Kentucky Nutritionist Certification


The Kentucky Board of Licensure for Dieticians and Nutritionists is responsible for the licensing of dieticians and the certification of nutritionists. Individuals in Kentucky may also achieve dual licensure/certification as a dietician nutritionist.
Certified nutritionists in Kentucky are permitted to provide nutrition care services, which include (but are not limited to):

  • Assessing the nutrition needs of individuals and groups
  • Providing nutrition counseling in health and disease
  • Developing and evaluating nutrition care systems
  • Developing and maintaining appropriate standards of quality in food and nutrition care services

They are also responsible for providing nutrition assessment, which includes evaluating the nutrition needs of specific groups and populations, and nutrition counseling, which includes advising and assisting individuals or groups on appropriate nutrition.

Meeting the Requirements for Nutritionist Certification in Kentucky

Applicants for certification as a nutritionist in Kentucky must possess the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university in a program that is listed as accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education; AND
  • A master’s degree in in food science, nutrition, or a closely related area of food science or nutrition; must have at least 12 semester hours of graduate credit in human nutrition. Acceptable areas of study may include:
    • Food sources of nutrients
    • Physiological and chemical processes of digestion, absorption and metabolism
    • Nutrient needs throughout the lifecycle
    • Nutrition assessment processes
    • Pathophysiology of disease states
    • Medical nutrition therapy
    • Nutrient needs in exercise and fitness
    • Nutrition in health and wellness

Applicants may also qualify for nutritionist certification if:

  • They already achieved licensure as a dietician in Kentucky
  • They possess a bachelor’s degree that is not listed as accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education but they have proof of the completion of 45 semester hours in:
    • Communication
    • Counseling
    • Physical and biological sciences
    • Social sciences
    • Research
    • Food composition
    • Nutrient metabolism
    • Food systems management
    • Nutrition therapy
    • Lifecycle nutrition
    • Healthcare systems

The following bachelors and Master’s programs offer career-focused instruction delivered by trained nutritionists with experience in the field. Find out more what each individual course of study offers through the locations below.

Featured Nutritionist Programs

Applying for Nutritionist Certification in Kentucky

Upon meeting the educational requirements for nutritionist certification in Kentucky, applicants must apply by completing the Application and Verification for Licensure and Certification and paying the application fee of $50 for nutritionist certification or $100 for dual dietician licensure/nutritionist certification (made payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer). The completed application and payment must be sent to:

Kentucky Board of Licensure and Certification for Dieticians and Nutritionists
P.O. Box 1360
Frankfort, KY 40602

Maintaining Nutritionist Certification in Kentucky

Nutritionist certifications are renewed annually on November 1. In addition to completing a renewal form and paying the $50 renewal fee (or $100 for dual licensure/certification), certified nutritionists must show proof of the completion of 15 hours of continuing education. However, first-year certified nutritionists are not required to completed continuing education requirements to renew their certification.

Professional Opportunities for Certified Nutritionists in Kentucky

Certified nutritionists in Kentucky may, through membership in professional organizations and associations, engage in useful networking opportunities, be eligible for continuing education events, such as courses, seminars, and conferences, and stay current on all the latest happenings in the dietetics and nutrition field of study. State associations for nutritionists in Kentucky include:

Kentucky School Nutrition Association
Kentucky Dietetic Association
Bluegrass Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Health Coach in Kentucky

As Misty Stallard, Health Coach in Selbyville notes, three of the biggest hurdles clients have when deciding to improve their health is knowing how to get started, gaining access to a support system, and receiving feedback.  These are some of the main components of a health coaching job. Stallard and others like her work with clients, coaching them through everything from diabetes management and weight management to maintaining regular doctor’s visits and getting necessary immunizations. Educating clients is key, she says, but finding out what clients already know and building from that point is even more important to a health coach.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that Kentucky has the 12th highest adult obesity rate in the nation (2014). Obesity-related health issues have also skyrocketed in Kentucky. For example, the hypertension rate in the state is 39.1 percent (2013), placing Kentucky in the fifth place spot in the nation for high blood pressure. Diabetes is also rampant in Kentucky, with 12.5 percent of the total population suffering from this disease (2014).

Health coaches in Kentucky certainly have their work cut out for them. There is some hope, however. A pilot program in Bell County in 2014 involved participants in local weight loss programs taking cooking classes together, learning about healthy living, and auditing each other’s refrigerators. Getting together in these social networks improved their success rates, with participants losing an average of 6.52 pounds. After sixteen months, these participants maintained an average weight loss of 4.7 pounds.

Getting the necessary education and credentials is your first step towards becoming a health coach in Kentucky. If you are well-educated and knowledgeable in a variety of health and wellness areas, you too can help to improve the lives of your fellow Kentuckians.

Earning a Relevant Degree and Professional Certification to Become a Health Coach

Although health coaches do not follow any one specific path, having a degree and/or professional certification is certainly vital to breaking into the field and getting a good coaching position. You have almost total freedom to choose your own major when working towards becoming a health coach since bachelor’s or master’s degrees in a variety of majors are acceptable for most health coaching jobs. Professional certification in areas like exercise science or nutrition and dietetics is also valued by employers of health coaches.

Degree Options

Entry-level health coaches may hold an associate’s degree in areas that include:

  1. Exercise Science
  2. Wellness Coaching
  3. Holistic Health Coaching
  4. Sports Coaching

Typically, health coaching jobs in Kentucky require at least a bachelor’s degree. The most common majors employers seek in job applicants include:

  1. Nutrition and Dietetics
  2. Physical Education
  3. Wellness Coaching
  4. Health Coaching

If you already hold a bachelor’s degree in a different area, or you are looking to climb the career ladder of health coaching, master’s degrees such as these may come in handy:

  1. Graduate Certificate in Health Coaching
  2. Master of Science in Health Promotion
  3. Master of Science in Health Education
  4. Master of Arts in Physical Education with Specialization in Coaching

Professional Certification

Professional certification may be the key to obtaining your dream health coaching job. Employers often look for applicants with certification in areas such as:

  1. National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC) – This organization introduced the first clinical model of evidence-based health coaching with motivational interviewing in the United States. Many regard NSHC certification as the pinnacle of health coaching credentials. They offer Health Coach Certification for Clinical Healthcare Providers as well as a Certificate of Completion for Allied Healthcare Providers. You must hold certain credentials prior to seeking NSCH certification. A list of these credentials may be found at their website. Recertification occurs every five years through re-examination only.
  2. Dr. Sears Wellness Institute – Renowned physician Dr. William Sears created a Health Coach Certification Program designed for students from various backgrounds. Offering online courses and training options focused on life stages, the Certified Health Coach program focuses on the latest scientific evidence and innovations in nutrition, attitude, exercise and lifestyle. The organization also provides Continuing Education credits for a variety of other types of health care professionals, including nurses, fitness professionals and teachers. This program is accredited by the National Consortium for the Credentialing of Health and Wellness Coaches (NCCHWC). Recertification occurs annually for active coaches who complete a refresher course.

Health Coaching in Kentucky: Career Paths and Job Opportunities

Health coaches in Kentucky may work within corporations, health care facilities, and even as independent contractors.  The sky’s the limit for health coaches when you possess the right degree and/or certification.

The following job vacancy announcements represent the types of employment opportunities available to properly credentialed health coaches in Kentucky. These job vacancy announcements are shown for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to represent job offers or provide an assurance of employment.
Health Coach for Corporate Health Partners- Somerset, KY

You will coach and educate employees, employers and communities on ways in which they can improve their health. You will also create, conduct and implement health promotion activities and processes.

  1. Bachelor’s degree in health-related field (such as dietetics, nutrition, health promotion, wellness coaching, exercise physiology, nursing, personal training)
  2. Experience in diabetes, weight management, stress management and tobacco cessation a plus

Health Coordinator for Acelero Learning- Louisville, KY

You will work to develop, implement and refine health and wellness approaches for children and their families participating in the Head Start early learning program. You will develop partnerships in the community to make sure the preventive and health treatment needs of children and families are met.

  1. Bachelor’s degree in public health, health education and promotion, family and child development or a related field
  2. Three years of experience working on health and wellness interventions with diverse families in low income communities

Health Coach for Provant – Belfry, KY

You will screen clients for health and wellness in corporate settings one-on-one, and work local health screenings when available. You will educate clients on weight loss management, stress management, tobacco cessation and physical activity.

  1. Current license or certification as a RD, RN, Health Educator or Exercise Physiologist
  2. Comfortable with speaking for long periods of time

Director of Community Health at the YMCA of Central Kentucky- Lexington, KY

You will develop and implement healthy living programs, health initiatives and chronic disease programs for a diverse population. You will work with Healthy Living Coaches at each branch of the YMCA to make sure that members are engaged and follow up during the first 90 days, six months and one year of their healthy living programming.

  1. Bachelor’s degree in Health/Wellness Promotion, Exercise Science/Physiology or a related field
  2. Experience working w
  3. th a diverse community in nutrition, exercise physiology, anatomy or kinesiology

Additional Resources for Health Coaches in Kentucky

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
University of Kentucky Health Information Resources
Kentucky Safety and Prevention Alignment Network – Public Health Preparedness
Kentucky Health Information Exchange
Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department
Lexington/Fayette County Health Department
Three Rivers District Health Department
Lincoln County Health Department

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