State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Nutritionist Certification

The Rhode Island Department of Health, Board of Dietetics Practice, through the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Licensure of Dieticians/Nutritionists, outlines the licensing process for dieticians and nutritionists in the State. All dieticians/nutritionists in Rhode Island must be licensed to practice medical nutrition therapy.

In addition, it clearly states that only licensed individuals may practice dietetics or use the title of dietician/nutritionist or LDN.

Qualifications for Licensure

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Individuals who want to learn how to become a nutritionist in Rhode Island must ensure they meet the minimum requirements for licensure, which include:

  • Possessing a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited university or college, along with approved coursework approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA); AND
  • Completing a Board-approved, planned experience in dietetics of at least 900 hours; the experience must be under the supervision of a registered dietician or a licensed dietician/nutritionist in Rhode Island; OR
  • The completion of an internship through the American Dietetic Association (ADA); AND
  • Completing the Registration Examination (RD) for Dieticians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration

The RD examination is a computer-based examination designed to assess a nutritionist’s entry-level knowledge; it includes the following topics:

  • Food and Nutrition
  • Nutrition Care Process and Model – Simple and Complex Conditions
  • Counseling, Communication, Education, and Research
  • Foodservice Systems
  • Management

Applying for Licensure in Rhode Island as a Nutritionist

In addition to a completed, signed, and notarized Application for License as a Dietician/Nutritionist, candidates must provide the Board with the following:

  • A recent photograph (2x3 inches) of the head and shoulder
  • An application fee of $75 (made payable to the Rhode Island General Treasurer)
  • Evidence of the successful completion of the RD examination; must be sent to the Board directly from the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • Official transcripts showing the completion of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a dietetics or nutrition program
  • A full Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) check

Applying for a Temporary Permit

Individuals who have successfully complete a program in dietetics/nutrition that is approved by the American Dietetic Association Commission on Education may apply for a temporary permit, during which time they may work as a nutritionist under the supervision of a dietician/nutritionist licensed in the State of Rhode Island.

While working on a temporary permit, individuals may only use the title of “graduate dietician/nutritionist.” Graduate nutritionists must successfully pass the RD examination within 90 days of receiving a temporary permit from the Department.

The completed application for licensure, along with all related documentation, must be sent to:

Rhode Island Department of Health
Board of Dietetics Practice
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, Rhode Island 02908

Applicants may contact the Board at 401-222-5888 with any questions regarding the licensure process for dieticians/nutritionists in Rhode Island.

Earning and Employment Statistics for Rhode Island Nutritionists

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, as of May 2013, nutritionists in the State earned an annual, mean salary of $62,210. During the same period, Rhode Island ranked first in the nation for its concentration of nutritionist jobs.

Further, the metropolitan area of Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA ranked tenth in the nation for its concentration of nutritionist jobs, as of May 2013. Nutritionists in this metropolitan area earned a mean, annual salary of $61,060 during this time.

Nutritionist Licensure Expiration and Renewal in Rhode Island

Dietician/nutritionist licenses in Rhode Island are valid for 2 years. The renewal fee is $170, and licensed dieticians/nutritionists must apply for renewal on September 1 of each odd-numbered year.

Licensed dieticians/nutritionist can expect to receive a renewal application from the Department before the expiration date. During the renewal period, individuals must complete a minimum of 20 continuing education credits accepted by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. It is the responsibility of the licensed dieticians/nutritionists to maintain documentation of their participation in the continuing education learning experiences.


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