What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?

by Brooke on January 21, 2014

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The American Dietetic Association changed it’s name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in January 2012.  Since, this change the organization has approved the optional use of the credential “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist” (RDN) by Registered Dietitians (RD).  Want to learn more about what it means to be a registered dietitian click here.

The Academy stated that the RDN credential was approved, “to strengthen the link between the science of dietetics and the overall wellness aspects of nutrition.”  The RDN credential is only meant for use by “all who have earned the registered dietitian credential.” This is because, Every Registered Dietitian Is a Nutritionist, but Not Every Nutritionist Is a Registered Dietitian!

For a while, the public has been confused about who registered dietitians and nutritionists are and what they do.  The RDN credential is supposed to help clarify the RD brand and more accurately explain what we do.  Hopefully, including the word nutritionist in the optional credential will better help communicate that we (registered dietitians) don’t just work in hospitals.  We work in numerous jobs encompassing the board spectrum of nutrition and wellness from prevention to Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). 

It can be a challenge in today’s media mania to find a qualified nutrition expert!  In the 3rd millennium, everyone thinks that since they eat they are a nutrition expert.  Well, if I buy a snowboard and stand on it that doesn’t make me Shaun White.  To help weed through the nutrition pollution out there start using the phrase we all dread hearing from police officers……”license and registration please” and make sure you are working with a Registered Dietitian!







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