree in one of the following from a regionally accredited college or university:

  • Human nutrition
  • Nutrition education
  • Foods and nutrition
  • Public health nutrition
  • Equivalent major course of study approved by the Board

All candidates for nutritionist licensure must, regardless of their course of study, complete the Board’s minimum course requirements, which include:

  • Social and behavioral sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Human nutrition
  • Diet therapy
  • Advanced nutrition

Candidates can find more information North Carolina’s regionally accredited and ACEND accredited dietetics programs here.

Applying for Nutritionist Licensure by Category

When applying for a nutritionist license in North Carolina, applicants must first decide which category of licensure is applicable to them:

Category A: Candidates who qualify for Category A licensure are registered dieticians (RDs) who are currently registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration or who were provisionally licensed and are currently seeking to convert from a Category B to a Category A license.

Category B (Provisional): Candidates who qualify for Category B licensure have completed their education component, internship component, and have received an eligibility email from the Commission on Dietetic Registration but have not yet taken the CDR exam. All Category B applicants have six months to pass the CDR exam to upgrade to a Category A license.

Category C: Candidates who qualify for Category C licensure possess a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition, nutritioneducation, foods and nutrition, dietetics, community nutrition, or public health nutrition but still need to complete a supervised practice program and examination for North Carolina licensure.

Category D: Candidates who qualify for Category D licensure are currently licensed in another state and are seeking license reciprocity. The Board only considers those applicants who come from states with equivalent licensing requirements.

Category E: Candidates who qualify for Category E licensure possess a Doctor of Medicine or a doctorate degree in nutrition education, human nutrition, foods and nutrition, public health nutrition, or an equivalent course of study.

Applying for a Nutritionist License in North Carolina

All applicants must complete a License Application and include the following documents (where applicable):

  • Copy of CDR Registration (Category A applicants)
  • Original PLDN certificate (Applicants converting from a Category B to a Category A license)
  • Sealed transcripts sent directly to the NCBDN office from the educational institution (Category C, D and E applicants)
  • A completed competency chart (Category C and E applicants), requested from the Board office

Applicants must also get the last page of the application notarized and include the following fee (made payable to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition):

  • Category A: $175
  • Category B: $475
  • Category C: Contact the NCBDN for additional guidance
  • Category D: $250
  • Category E: $250

The renewal period for nutritionist licenses in North Carolina is March 31 of each year.

Staying Current on the Nutrition Practice in North Carolina

Licensed nutritionists in North Carolina have a number of opportunities to advance the profession of nutrition through membership and participation in state and national professional associations and organizations, such as:

School Nutrition Association of North Carolina
North Carolina Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals
North Carolina Dietetic Association
American Nutrition Association
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
National Association of Nutrition Professionals

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