State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Nutrition Career Info in Indiana

Indiana’s dietitians currently (as of August 2013) do not have to hold a license in order to practice in the state. However, dietitians who wish to work in Indiana should be certified through the Indiana Dietitians Certification Board. This requires registration with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). At this time, certification for Indiana dietitians is not mandatory, but is recommended.  Many potential employers of dietitians, not only in Indiana but also throughout other states, will not hire dietitians who are not registered dietitians (RD).Those who receive certification can identify themselves as “certified dietitians” (CD) in Indiana only but the RD status is applicable in all states.

After a state initiates a dietitian licensing law, Medicare and Medicaid require all dietitians working in that state to be licensed in order to receive reimbursement for their services. Critics of the proposed Indiana dietitian licensing bill say that it would affect the ability of non-licensed nutritionists working in Indiana to get reimbursed from Medicare and Medicaid.  Those supporting the licensing law note that it will define a dietitian’s scope of practice, thereby protecting the public in cases of malpractice. As of May 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor says that dietitians and nutritionist working throughout Indiana averaged $51,090 per year. Dietitians and nutritionists working in certain parts of the state earned higher than average annual wages, such as:

  • Cincinnati, Middletown OH,KY, IN area: $54,090
  • Evansville: $52,990
  • Gary: $52,510
  • Indianapolis, Carmel: $51,420
  • South Bend, Mishawaka, IN, MI: $57,340
  • Northern Indiana nonmetropolitan area: $56,370

If you want to know the current way to become a certified, registered dietitian (RD) in Indiana, please read on.

 
Step 1

Complete Registered Dietitian Education in Indiana

Completion of dietitian education that is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) is required in order to earn Registered Dietitian (RD) status.  

ACEND-Accredited Educational Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) status in Indiana:

Regardless of the type of dietitian education in Indiana you choose, some courses will be held in common in both CPs and DPDs. The basic foundational courses contained within most dietary education programs in Indiana include:

  • Chemistry
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Principles of human nutrition
  • Fundamentals of food
  • Quantity food production
  • Nutrition care processes
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Community nutrition
  • Food science
  • Food service management systems
  • Health and wellness
  • Intervention methodologies

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Step 2

Complete your Dietetic Internship in Indiana

The second facet of your dietetic education in Indiana is to complete a minimum of 900 hours in supervised experience. In Indiana, ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internships (DI) include:

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Step 3

Pass the CDR Registration Exam Dietitians

With internship completed and degree in hand, you are ready to sit for the CDR’s Registered Dietitian examination, required for registration with the CDR and certification in Indiana. The three-hour, computerized multiple-choice exam contains questions that must be taken in sequence. No questions may be skipped or answers changed. A minimum of 125 questions (on a test whose number of questions ranges from 125 to 145) must be answered in order for the exam to be scored. You must pay for (approximately $200) and register for the exam online through the CDR. You will then schedule your exam at a nearby PSI Exam Center in Indiana. Choose from:

  • Anderson – 104 W 53rd St., Room 102
  • Evansville – Ivy Tech Community College, 3501 N First Ave
  • Fort Wayne – 4805 Sirlin Drive, Harshman Hall, Room 0126
  • Indianapolis- 7251 W McCarthy St
  • Muncie – 4301 South Cowan Rd, Room 520
  • South Bend – 250 E Temple St

You will learn your score a soon as you finish the test. A scaled score of 25 or better is required to pass the exam. Those who fail the exam may take it again, but must wait 45 days to re-take the exam.

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Step 4

Apply for Certification as a Dietitian in Indiana

As mentioned earlier in this piece, certification with the Indiana Dietitians Certification Board is optional for dietitians who wish to work in Indiana. However, most of the steps for certification mimic the steps for registration with the CDR to become a Registered Dietitian, and it is almost impossible to be hired as a dietitian without having the RD credentials. If you apply for certification with Indiana, you can also use the CD credentials in state only. To become certified in Indiana, complete all steps above, then:

  1. Download and print the Application for Indiana Dietitian Certification.
  2. Attach two photographs (head shots) of yourself to the application.
  3. Have your college or university forward official transcripts to: Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Indiana Dietitian Certification Board, 402 West Washington St., Room W072, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
  4. Enclose a copy of your current registration card with the CDR.
  5. Enclose a check or money order for $20 payable to the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.
  6. Mail the application and all enclosures to the address in number 3 above.
  7. Once your application is received, you will receive an email from the Indiana Dietitian Certification Board, instructing you to initiate the mandatory Criminal Background Check (CBC). Instructions are listed on this page.

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Step 5

Maintain Your Certification as an RD in Indiana

Maintaining Your Indiana Dietitian Certification

Your certification with the Indiana Dietitians Certification Board is renewable every two years. You will receive a renewal notice about two months before your certification is set to expire. About a month before your certification will expire, you can use the blank renewal form on the Indiana Dietitians Certification Board website, or renew online. The renewal fee is $20. During each two-year span, you must complete 30 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) to maintain your certification. Keep records of your CPE, as you may be randomly audited by the Board.

Maintaining your CDR Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Indiana

You must renew your registration with the CDR every five years. During that time, you must take 75 hours of CPE. A list of acceptable activities in Indiana is available through searching the CDR’s CPE Database for Indiana activities. The PDP Guide will help you to produce and maintain a portfolio of CPE.

Specialty Certification for Dietitians in Indiana

Many certified, registered dietitians in Indiana decide to pursue specialty certifications in nutrition and dietetics after becoming certified and registered. This can increase your chances of finding work as a dietitian and can help to fulfill both Indiana’s requirements for CPE for recertification and the CDR’s requirements for CPE for re-registration. Common certifications of dietitians in Indiana include:

  • State of Indiana: Indiana Food Handler Certification
  • Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals: Certified Dietary Manager (CDM), Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP)
  • Clinical Nutrition Certification Board: Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)
  • Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR): Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition, Board Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Board Certified Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition, Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition

Potential Job Sites for Indiana Dietitians

Indiana dietitians who have completed education and experience and have earned state certification and registration will find a wealth of career opportunities statewide. Opportunities exist for various facets of dietitians and dietary training, including:

  • Cardiac nutrition
  • Diabetes nutrition
  • Nutrition support
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Food service management in areas such as:
    • Outpatient clinics
    • Cooperative extension agencies
    • Early childhood education programs
    • Long term care facilities
    • Hospitals
    • Educational settings
    • State agencies
    • Senior centers
    • WIC centers
  • Self-employment as a:
    • Contract dietitian
    • Dietary/nutrition consultant
  • General work as a dietitian in:
    • Corporations
    • Airlines
    • Restaurants
    • Pharmaceutical companies
    • Correctional facilities

 

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