State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Nutrition Job Information in Louisiana

The Louisiana Board of Examiners in Nutrition and Dietetics (LBEND) requires all who wish to work as a dietitian/nutritionists in the state to be licensed. All LDNs (Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionists) complete registered dietitian education in Louisiana that is mandated by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). This ensures that you are well prepared and well-rounded as a licensed dietitian/nutritionist (LDN) and registered dietitian (RD) in the state of Louisiana. According to the Louisiana Dietetic Association, LDNs in the state have found work in food companies, business, industry, wellness centers, private practice, research centers, hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and schools. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that in May 2018, dietitians and nutritionists working in Louisiana averaged a yearly wage of $56,440.

If you would like to find out how to become a registered dietitian in Louisiana and make a difference in the health of its citizens of all ages, read on.

Step 1

Registered Dietitian Education in Louisiana

In the state of Louisiana, you cannot work as a dietitian until you have completed education, experience and examination required for registered dietitians (RD) by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and applied for licensure as a dietitian/nutritionist (LDN) in Louisiana. You must complete an ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) approved college educational program in dietetics.

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

      • Coordinated Programs in Dietetics (CP) – Includes all education and experience necessary to qualify to take the CDR’s Registered Dietitian nationwide exam. As of June 2019, there are no CPs in the state of Louisiana.
      • Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD)- Includes just the educational coursework necessary to take the CDR’s Registered Dietitian nationwide exam. You must still fulfill the experience requirement after completion of the DPD. In Louisiana, DPDs include:
      • Types of courses that are common to both CPs and DPDs include:
        • Biological sciences
        • Chemistry
        • General humanities
        • Human ecology
        • Mathematics
        • Accounting
        • Communication Studies
        • Experimental statistics
        • Psychology
        • Economics
        • Management and organization
        • Food and nutrition
        • Food science
        • Nutrition through the life cycle
        • Institutional planning and purchasing
        • Quantity food production
        • Community nutrition
        • Diversity in health beliefs and practices
        • Medical nutrition therapy
        • Research in dietetics

What if I Wish to Become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) in Louisiana?
Are you interested in the discipline of dietetics and nutrition but want a shorter educational program? You might want to consider studying to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) in Louisiana instead. DTRs work under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian (RD) in the same type of job settings, but usually study for two instead of four years and have an internship of 450 hours as opposed to 900 hours. They must also pass the CDR’s DTR nationwide exam. There are no DTR programs in Louisiana as of June 2019. There are some in neighboring states, however, such as:

There are also DTR distance education programs offered, such as:

Coursework in a DTR program includes classes such as:

  • English Composition
  • Algebra
  • Chemistry
  • Speech
  • Medical Terminology
  • General Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Dietetics
  • Basic Nutrition
  • Introductory Foods
  • Institutional Foods
  • Nutrition in the Life Cycle
  • Nutrition in Disease
  • Computer Systems in Dietetics
  • Management Practice
  • Nutrition in Wellness
  • Practicum in Dietetic
  • Dietetics Seminar

*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

Dietetic Internship (DI) in Louisiana

You must next satisfy Louisiana and the CDR’s requirement for 900 or more hours of supervised experience in nutrition and dietetics. This Dietetic Internship (DI) also must be approved by ACEND. DIs in Louisiana include:

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Step 3

CDR Registration Examination for RDs in Louisiana

Your next step along the pathway to becoming a registered dietitian in Louisiana is to pass the CDR’s Registered Dietitian nationwide exam. It is a three-hour exam taken on the computer, consisting of up to 145 multiple-choice questions. You are required to answer at least 125 questions for the exam to be scored properly. In addition, answers cannot be changed once entered nor questions skipped. You will pay about $200 to take the exam and register through the CDR’s website. Pearson VUE Exam Centers in Louisiana administer the test:

  • Baton Rouge – 5555 Hilton Ave, Suite 430, Corporate Atrium Building
  • Baton Rouge – 4000 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Suite 503
  • Metairie –2800 Veterans Blvd., Suite 256
  • New Orleans – 1615 Poydras Street, Suite 920, DXC Digital Transformation Center
  • Shreveport – 920 Pierremont Rd., Suite 212, Pierremont Office Park

You will receive your score on the day of the exam. A scaled score of 25 or better (on a scale of zero to 50) is needed to pass. If you fail, you can re-take the exam in 45 days from your first attempt. When you pass this exam, you may legally use the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian) with your name.

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Step 4

Apply for Licensure as a Dietitian in Louisiana

Before you may legally work as a dietitian in the state of Louisiana, you must apply for licensure to the Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition. Apply online. You will be instructed to create an account with the Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition.  Pay all necessary fees and scan all required attachments.
Once issued, you may use the initials LDN (Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist) in Louisiana only.

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Step 5

Licensing and Registration in Louisiana

Maintaining Your Louisiana Dietitian Licensing

Your Louisiana license as a dietitian/nutritionist (LDN) is renewable every year. You must renew online. You must also complete 15 hours of continuing education each year in dietetics and nutrition and submit this at the time of your license renewal. This may be satisfied by showing that you are still registered with the CDR as a Registered Dietitian (RD) and enclosing a current copy of your CDR card. Renewal fees range from $60 to 88, depending on when and how (online or via mail) you renew.

Maintaining your Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Louisiana

You must renew your registration with the CDR every five years, and complete 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every five years. CPE activities must be approved in order to count for credit. Look at CDR’s online CPE database and PDP Guide  for guidance in finding and documenting CPE in Louisiana. Current CPE activities and courses for Louisiana that are listed on the CDR database include, but are not limited to:

  • Problem-Solving Challenging Behaviors in Dementia by PESI Inc., 6.0 CPEUs, multiple dates
  • Operations and Culinary by Mary Kimbrough, 10.5 CPEUs, multiple dates
  • ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification Examination by Dore Services LLC, 8.0 CPEUs, multiple dates

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