Nutrition Careers in Delaware
According to the Delaware Dietetic Association, made up of 200 licensed dietitians/nutritionists in Delaware, its members work in a wide variety of settings across the state of Delaware, including public health, community organizations, universities, fitness centers, schools, nursing homes, senior centers, school-based wellness centers, private practice, outpatient clinics, and hospitals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor notes that in May 2012, dietitians and nutritionists in Delaware brought home an average yearly salary of $59,210. Those employed in the downstate (Sussex County) area earned even higher average wages per year of $60,640. There are two routes
Complete Registered Dietitian Education in Delaware
There are two routes to dietitian licensing in Delaware.
- Option 1: Complete the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)’s Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics educational, internship and examination route to licensure as a Registered Dietitian in Delaware
- ACEND-Accredited Educational Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) status in Delaware:
- Coordinated Programs in Dietetics (CP) - CP programs fulfill the CDR’s educational and internship requirements. Currently, there are no CPs offered in Delaware.
- Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD)-DP programs fulfill the CDR’s educational requirement only, and students must complete an internship afterwards. In Delaware, they include:
- Delaware State University, Dover
- Bachelor of Science, Food and Nutritional Science
- University of Delaware, Newark
- Bachelor of Science, Dietetics
- Coursework in a DPD program in Delaware will include the following subjects:
- Food science
- Human physiology
- Organic Chemistry
- General Chemistry
- Nutrition concepts
- Nutrition counseling
- Food concepts
- Nutrition in the life span
- Nutritional assessment
- Option 2: Complete education for a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college in one of the following fields, plus a supervised 900 hour internship:
- Human nutrition
- Food and nutrition
- Nutrition education
- Food systems management
Your coursework must contain:
- 3 credits in nutrition and disease or diet therapy
- 3 credits in human physiology
- 3 credits in biochemistry
- 12 credits of other dietetics/human nutrition courses
American University’s online Master of Science in Nutrition Education will prepare you to become an influential leader in nutrition education and advocacy while promoting nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices in your community. This program does not prepare you to be a registered dietician. However, there are currently registered dieticians in this program for professional development and career advancement.
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Apply to a Dietetic Internship (DI) in Delaware
Whether you chose Option 1 or Option 2 above, you must complete a Dietetic Internship (DI) in Delaware. If you chose Option 1, you must attend an ACEND-accredited DI, which is 1200 hours in length. In Delaware, ACEND-accredited DIs include:
If you chose Option 2 above, you must still complete an internship in dietetics/nutrition that meets the following standards:
- Internship must be supervised by a registered dietitian, a Delaware licensed healthcare practitioner or a professional with a doctoral degree in nutrition education, human nutrition, dietetics, food systems management or food and nutrition
- Internship must take place within the U.S. or its territories
- Your experience in the dietetics practice internship must be documented by your supervisor
- Your experience in the dietetic practice internship must be at least 900 hours long
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CDR Registration Exam for Registered Dietitians
If you are completing Option 1 above and have completed your Didactic Program in Dietetics and the Dietetic Internship, you are now ready to take the CDR’s Registered Dietitian Exam. (If you are seeking licensure via Option 2, skip this step and go on to Step 4).
Your extensive and thorough education and internship should make you feel quite confident that you can pass the CDR’s Registered Dietitian exam. The exam will cover most of the subjects included in your DPD program, in a computerized, multiple-choice, three-hour format. If you feel that you need extra help in preparing for the exam, the CDR provides resources on their website such as the Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians and the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates.
Also at the CDR website, you will apply to take and pay for the exam. The fee is $200 and payable by credit card. PSI Exam Centers will email you when they have received your payment, and prompt you to schedule your exam. The only PSI Exam Center located in Delaware is:
- Georgetown – Delaware Tech Testing Center, Route 18, Carter Partnership Building, Room, 570
Please note that you must answer at least 125 questions on the CDR exam in order for it to be graded. The test will range from 125 to 145 questions. You are not permitted to skip any questions, go back to change answers, or go back to review answers. You will receive your score at the test center after the exam is completed. If you pass, you will receive information from CDR about your new credentials as a Registered Dietitian (RD). If you fail, you may retake the exam in 45 days. Contact the CDR online to receive another authorization to test.
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Licensure as a Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist
Regardless of whether you chose Option 1 or Option 2 above, you must now apply for licensing as a dietitian/nutritionist in Delaware before you can legally work in the state.
- Option 1 applicants: If you completed the CDR route to registration as a dietitian, you must :
- Submit a copy of your CDR registration card to the Delaware Board of Dietetics/Nutrition with your licensure application
- Have the CDR send a credential verification directly to the Board (may be done electronically or through the mail)
- Option 2 applicants: If you completed the other pathway, you must:
- Have your college or university send transcripts directly to the Delaware Board of Dietetics/Nutrition, documenting that you have received a bachelor’s degree as specified in Step 1, Option 2.
- Instruct your internship supervisor to complete and submit a Supervised Practice Experience Assessment Form which is found in the Application packet below) directly to the Board, documenting that you have completed 900 hours of internship as specified in Step 2, Option 2.
- If you have passed another dietetics or nutrition certification or registration examination, have the credentialing agency sponsoring the exam send verification of your passing score to the Board. Also, submit copies of any certification or registration cards you hold in nutrition or dietetics to the Board with your application.
- Applicants Under Both Options Must:
- Complete the State of Delaware Application for Licensure as a Dietitian/Nutritionist, making sure to have the affidavit at the bottom notarized
- Enclose a licensing fee of $171, payable by check or money order to the State of Delaware
- Mail everything to State of Delaware, Department of State, Division of Professional Regulation, Board of Dietetics/Nutrition, Cannon Building, 861 Silver Lake Blvd, Suite 203, Dover, DE 19904-2467.
- After submitting your application with payment and all supporting documentation, you should receive your license by mail in four to six weeks. Once received, you may use the credentials “L.D.N.” (Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist) in the State of Delaware.
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Licensure and Registration as a Dietitian in Delaware
Your L.D.N. (Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist) license in Delaware expires on May 31 of odd numbered years. The Delaware Board of Dietetics/Nutrition will mail you a renewal notice a few weeks prior to expiration, which will instruct you on renewing your license online. You must pay your renewal fee online as well, and will be notified of that fee in your renewal notice.
Additionally, you must provide documentation that you have completed the necessary 30 hours of continuing education (CE) every two years to keep your license valid. You will attest to completion of these hours when you renew your license online. The Board will select L.D.N.s from random and audit their CE, so make sure to maintain accurate and complete records of all CE you have taken in case you are chosen for audit. Applicable CE is the same as the CPE (continuing professional education) that is approved by CDR for registration purposes, with the following exceptions:
- No more than 15 CPE hours may come from self-study
- No more than 6 CPE hours may come from exhibits
- No more than 10 CPE hours may come from presenting posters
Under rules of the CDR, you must renew your registration as a Registered Dietitian (RD) in Delaware every five years. During each five-year span, you must complete 75 hours of approved CPE. The CDR’s CPE Database and PDP Guide can help you find acceptable forms of CPE. Certain specialty certifications in nutrition and dietetics are also ways to fulfill the CPE requirements, and are listed in the PDP Guide.
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