State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

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Registered Dietitian job Description in Montana

The CDR says that as of August 2013, there are 327 Registered Dietitians in the state of Montana. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that dietitians and nutritionists in Montana made an average yearly salary of $50,810 in May 2012. While nutritionists require licensing in order to legally practice in the state of Montana, dietitians do not. However, dietitians must be registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). To discover how to become a registered dietitian in Montana, read on.

 
Step 1

Registered Dietitian Education in Montana

Montana does not require dietitians in the state to be licensed. However, in order to become registered, you must complete Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)-accredited educational and experiential programs through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

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

  • Coordinated Programs in Dietetics (CP) – A CP offers the educational courses in nutrition and dietetics as well as the required 900 or more hours of supervised internship necessary under the CDR’s regulations for becoming a registered dietitian in Montana. As of August 2013, there are no CPs in Montana.
  • Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) - A DPD offers just the educational courses in nutrition and dietetics necessary for registration through the CDR. You must still complete a dietetic internship (DI) after finishing your DPD. There is one DPD offered in the state of Montana to become a registered dietitian:
    • Montana State University, Bozeman
      • Bachelor of Science Degree in Food and Nutrition, Option in Dietetics
      • Courses include:
        • Chemistry
        • Writing
        • Public communication
        • Economic ways of thinking
        • Family finance and consumer issues
        • Algebra
        • Psychology
        • Anthropology
        • Sociology
        • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II
        • Organic chemistry
        • Basic human nutrition
        • Food fundamentals
        • Financial accounting
        • Personal and family finance
        • Microbes
        • Microbiology
        • Technical writing
        • Statistics
        • Biometry
        • Biochemistry
        • Research methods
        • Nutrition in the life cycle
        • Food service systems management
        • Nutrition and society
        • Nutrition assessment and consulting
        • Macronutrient metabolism
        • Medical nutritional therapy I and II
        • Culinary marketing
        • Sustainable food systems
        • Small business entrepreneur food health
        • Social entrepreneurship
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Step 2

Dietetic Internship (DI) in Montana

The second step in your quest to becoming a registered dietitian in Montana is to complete an ACEND-accredited DI. This must be completed after earning your bachelor’s degree. There is currently one DI in Montana:

  • Montana State University, Bozeman
    • Full-time dietetic internship
    • Emphasis in sustainable food systems
    • You are assigned to a regional cluster in Montana based on your preference and availability. Internship sites under each regional cluster category include:
      • Bozeman area:
        • Livingston Food Pantry of Park County
        • Livingston Healthcare
        • Gallatin Valley Food Bank
        • Bozeman Head Start HRDC
        • Bozeman Public Schools
        • Bozeman Deaconess Hospital
        • MSU Child Development Center
        • Towne’s Harvest Garden
        • MSU Extension: Food and Nutrition Extension
        • MSU University Food Service
        • MSU
      • Rural hospitals:
        • Pondera Medical Center, Conrad
        • North Valley Hospital, Whitefish
        • Holy Rosary Healthcare, Miles City
        • St. James Healthcare, Butte
        • Community Hospital of Anaconda
      • Billings:
        • Family Service, Inc.
        • Riverstone Health WIC
        • Advanced Care Hospital of Montana
        • St. John’s Lutheran Ministries
        • St. Vincent Healthcare
        • Billings Clinic
      • Great Falls:
        • Great Falls Public School District
        • Park Place Health Care Center
        • Benefis Hospital
      • Helena:
        • Broadwater County WIC, Townsend
        • Montana Department of Health and Human Services – CACFP and Montana No Kid Hungry
        • Office of Public Instruction – School Lunch
        • Veterans Association Montana Health Care System, Fort Harrison
        • St. Peter’s Hospital
      • Kalispell:
        • DCI Clinic
        • Kalispell School District
        • Kalispell Regional Healthcare
      • Missoula:
        • Montana Food Bank Network
        • Missoula County WIC
        • University of Montana Dining Services
        • St. Patrick Hospital
        • Flathead Tribal Health – Indian Health Service

What if I want to become a Dietetic Technician, Registered in Montana?
Would you rather have a shorter educational period leading to your career in dietetics? Montana also offers Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) program through the CDR. This program is also ACEND-accredited and includes classes and a 450-hour internship that leads to an associate’s degree in dietetic technology. Registration requires passing the CDR DTR Exam.  The CDR says that currently (as of August 2013) there are eight DTRs in Montana. Montana state licensure is not required of DTRs. This program is located in:

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Step 3

Montana CDR Registered Dietitian Examination

Now that you have completed your education and internship, you are set to take the CDR Exam for Registered Dietitians.  Take a look at the Registration Exam for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates . Information in this handbook should help you to apply for and prepare to take the registration examination.  It costs $200 and is payable when you register online via your CDR account. PSI Exam Centers offers the computerized, multiple-choice test at these Montana locations:

  • Billings-2821 Augusta Lane, Aviation Hall, Room 102
  • Helena – 3080 Airport Road, Helena Regional Airport

You are given three hours to complete a maximum of 145 questions based on your knowledge of food, nutrition and dietetics. At least 125 questions must be answered or your test will not be scored. You cannot skip or change any answers on the test. You are given your score report as you leave the test center. You must get a scaled score of 25 or better to pass. Passing this exam gives you the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian), which are valid anywhere that RDs are recognized, including Montana.

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Step 4

Registration as a Dietitian in Montana

You must renew your registration as a dietitian with the CDR on a five-year cycle. During each five-year cycle, you must fulfill their continuing professional education (CPE) requirement of 75 hours. The CDR’s CPE Database and PDP Guide  provide ideas for acceptable CPE and how to document it in your professional portfolio. Per the Montana Dietetic Association and the CDR, examples of CPE activities in Montana currently include:

  • Summit to End Childhood Hunger – Bozeman, Montana State University
  • CDR’s Preceptor Training Course
  • Helena Area Journal Club-Helena
  • Materials Supporting Education and Nutrition for Adults with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (MENU) – statewide
  • Intrinsic Coach Development Series for Health and Wellness Professionals – via teleconference

Specialty Certifications in Dietetics and Nutrition in Montana
Another way to fulfill the CDR’s requirements for CPE is to seek specialty certification(s) in areas of nutrition and dietetics. Some of these certifications fulfill the entire 75-hour requirement of the CDR for CPE in a five-year period. Examples of certifications available for dietitians in Montana include:

  • AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators):
    • Board Certified Specialist in Advanced Diabetes Management
  • ACE (American Council on Exercise):
    • Certified Advanced Health & Fitness Specialist
    • Certified Personal Trainer
    • Certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant
    • Certified Group Fitness Instructor
  • AAFCS (American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences):
    • Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences
  • ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine):
    • Health Fitness Specialist
    • Certified Personal Trainer
    • Health/Fitness Director
    • Program Director
    • Clinical Exercise Specialist
  • IBLCE (International Board of Lactation Consultant Educators):
    • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • HQCB (Healthcare Quality Certification Board):
    • Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality
  • NBCC (National Board for Certified Counselors):
    • National Certified Counselor
  • NASM (National Academy of Sport Medicine):
    • Certified Personal Trainer
  • NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association):
    • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  • NCHEC (National Center for Health Education Credentialing):
    • Certified Health Education Specialist

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Step 5

Become a Licensed Nutritionist in Montana?

One dietetics – related career that is licensed in the state of Montana is that of nutritionist. As of August 2013, the Montana Board of Medical Examiners includes five medical doctors, one nutritionist, one doctor of osteopathic medicine, one podiatrist, one physician assistant, one volunteer emergency medical technician, two public citizen members and one acupuncturist. All of the board members are appointed by Montana’s governor, have equal voting rights, and help to regulate the licensing of nutritionists in Montana. Under Montana’s laws, a nutritionist must meet the following prerequisites for licensure:

  • Complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree, or doctoral degree, accredited program in public health nutrition, food and nutrition, or dietetics
  • Be registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

Nutritionist duties under Montana law include:

  • Assess individuals’ and groups’ nutrition needs and determine resources and constraints on those needs
  • Establish nutrition priorities and objectives
  • Offer nutrition counseling for individuals
  • Develop, implement and manage nutrition care systems
  • Evaluate, adjust and maintain standards of quality in food and nutrition services

In order to become licensed to practice as a nutritionist in Montana, you must submit an application, the application fee of $58.50, a copy of your CDR card, official transcripts, a recent National Practitioner Data Bank Self-Query, and verifications from any and all states in which you are already licensed as a nutritionist, to the Montana Board of Medical Examiners, 301 South Park, 4th Floor, P.O. Box 200513, Helena, MT 59620-0513. For information on nutritionist applications and licensing, contact the Board at (406) 841-2202 or DLIBSDLicensingUnitB@mt.gov. Your application and information will be reviewed and, if accepted, you will be issued a license to practice as a nutritionist in Montana.

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