State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

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Nutrition Careers in Florida

The vision of the Florida Department of Health is to help make Florida the healthiest state in the nation. Registered dietitians are an important piece of this goal. Completing the required registered dietitian education in Florida and earning a license as a dietitian/nutritionist can enable you to make a difference in the nutritional outcomes of Floridians of all ages.  According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), as of December 2013 there were 4095 Registered Dietitians working in Florida. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that in May 2018, dietitians and nutritionists working in the state of Florida earned an annual mean salary of $61,710. Keep reading to learn how to become a dietitian in Florida.

 
Step 1

Get Your Florida Registered Dietitian Education

The Florida Board of Dietetics and Nutrition mandates that only those who earn the credential of Registered Dietitian can be licensed as a dietitian in the state. Earning this credential begins with completing registered dietitian education in Florida. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)’s Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics must accredit the program that you choose.

Florida ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) Licensure:

Would you rather become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR)?

This option requires less education and experience, and is a way to get into the field of Dietetics in Florida more quickly. You must complete one of the following ACEND-accredited DTR programs in Florida, which combine an associate’s degree curriculum with a 450-hour internship, then pass the CDR Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) exam:

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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

Apply for your Florida Dietetic Internship (DI)

Once you have a degree in dietetics or a related area, you must complete the experience requirement of the CDR.  In some instances, the DI may offer you the opportunity to complete a graduate degree while fulfilling the internship requirement. The following ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internships (DI) are offered in Florida:

Before applying for licensure to practice as a dietitian in Florida, you must complete a Florida Board of Dietetics and Nutrition-approved two-hour course related to the prevention of medical errors. This course may be offered in your CP, DPD or DI.

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Step 3

Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Exam

The next challenge on your way to becoming a Registered Dietitian in Florida is to pass the CDR’s Registered Dietitian Examination. This exam takes about three hours to complete and consists of computer-based, multiple-choice questions. The CDR’s Comprehensive Study Outline and Study Guide and the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates can help you to study for and apply for the exam. You must answer at least 125 questions (exam ranges from 125 to 145 questions in length) and may not skip, change or go back to review answers.
The CDR will email you instructions on registration and paying the $200 exam fee online once you are eligible to take it. After Pearson VUE Exam Centers receives your online payment, they will email you to schedule your exam. It is given at the following Florida locations:

  • Lakeland – 212 E Highland Dr, Suite 101
  • Tampa- 3922 Coconut Palm Drive, Suite 101, Sabal Business Center 5
  • Orlando- 1707 Orlando Central Pkwy, Suite 300
  • Port Charlotte- 1777 Tamiami Trail, Suite 508, BMO Harris Bank
  • Altamonte Springs – 237 South Westmonte Drive, Suite 305, Premier Point South
  • St. Petersburg – 877 Executive Center Drive, Suite 350, Baypoint Commerce Center-Glades Bldg
  • Deerfield Beach – 1191 East Newport Center Drive, Suite PHA/3 Story Bldg, 3rd Floor, Penthouse A
  • Plantation – 1000 South Pine Island Rd, Suite 260, Royal Palm at Southpoint
  • Pembroke Pines – 7369 Sheridan St., Suite 204
  • Gainesville – 2815 NW 13th St, Suite 101
  • Tallahassee – 2286-2 Wednesday Street
  • Jacksonville – 8659 Baypine Rd, Suite 305, Spring Lake Business Ctr, Bldg 3
  • Miami – 8615-17 South Dixie Hwy

Questions on the exam are derived from the information you have studies, and include these sub-disciplines of Dietetics and Nutrition:

  • Food and Nutrition Sciences
  • Management of Food and Nutrition Services and Programs
  • Nutrition Care for Individuals and Groups
  • Food Service Systems

Your score on the exam will be given to you at the test center on the same day. You must receive a scaled score of at least 25 to pass. If you fail, you may re-take it in 45 days or later. Reauthorize to test again by email at cdrexams@eatright.org, or by telephone at (312) 899-4859. Once you pass the exam, you can use the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian).



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Step 4

Apply for Licensure as a Dietitian in Florida

You have passed the CDR Registered Dietitian Examination and are now ready to apply for a license to work as a dietitian in Florida.

  1. Apply online at the Florida Department of Health Online Portal.
  2. Pay necessary fees (outlined here).
  3. Complete the application in its entirety.
  4. Your application will be reviewed and you should be contacted by the Department within 30 days of its receipt. This will be done by postal mail or email, whichever you specify. If your application is lacking, you will be notified of what needs to be submitted.
  5. Once you receive your Florida license, you may use the credentials LD/N (Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist) in the state of Florida only. 

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Step 5

Licensure and Registration as a Dietitian in Florida

Maintaining Your Florida Dietitian License

Your Florida dietitian license must be renewed every odd year on May 31. During each license renewal period, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education (CE) consisting of:

  • 2 hour course in the prevention of medical errors
  • 30 hours of approved CE that follows these rules:
    • 10 hours must be live courses
    • No more than 20 hours from home study
    • No more than 10 hours may come from:
      • Educational techniques
      • Personal growth
      • Risk management
      • Education management
  • For first-time license renewal, you must complete 25 general CE hours (including the 10 live hours), 2 medical error hours and 3 hours on HIV/AIDS

CE may be obtained through board-approved providers (listed here) as well as through other methods (also listed here).

Maintaining your CDR Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Florida

You must renew your registration with the CDR as a Registered Dietitian in Florida every five years. During each five-year period, you must complete 75 hours of CPEUs (continuing professional education units). The CDR’s PDP Guide   and CDR’s online CPE database  can help you to find appropriate courses and activities following the CPE rules of the CDR.

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