How to Become an Registered Dietitian (RD)

Even though everyone’s path is slightly different, becoming an RD has specific requirements developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As I have been going down my path, it has been helpful for me to read about the experiences of others to help prepare myself for what is ahead of me. And since I get a lot of questions about the process, I am sharing more about my personal path of becoming an RD.

First things first: To become a registered dietitian, you have to complete 3 things:

  1. Take the specific set of courses outlined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Right now an undergraduate degree meets the requirements but starting in 2024, a master’s degree is going to be required. I completed my courses at University of Northern Colorado Distance Dietetic Program.
  2. Complete a 1200-hour supervised internship. I am completing mine through Keith and Associates Distance Internship.
  3. Take and pass the RD exam. The pass rate for the exam is 60%!

There are a lot of alternate nutrition certification programs that have been developed but the RD credential continues to be the gold standard for medical nutrition therapy.

Becoming an RD

My Path to Becoming an RD

If you’re interested in reading more about my path to going back to school, you can read about that in a previous post, The Makings of a Registered Dietitian¬†or if you’re interested in my own personal challenges I have faced with food, click into this previous post, Change is Possible.

 

Dietetic Internship

The dietetic internship is a major part of becoming an RD. Yet, there are not enough internships for the number of students that go through a dietetic program. There are two times a year when students can apply and match to an internship. For fall 2017 application time, there was a 49% match rate. As you can see, the competition is fierce. In 2017, over 5,400 dietetic students applied for internships and only half of those get matched to an internship.

I applied for match in Fall of 2017 and matched to Keith and Associates Distance Dietetic Internship. If you’re interested in learning about my experience with applying and matching, click here for that blog post.

As I go through my internship, I will continue to write blogs about my rotations and post them here.