State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Nutrition Career Information in Kentucky

There has never been a better time to become a registered dietitian in Kentucky. The demand for registered dietitians in the state of Kentucky is expected to increase by over 12 percent from 2008 through 2018, per the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. As of May 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) of the United States Department of Labor says that dietitians and nutritionists working in the state of Kentucky averaged a yearly salary of $49,930. Certified nutritionists and registered, licensed dietitians working in certain parts of the state earned higher than average salaries. Dietitians and nutritionists working in the Cincinnati-Middletown Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana area averaged $54,090 annually. Those practicing in the Evansville, Indiana/Kentucky area earned an average annual wage of $52,990. Dietitians and nutritionists in the South Central Kentucky non-metropolitan area (which includes the counties of Whitley, Wayne, Taylor, Simpson, Russell, Pulaski, Monroe, Metcalfe, McCreary, Marion, Logan, Laurel, Knox, Hart, Green, Cumberland, Clinton, Casey, Butler, Barren, Allen and Adair) averaged $51,760 yearly. For more information on how you can become a registered dietitian in Kentucky and claim these annual salaries, keep reading.

Step 1

Complete Registered Dietitian Education in Kentucky

The Kentucky Board of Licensure and Certification for Dietitians and Nutritionists requires that all who wish to become licensed dietitians in the states first become Registered Dietitians (RD) through the Commission on Dietitian Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). This means that you must complete an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)-approved course of study, resulting in a bachelor’s degree or higher.

ACEND-Accredited Educational Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) status in Kentucky:

  • Coordinated Programs in Dietetics (CP) – A CP combines dietitian coursework with an internship, fulfilling the CDR’s requirement for registration:
    • University of Kentucky, Lexington
      • Bachelor of Science in Dietetics
      • Nutrition and dietetics courses that you will take in this program include:
        • Medical nutrition therapy I and II
        • Dietetics: Counseling and Communication Theories and Applications
        • Advanced Nutrition
        • Seminar in Food and Nutrition
        • Community Nutrition and Wellness
        • Human Resources Management for the Food and Hospitality Industries
        • Institutional Purchasing
        • Nutrition and Wellness in the Life Cycle
        • Quantity Food Production
        • Nutritional Biochemistry
        • Experimental Foods
        • Principles of Food Preparation
        • Dietetics Practice
  • Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) - A DPD includes just the coursework required by the CDR for registration. You must still complete an internship after:

*Featured Master's Nutritionist Program:

UNC's Online MPH With Nutrition Concentration. UNC's top-ranked public health school offers an online MPH with Nutrition concentration. Complete in 20 months. Bachelor's degree required. GRE Required.

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.

Benedictine University's Online Master’s Degrees in Nutrition and Wellness programs offer an advanced education in nutrition science with a focus on promoting health and wellness.

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Step 2

Apply to a Dietetic Internship (DI) in Kentucky

You must complete a minimum of 900 hours in a supervised Dietetic Internship (DI) accredited by ACEND. In Kentucky, they include:

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Step 3

Pass the CDR Registration Exam in Kentucky

The CDR Registration Exam that you must pass in order to become a Registered Dietitian in Kentucky should be quite easy for you now that you have completed your education and experiential components. The test is three hours and is administered via the computer. It consists of up to 145 questions with multiple-choice answers. A minimum of 125 questions must be answered for the exam to be scored. You cannot skip or change answers. The test costs $200 and you register online through the CDR. PSI Exam Centers in Kentucky at the following locations host the test:  

  • Florence:                                500 Technology Way
  • Lexington:                              164 Opportunity Way, North Building, Room 110
  • Louisville:                              101 West Broadway, Suite 100
  • Louisville:                              106 East Brandeis St, Davidson Hall, Room 310
  • Maysville:                               1755 US 68, Admin Building, Rm A 305
  • Mount Sterling:                      709 Airport Rd, Mount Sterling-Montgomery County Airport
  • Paducah:                                4810 Alben Barkley Drive, Emerging Tech Center, Rm 118
  • Somerset:                              808 Monticello Street

You must get at least 25 (on a scaled score of zero to 50) to pass test. You will receive your results the day of the exam. Passing the exam gives you the title of Registered Dietitian (RD).

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Step 4

Apply for Licensure as a Dietitian in Kentucky

Once you have passed the CDR’s registration exam for dietitians, you are ready to apply for licensure as a dietitian with the Kentucky Board of Licensure and Certification for Dietitians and Nutritionists. Contact the Board at P.O. Box 1360, 911 Leawood Drive, Frankfort, KY 40602 or 502-564-3296 for information on how to obtain an application to apply for licensure as a dietitian in Kentucky.You will have to submit, along with your completed and notarized application, a copy of your CDR card showing current Registered Dietitian status, a passport-sized photo of yourself, and transcripts from your college dietetic education program. Once you are licensed, you may use the LD (Licensed Dietitian) credentials to practice in Kentucky.

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Step 5

Maintain Your Licensing as a Dietitian in Kentucky

Maintaining Your Kentucky Dietitian Licensing

Your Kentucky license to practice as a dietitian renews every year on October 31. During that year, you must complete at least 15 hours of continuing education. Approved CE providers are the same as the CE providers that the CDR approves (see below).

Maintaining your Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Kentucky

You are required to renew your registration with the CDR on a five-year basis. You must complete 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every five years. Acceptable education in Kentucky can be located by searching the CDR’s CPE Database .Their  PDP Guide also shows you how to properly keep track of your CPE.
Examples of CDR-accredited CPE activities in Kentucky include:

  • All the Way to Wellness: New Approaches, New Knowledge, New Goals – Louisville
  • Eastern Kentucky Breastfeeding Conference – Ashland
  • How Do You Eat an Elephant? Working to Decrease the Emotional Impact of Diabetes on Patients – Lexington
  • Behavior Change Intervention Trials – Louisville
  • All About Stroke – Louisville
  • Advancing Lactation Support – Shepherdsville
  • Diabetes Health Connection: Cutting Edge Concepts – Lexington
  • Spanish for Health Care Providers – Lexington
  • Nutrition Support Services Journal Club – Louisville
  • Modular Protein Supplements: What Are You Really Getting? – Louisville
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy for Wounds – Louisville
  • Lactation on the Levee 2013 – Newport

Job Opportunities for Registered Dietitians in Kentucky

For those who hold Registered Dietitian (RD) and Licensed Dietitian (LD) status in Kentucky, the sky’s the limit. Job sites and job opportunities for registered, licensed dietitians in Kentucky are vast. A sampling of recent job postings for dietitians in Kentucky shows that the following are common job sites for Kentucky dietitians:

  • Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, Somerset
  • University of Louisville Health Care, Louisville
  • Sodexo Food Services, Louisville
  • Louisville Metro Government, Louisville
  • Occupational Health Services, Bowling Green
  • Fresenius Medical Care, Louisville
  • Community United Methodist Hospital, Inc., Henderson
  • Norton Healthcare, Louisville
  • Murray State University, Murray
  • American Renal Management, Louisville
  • Department of Veterans Affairs, Lexington
  • Baptist Healthcare System, Paducah
  • Abbott Laboratories, Statewide/Field Placement in Kentucky
  • Hospice of Western Kentucky-Michigan, Owensboro
  • Dismas, Louisville
  • U.S. Army, Richmond

Professional Associations for Dietitians in Kentucky

Many registered and licensed Kentucky dietitians opt to join professional organizations. These organizations can help you with professional, networking and job opportunities. In Kentucky, popular organizations for dietitians and nutritionists include:

  • Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
  • Kentucky Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Kentucky Folic Acid partnership
  • International Lactation Consultant Association

Apply for Nutritionist Certification in Kentucky

If you would also like to practice as a nutritionist in Kentucky, you must meet certain qualifications. They include:

  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Possession of a master’s degree or higher from a Board-approved program in one of the following fields:
    • Nutrition
    • Food Science
  • Possession of at least 12 graduate semester hours in human nutrition

However, Kentucky has a special statute that says if you are already a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian in Kentucky, you automatically qualify to apply for nutritionist certification.

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