State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Nutrition Job Information in Maine

 In order to work in Maine, dietitians must be licensed (LD) and registered (RD). Licensing occurs through the Maine Board of Licensing of Dietetic Practice, while registration happens through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Both organizations ensure that registered dietitian education in Maine meets certain standards of practice. Dietitian licensing in Maine protects not only the professionals in the occupation, but also their clients.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) quotes the May 2012 mean salary for dietitians and nutritionists practicing in the state of Maine as $53,470. Dietitians in Maine work in a host of settings such as schools, hospitals, day care centers, senior centers, long-term care facilities, companies and private practice. If you wish to discover how to become a licensed, registered dietitian in Maine, read on.

 
Step 1

Registered Dietitian Education in Maine

The Maine Board of Licensing of Dietetic Practice follows the mandates of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) when it comes to the education required to become a registered dietitian. Maine does note that certain courses must be included in an applicant’s bachelor’s degree (or higher) coursework, which are noted at the end of this section. The CDR approves programs accredited by their Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

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

  • Coordinated Programs in Dietetics (CP) – These college or university programs contain the courses and internship required of Maine and the CDR. As of August 2013, there are no CP programs within the state of Maine.
  • Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD)- These college or university programs just contain coursework, not an internship, required by the CDR and Maine. An internship must be completed after the DPD is finished. DPDs in Maine include:
    • University of Maine, Orono
      • Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition, concentration in Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Coursework that the state of Maine insists all registered dietitians complete, regardless of your major course of study, include:
    • Management theory
    • Nutrition
    • Food composition
    • Economics
    • Communication skills
    • Psychology or sociology
    • Microbiology
    • Human physiology
    • Inorganic chemistry
    • Organic chemistry

What if I Wish to Become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) in Maine?
The Maine Board of Licensing of Dietetic Practice also licensed Dietetic Technicians to work in the state. They must complete the CDR’s Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) coursework and 450 hours of experience, then pass the CDR’s DTR exam. Usually this degree is at the associate’s level, but under Maine’s statutes, an applicant for dietetic technician licensing may hold a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition in lieu of completion of an ACEND-accredited DTR program. The ACEND-accredited DTR programs in Maine include:

In addition, Maine requires that DTR students complete two months of work experience within five years after graduating with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. This experience must be completed before applying for Maine licensure as a dietetic technician.

*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 Maine

Maine requires that all applicants for dietitian licensing have six months of post-degree experience , within five years of graduating, before applying for licensure. This experience must be in addition to your Dietetic Internship (DI), required by Maine and the CDR. DIs in Maine include:

  • University of Maine, Orono
    • 21 months, full-time
    • Results in a Master of Science or Ph.D. in Food Science and Human Nutrition
    • Emphasis on Nutrition Services and Professional Advocacy

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Step 3

CDR Registration Examination in Louisiana

Maine and the CDR also require that you pass a national registration exam required of all registered dietitians across the United States. It is computerized and lasts about 180 minutes. You must answer at least 125 of up to 145 questions, all multiple-choice. You cannot skip questions or go back and change answers you have already given. The test is $200 and registration occurs through the CDR’s website. PSI Exam Centers gives the test at the following Maine location year-round:

  • 252 Main Street, Farmington

A scaled score of 25 on a scale of 0 to 50 passes the exam. Your score will be given to you at the exam center. If you fail the exam, you are permitted to re-take it in 45 days. Passing the exam gives you the right to use the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian).

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Step 4

Apply for Licensure as a Dietitian in Maine

Even though you have passed the CDR Registered Dietitian exam, you are not legally permitted to work in Maine until you receive their Licensed Dietitian (LD) credentials. This requires filing an Application for Licensure along with:

  • Licensing fee of $150 (payable via check or money order to Maine State Treasurer)
  • Criminal history records check fee of $21 (payable via check or money order to Maine State Treasurer)
  • A copy of your CDR card showing you have passed the CDR Registered Dietitian exam

If you prefer to pay your fees via credit card, there is a space on the application to indicate this. Make sure to sign your application and keep a copy of it for yourself. Mail everything to Maine Board of Licensing of Dietetic Practice, 35 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0035. When your application has been reviewed and approved, your license will be mailed to you. From then on, you can use the credentials LD and practice as a dietitian in Maine. (If you are applying for licensure as a Dietetic Technician in Maine, you will use the same application and pay the same fees).

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Step 5

Maintain Your Licensing and Registration in Maine

Maintaining Your Maine Dietitian License

Every year on December 31, you must renew your license as a dietitian in Maine (LD). The fee for renewal is $150. You must also show that you have completed 15 hours of continuing education (CE) that follows the rules of the Maine Board of Licensing of Dietetic Practice. You may renew online. (Dietetic Technicians, Registered or DTRs must also renew annually, but must only complete 10 hours of CE each year).

For both LDs and Licensed Dietetic Technicians, at least four credits of CE each year must be obtained from what is called “Category 1.” These programs must be at least four hours long, contain at least 15 people, and include a written evaluation of the quality of the program at the end. Make sure to submit your CE proof to the Maine Board of Licensing of Dietetic Practice by September 1 of each year.

Maintaining your Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Maine

Every five years, your registration through the CDR as a Registered Dietitian (RD) must be renewed. You must complete 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during this time also. Examine the CDR’s CPE Database and PDP Guide to discover what CPE activities are approved and how many CPEUs (CPE Units) each activity counts for.  Some CDR CPE activities may also apply under the Maine Board of Licensing of Dietetic Practice’s CE requirements. A few examples of CDR CPE activities available in Maine in 2013 are:

  • Understanding the impact of culture, language and discrimination on WIC in Maine – Augusta
  • The role of folic acid and the prevention of birth defects- Maine statewide
  • New England Nutrition Therapy Conference – Westford
  • Clinical outreach trainings-Maine statewide
  • Ambulatory diabetes education and follow up (ADEF)-Augusta
  • Diabetes self-management training (DSMT) new instructor program – Augusta

Specialty Certification in Dietetics and/or Nutrition in Maine

One way many LDs and RDs in Maine choose to fulfill the CE and CPE requirements of Maine and the CDR is to become certified in a specialty area of practice. This specialty area must be directly related to nutrition and/or dietetics and to the work in which you do in the state of Maine. Some specialty certifications fulfill either the state of Maine’s or the CDR’s entire CE/CPE requirement for the renewal period. Examples of specialty certifications pursued by Maine dietitians include:

  • Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) specialty certifications:
    • Board Certification as a Specialist in Oncology Nutrition
    • Board Certification as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics
    • Board Certification as a Specialist in Gerontological Nutrition
    • Board Certification as a Specialist in Renal Nutrition
    • Board Certification as a Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) specialty certification:               
    • Certified Personal Trainer
  • American Association of Diabetes Education (AADE) specialty certification:
    • Board Certified Advanced Diabetes Management
  • National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) specialty certification:
    • Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Canadian Diabetes Education Certification Board (CDECB) specialty certification:
    • `Canadian Board Certified Diabetes Educator
  • National Board of Nutrition Support Certification (NBNSC)specialty certification:
    • Certified Nutrition Support Clinician
  • International Board of Lactation Consultant Education (IBLCE) specialty certification:
    • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

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