State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

RD Careers in Arkansas

Registered dietitians in Arkansas may work in varied job locations, including nutrition management groups, long term care facilities, health care centers, schools, home health care agencies, and community organizations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in May 2012, registered dietitians in Arkansas earned an average yearly salary of $50,470. Registered dietitians must have at least a bachelor’s degree, experience and pass an examination to become licensed to work in Arkansas. Dietetic technicians, who need not be licensed to work in the state of Arkansas, need an associate’s degree, experience and to pass an exam. They earned an average annual salary of $22,930 in May 2012. Read on to learn more about how to become a registered dietitian in Arkansas.

 
Step 1

Registered Dietitian Education in Arkansas

The Arkansas Dietetics Licensing Board mandates that all dietitians earn the title of Registered Dietitian before becoming licensed to work in the state. This means that you must earn at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and complete an internship. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)’s Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredits programs that are up to the CDR standards. Registered Dietitian Education programs in Arkansas are listed below.

ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) Licensure in Arkansas:

The ACEND offers prospective dietitians two ways to fulfill the educational requirement for registration and licensing purposes in Arkansas:

ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to Dietetic Technician Registered (DTR) Credential in Arkansas:

If you are searching for an educational program in dietetics in Arkansas that is a bit shorter than and not as time-consuming as the Registered Dietitian track, you might want to consider becoming a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR). This requires completion of an ACEND accredited associate degree program intended for that purpose. All DTR programs combine coursework with a 450-hour internship. In Arkansas, programs include:

You must pass the CDR Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians upon completion of the educational program.

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Step 2

Fulfill a Dietetic Internship (DI) in Arkansas

After earning a bachelor’s degree, you are ready for the experiential component of your dietetic training in Arkansas, called a Dietetic Internship (DI). All DI programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and provide at least 1200 hours of supervised experience in dietetics. If you completed a Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP) as your educational requirement, you have already completed an internship and need not apply to a DI.

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Step 3

Pass the (CDR) Examination In Arkansas

For Prospective Registered Dietitians (RD)

Have you fulfilled the degree and experiential requirements above? If so, you must now prepare to take the CDR’s Registration examination. You will receive an email from CDR’s testing service when you are eligible to take the exam, and must take it within a year. The CDR’s Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians is a great resource to use in preparing to take the CDR Registered Dietitian Exam.

You will establish an online account with CDR, from which you will apply for the exam and pay the $200 fees (credit card payment only). The testing center, PSI Exam Centers, will email you when your payment has been received and instruct you to choose the date and place of your exam. In Arkansas, exams are offered at least twice yearly at these locations:

  • SkyVenture Aviation, 4500 S. School Ave, Suite C, Drake Field, Fayetteville
  • 1515 Pioneer Drive, Harrison
  • Barrett Aviation, 8318 Remount Rd, North Little Rock Airport, North Little Rock

You must bring the emailed scheduling confirmation and a photo ID with you to the PSI Exam Center on the day of the exam.
The CDR Exam for Registered Dietitians is taken on the computer. You are given three hours to answer from 125 to 145 multiple-choice questions. You must answer a minimum of 125 questions in order to have the exam graded. You may not skip any questions or go back to change answers. The exam covers the following areas: 

  • 12 percent of questions are in the Food and Nutrition Sciences domain, including:
    • Concepts of management
    • Research
    • Communication and education
    • Nutrition/supporting sciences
    • Nutrient composition of foods
    • Food science
  • 50 percent of questions are in the Nutrition Care for Individuals and Groups domain, including:
    • Assessment and screening
    • Diagnosis
    • Intervention
    • Planning
    • Monitoring
    • Evaluation
  • 21 percent of questions are in the Management of Food and Nutrition Programs and Services domain, including:
    • Management functions
    • Human resources
    • Financial management
    • Public relations and marketing
    • Quality improvement
  • 17 percent of questions are in the Foodservice Systems domain, including:
    • Menu development
    • Procurement, production, distribution and service
    • Safety and sanitation
    • Equipment and facility planning
    • Sustainability

Your score will be given to you on the day of the exam, both visible online under your CDR account and as a hard copy via the test center proctor. You must receive a scaled score of 25 or better to pass. If you do not pass, you can re-take the exam 45 days later. Contact CDR to receive a reauthorization to take the exam: Commission on Dietetic Registration, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606. Phone number (800) 877-1600, Ext. 5500.

For Prospective Dietetic Technicians, Registered (DTR)

If you are a Dietetic Technician student and have completed your education and work requirements, you are eligible to take the CDR’s Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) exam. Your educational program representative will often submit application materials to the CDR on your behalf when you are ready to take the exam. Review the DTR Study Outline. The length of the DTR exam varies. Be prepared to answer multiple-choice questions in a computerized format on the following subjects:

  • 10 percent of the questions will be in the Food and Nutrition domain, including:
    • Principles of normal nutrition
    • Principles of food preparation and food safety
    • Nutrient composition of food
  • 38 percent of the questions will be in the Nutrition Services: Community/Clinical domain, including:
    • Medical nutrition therapy
    • Applied normal nutrition/health promotion/disease prevention
    • Basic nutrition screening and assessment
  • 7 percent of the questions will be in the Counseling, Training and Education domain, including:
    • Assessment
    • Planning
    • Implementation
    • Evaluation
  • 25 percent of the questions will be in the Foodservice Systems domain, including:
    • Menu planning
    • Procurement/materials management
    • Food production, distribution, service and facility design
    • Sanitation and safety
  • 20 percent of questions will be in the Management domain, including:
    • Quality improvement and research
    • Processes and principles
    • Marketing services and products
    • Materials and finance
    • Human resources

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Step 4

State Licensure as an RD in Arkansas

The Arkansas Dietetics Licensing Board requires that you now apply for a license to work as a Registered Dietitian in the state. Complete the Initial Application for Licensed Dietitian and enclose a fee of $110 payable to the Arkansas Dietetics Practice Fund (check or money order only). Be sure to complete the application in its entirety and have your signature notarized. Submit a copy of your CDR Registration card. Also, give the Professional Reference Form to two persons who have agreed to provide you with references. Have all items mailed to Arkansas Dietetics Licensing Board, P.O. Box 1016, North Little Rock, AR 72115. It will take up to six weeks to process your application and issue your license.

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Step 5

Arkansas License for Specialty Certifications

Maintaining Your Arkansas License as a Registered Dietitian

License renewal with the Arkansas Dietetics Licensing Board is on an annual basis. Complete the Annual Application Form and enclose a $50 fee payable to the Arkansas Dietetics Practice Fund via check or money order only. Enclose a copy of your CDR registration and proof that you have completed 12 continuing education units during the past year. (The Arkansas Dietetics Licensing Board will accept CEUs that you have completed to maintain your CDR registration). Submit all items to the address for the Board in Step 4.  It may take up to six weeks for the Board to process your renewal, so make sure to submit it in plenty of time before your license expires.

Maintaining your CDR Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Arkansas

Every five years you must renew your registration as a Registered Dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). You are required to complete at least 75 continuing professional education units (CPEUs) every five years. One of these units must be in ethics. See CDR’s PDP Guide for information on finding acceptable CPE and on how to document your CPEUs in your Professional Development Portfolio (PDP). CPE may include, but is not limited to:

  • College or university courses (in-person or through distance learning)
  • Presenting cases
  • Exhibits
  • Development of skills
  • Interactive workshops
  • Posters
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Teleseminars
  • Research
  • Pre-approved independent study
  • Completion of specialty certification programs in dietetics (see below)

Registered Dietitian Specialty Certifications in Arkansas

You may choose to earn one or more specialty certifications in dietetic concentrations. These certifications, and their renewals, will also fulfill the 75 CPEU requirements for each five year renewal period. They include:

  • Certifications from the CDR:
    • Specialist in Oncology Nutrition
    • Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition
    • Specialist in Sports Dietetics
    • Specialist in Renal Nutrition
    • Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition
  • Certification from the National Board of Nutrition Support Certification (NBNSC):
    • Certified Nutrition Support Clinician
  • Certification from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Education (IBLCE):
    • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • Certification from the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF):
    • Certified Personal Trainer

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Arkansas Resources

General Resources

Education

Career Specialties


American University

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