State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Registered Dietitian Job Information in North Carolina

According to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition, its mission is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of North Carolina form harmful nutrition practice. As such, the Board has developed licensure, education, practice, and regulation requirements for all individuals involved in the practice of dietetics/nutrition in North Carolina.

To become a registered and licensed dietitian in North Carolina, you must complete the following steps:

 
Step 1

Education in Dietetics (ACEND) in North Carolina

According to North Carolina law, you must receive a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a major course of study in one of the following subject areas:

  • Human Nutrition
  • Foods and Nutrition
  • Dietetics
  • Community Nutrition
  • Public Health Nutrition

Further, you must complete minimum course requirements set forth by the Board, which include:

  • Food Sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Human Nutrition
  • Diet Therapy
  • Advanced Nutrition
  • Food Systems Management

To qualify to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam and earn the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential, you must complete a course of study accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
The following education programs in dietetics in North Carolina meet both the Board’s requirements and ACEND’s requirements:

ACEND-Accredited Programs in North Carolina:

There are two routes to registration and licensure in North Carolina:

(1) You may complete a coordinated program (CP) in dietetics, which includes the CDR’s requirement of an ACEND-accredited education program that results in a bachelor’s or graduate degree and a course of supervised practice totaling at least 1,200 hours; or

(2) You may complete a didactic program (DP), which includes a course of study in dietetics that results in a bachelor’s or graduate degree, but does not include the supervised practice component. After the successful completion of a DP, you must then apply for and complete a dietetic internship to meet the supervised practice requirement set forth by the CDR.
Coordinated Programs (CP) in Dietetics in North Carolina

Didactic Programs (DP) in Dietetics in North Carolina

If you want to become a licensed nutritionist in North Carolina, you must meet the Board’s minimum requirements:

  • You must possess a master’s degree in human nutrition, nutrition education, foods and nutrition, public health nutrition, or an equivalent course of study from a regionally accredited college or university; OR
  • Possess a doctorate in human nutrition, nutrition education, foods and nutrition, public health nutrition, or an equivalent course of study or have received a Doctor of Medicine; AND
  • Meet minimum course requirements required by the Board, which include:
    • Social and behavioral sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Human Nutrition
    • Diet Therapy
    • Advanced Nutrition
  • Possess documentation of a supervised practice experience that consists of no less than 900 hours under the supervision of a licensed healthcare provider

Like the registered and licensed dietitian in North Carolina, you must successfully pass the CDR exam to qualify for licensure in North Carolina.

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Step 2

Dietetic Internship (DI) in North Carolina

Following the completion of a DP in North Carolina, you must apply to and successfully complete a dietetic internship (DI) to qualify to sit for the CDR exam and become a registered and licensed dietitian in North Carolina.
The following DI programs are located in North Carolina:

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Step 3

Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Exam

  1. Upon the successful completion of a DI program or CP program, you are eligible to sit for the CDR exam, a computer-based, multiple-choice examination. You will receive email correspondence from ACT Inc., the company contracted with CDR to provide the CDR examinations, once you have completed your course of supervised practice. You have 365 days from the time you complete your program to register and take the CDR examination. Upon receipt of the ACT email, you will be asked to register to take the exam and pay the $200 application fee.
  2. Once your registration and application fee are received, you will then receive correspondence from PSI, the testing centers at which you will be taking your CDR exam. You must then schedule the date, time, and location of your exam. There are more than 250 PSI Testing Centers throughout the country, with the following testing centers located in North Carolina:
    1. Asheville
    2. Charlotte
    3. Fayetteville
    4. Greenville
    5. Raleigh
    6. Wilmington
    7. Winston-Salem
  3. Before taking the CDR exam, you may prepare by reading the Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians and the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates.
  4. The CDR exam, as of January 2012, consists of the following components (and their percentage of the exam):
    1. Food and Nutrition Sciences: 12 percent
    2. Nutrition Care for Individuals and Groups: 50 percent
    3. Management of Food and Nutrition Programs and Services: 21 percent
    4. Foodservice Systems: 17 percent
  5. You will have 2 ½ hours to complete the examination, as well as an additional 30 minutes to answer 25 pre-test questions and familiarize yourself with the computer and testing structure. The CDR exam has between 125 and 145 questions. Once you answer a question and move onto the next question, you cannot go back and change your answer.
  6. Upon completion of the exam, you can view your score instantly. You must receive a minimum score of 25 (on a scale of 0 to 50) to pass the exam.
  7. If you fail the exam, you can retake the exam after 45 days, provided you receive authorization from CDR to retake the exam. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the CDR exam, provided you wait 45 days between exams and pay the application fee.

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Step 4

Apply for a State Licensure in North Carolina

Upon passing the CDR exam, you are now eligible to become a registered and licensed dietitian in North Carolina. To apply for state licensure, you must:

  • Complete the Application for License
  • Provide a copy of your CDR Registration
  • Request sealed transcripts from your college or university
  • Notarize the last page of the application
  • Include a $175 application fee (made payable to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition)

Send your completion application, application fee, and all related documents to:
North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition
140 Preston Executive Drive, Suite 205-C
Cary, NC 27513
Phone: (919) 388-1931 •  Fax: (919) 882-1776

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Step 5

Maintain your CDR Registration in North Carolina

JDietitian/nutritionist licenses renew every year on March 31 and pay a renewal fee of $75. You can learn more about license renewal and find the renewal application here. To qualify for license renewal, you must maintain your CDR registration, which requires the completion of at least 75 continuing education hours every 5 years. Further, you must provide documentation to the Board of the completion of at least 30 continuing education hours every 2 years. All continuing education hours must meet the standards found within the Professional Development Portfolio Guide.

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North Carolina Resources

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