State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Nutrition Job Information in Louisiana

 The Louisiana Board of Examiners in Nutrition and Dietetics (LBEND) requires all who wish to work as a dietitian in the state to be licensed. They also recommend all dietitians complete registered dietitian education in Louisiana that is mandated by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). This ensures that you are well prepared and well rounded as a licensed dietitian/nutritionist (LDN) and registered dietitian (RD) in the state of Louisiana. According to the Louisiana Dietetic Association, registered dietitians in the state have found work in food companies, business, industry, wellness centers, private practice, research centers, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and schools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that in May 2012, dietitians and nutritionists working in Louisiana averaged a yearly wage of $50,540.

A registered dietitian in Louisiana recently made news headlines when she spoke out on the excess of caffeine being put into our foods and drinks. Claudia Cormier, a registered dietitian with Healthy Lives at Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge, noted that caffeine is now in drinks, jelly beans, gum and other foods, and that the American public should be concerned about the amount of caffeine their children consume in just one day due to the prevalence of these types of products. If you would like to find out how to become a registered dietitian in Louisiana and make a difference in the health of its citizens of all ages, read on.

 
Step 1

Registered Dietitian Education in Louisiana

In the state of Louisiana, you cannot work as a dietitian until you have completed education, experience and examination required for registered dietitians (RD) by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and applied for licensure as a dietitian/nutritionist (LDN) in Louisiana. You must complete an ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) approved college educational program in dietetics.

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

  • Coordinated Programs in Dietetics (CP) – Includes all education and experience necessary to qualify to take the CDR’s Registered Dietitian nationwide exam. As of August 2013, there are no CPs in the state of Louisiana.
  • Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD)- Includes just the educational coursework necessary to take the CDR’s Registered Dietitian nationwide exam. You must still fulfill the experience requirement after completion of the DPD. In Louisiana, DPDs include:
  • Types of courses that are common to both CPs and DPDs include:
    • Biological sciences
    • Chemistry
    • General humanities
    • Human ecology
    • Mathematics
    • Accounting
    • Communication Studies
    • Experimental statistics
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Management and organization
    • Food and nutrition
    • Food science
    • Nutrition through the life cycle
    • Institutional planning and purchasing
    • Quantity food production
    • Community nutrition
    • Diversity in health beliefs and practices
    • Medical nutrition therapy
    • Research in dietetics

What if I Wish to Become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) in Louisiana?
Are you interested in the discipline of dietetics and nutrition but want a shorter educational program? You might want to consider studying to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) in Louisiana instead. DTRs work under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian (RD) in the same type of job settings, but usually study for two instead of four years and have an internship of 450 hours as opposed to 900 hours. They must also pass the CDR’s DTR nationwide exam. In Louisiana, a DTR educational program can be found at:

Coursework in a DTR program includes classes such as:

  • English Composition
  • Algebra
  • Chemistry
  • Speech
  • Medical Terminology
  • General Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Dietetics
  • Basic Nutrition
  • Introductory Foods
  • Institutional Foods
  • Nutrition in the Life Cycle
  • Nutrition in Disease
  • Computer Systems in Dietetics
  • Management Practice
  • Nutrition in Wellness
  • Practicum in Dietetic
  • Dietetics Seminar

*Featured Master's Nutritionist Program:

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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Step 2

Dietetic Internship (DI) in Louisiana

You must next satisfy Louisiana and the CDR’s requirement for 900 or more hours of supervised experience in nutrition and dietetics. This Dietetic Internship (DI) also must be approved by ACEND. DIs in Louisiana include:

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Step 3

CDR Registration Examination for RDs in Louisiana

Your next step along the pathway to becoming a registered dietitian in Louisiana is to pass the CDR’s Registered Dietitian nationwide exam. It is a three-hour exam taken on the computer, consisting of up to 145 multiple-choice questions. You are required to answer at least 125 questions for the exam to be scored properly. In addition, answers cannot be changed once entered nor questions skipped. You will pay about $200 to take the exam and register through the CDR’s website. PSI Exam Centers in Louisiana administer the test:

  • Baton Rouge – 8338 Summa Ave, #302
  • Lake Charles – 517 Broad St.
  • Metairie – 2750 Lake Villa Drive, Suite #202, NY II Building
  • Shreveport – 3855 Gilbert, Madison Park

You will receive your score on the day of the exam. A scaled score of 25 or better (on a scale of zero to 50) is needed to pass. If you fail, you can re-take the exam in 45 days from your first attempt. When you pass this exam, you may legally use the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian) with your name.

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Step 4

Apply for Licensure as a Dietitian in Louisiana

Before you may legally work as a dietitian in the state of Louisiana, you must apply for licensure to the Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition.

  1. Complete the Application for Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist. Make sure to have it notarized.
  2.  Include $90 ($45 application fee plus $45 initial license fee) via check or money order payable to LBEDN (Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition).
  3. Include a copy of your CDR registration card.
  4. Mail all of the above to Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition, 18550 Highland Road, Suite B, Baton Rouge, LA 70809.

Once issued, you may use the initials LDN (Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist) in Louisiana only.

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Step 5

Licensing and Registration in Louisiana

Maintaining Your Louisiana Dietitian Licensing

Your Louisiana license as a dietitian/nutritionist (LDN) is renewable every year. You may renew online or by mailing a renewal application. You must complete 15 hours of continuing education each year in dietetics and nutrition and submit this at the time of your license renewal. This may be satisfied by showing that you are still registered with the CDR as a Registered Dietitian (RD) and enclosing a current copy of your CDR card. Renewal fees range from $60 to 88, depending on when and how (online or via mail) you renew.

Maintaining your Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Louisiana

You must renew your registration with the CDR every five years, and complete 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every five years. CPE activities must be approved in order to count for credit. Look at the CDR’s CPE Database and PDP Guide for guidance in finding and documenting CPE in Louisiana. Current CPE activities and courses for Louisiana that are listed on the CDR database include, but are not limited to:

  • 65th LPHA Annual Educational Conference in Lafayette
  • Are You Ready in Bossier City
  • Atypical Diabetes in New Orleans
  • Dealing with Disruptive Patients in Shreveport
  • Connecting the Dots with Person-Centered Care in Marksville
  • Bariatric Summit 2013 for the Comprehensive Management of Severe Obesity in New Orleans
  • Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery in New Orleans
  • End of Life: The Catholic Perspective in Monroe
  • Discharge Planning for Home Enteral Nutrition in Baton Rouge
  • Failure to Thrive in Pediatrics in Shreveport
  • Food Blogging    in Baton Rouge
  • Food Access in Baton Rouge

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Louisiana Resources

General Resources

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