State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Rhode Island Nutrition Careers

As of May 2012, Rhode Island ranked first in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among the states with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for dietitians and nutritionists. The annual mean salary for dietitians and nutritionists during the same period was $61,540, well above the national annual mean salary of $56,170.

Dietitians/nutritionists in Rhode Island must be licensed to practice in the state. You must complete the following steps to become licensed in Rhode Island through the Rhode Island Board of Dietetics Practice:

 
Step 1

Dietitian Education Program in Rhode Island

To become licensed as a dietitian in Rhode Island, you must complete a course of study that culminates in a bachelor’s or graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university that is approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). The following ACEND-approved programs are located in Rhode Island:

ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to a Registered Dietitian (RD) License in Rhode Island:

If you want to become licensed to practice as a nutritionist in Rhode Island, it is important to understand that Rhode Island considers the terms “dietitian” and “nutritionist” interchangeable, and many professionals in Rhode Island use the letters LDN (licensed dietitian nutritionist). Therefore, to become licensed as a nutritionist in Rhode Island, you must follow the same set of guidelines as a dietitian.

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Step 2

Dietetic Internship in Rhode Island

An ACEND-accredited dietetic internship is required upon completion of your educational program in Rhode Island. Rhode Island requires at least 900 hours of supervised practice within a DI program, which meets the standards of the ACEND-accredited programs, which feature at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice. You must apply for these competitive internship positions.

Rhode Island’s only DI program is located at the University of Rhode Island, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, in Kingston. This full-time MS degree program is 24 months in length and provides an emphasis on applied nutrition research.

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Step 3

Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination

  1. Upon completion of your DI program, you will be eligible to sit for the CDR examination. Your program administrator will contact CDR on your behalf or provide you with the information to do so yourself. You can expect to receive an email from ACT Inc., the company CDR contracts to handle its CDR examinations. This email will ask you to register to take the exam and pay the $200 examination fee. You must register and take the exam within one year of completing your DI program.
  2. Once you register with ACT, you can expect to receive another email from PSI Exams, the company that runs the more than 250 PSI Testing Centers across the country. You will need to register the date, time, and location of your CDR exam. Although there are no PSI Testing Centers in Rhode Island, you may take the exam at one of the following neighboring locations:
    1. Milford, Connecticut
    2. West Hartford, Connecticut
    3. Auburn, Massachusetts
    4. Charleston, Massachusetts
    5. Fall River, Massachusetts
    6. Lawrence, Massachusetts
    7. West Springfield, Massachusetts
  3. You can prepare to take the exam by reading the Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians and the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates.
  4. On the day of exam, you must bring a government-issued photo ID with you, along with a confirmation email from PSI Exams. You will be provided with a simple calculator to complete the examination; you may not bring your own calculator.
  5. The CDR Exam consists of about 125 questions (25 of which are pretest questions that are not scored) and is divided up into the following areas:
    1. Food and Nutrition Sciences: 12 percent
      1. Management concepts
      2. Research
      3. Food science and nutrient composition of foods
      4. Nutrition and supporting sciences
      5. Education and communication
    2. Food service systems: 17 percent
      1. Menu development
      2. Sanitation and safety
      3. Equipment and facility planning
      4. Sustainability
      5. Procurement, distribution, production, and service
    3. Management of food and nutrition programs and services: 21 percent
      1. Marketing and public relations
      2. Human resources
      3. Function of management
      4. Financial management
      5. Quality improvement
    4. Nutrition care for individuals and groups: 50 percent
      1. Diagnosis
      2. Screening and assessment
      3. Monitoring and evaluation
      4. Planning and intervention
  6. You will have 2 ½ hours to complete the examination. Once you answer a question and move onto the next question, you are not able to go back and change your answer.
  7. Upon completing the exam, you can immediately view your score by checking your online account.
  8. If you fail the exam, you can retest after 45 days. You must first contact CDR at 1-800-8771600 ext. 500 to obtain reauthorization to take the exam. There is no limit to the number of times you can retake the exam, provided you register and pay the fee each time and wait 45 days between exams.

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Step 4

Licensure as a RD/Nutritionist in Rhode Island

Upon successfully completing the CDR exam, you can apply for state licensure by completing and notarizing the Dietitian/Nutritionist Application for Licensure and providing the following:

  • A recent photograph of your head and shoulders (2”x3”)
  • Evidence of successfully completing the CDR exam (must be mailed directly from the CDR)
  • Official transcripts showing the completion of a bachelor’s or graduate degree (must be sent directly from the college or university)
  • An application fee of $75

Mail the signed and notarized application, application fee and supporting documents to:
Rhode Island
Board of Dietetics Practice
Room 105
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097

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Step 5

Maintain RD Designation and Licensure

State Licensure Renewal

You must renew your dietitian/nutritionist state license every two years (November 1 of every even or odd year, depending on the year you received your initial license). Upon renewal of your license, you must provide documentation of the completion of at least 20 continuing education credits approved by the CDR.

RD Renewal

You must renew your registered dietitian (RD) credential every 5 years with the CDR and provide proof of the completion of at least 75 continuing education credits. The CDR requires that you track your continuing education through a Professional Development Portfolio (PDP).

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Rhode Island Resources

General Resources

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