Who can become licensed as a nutritionist?

Answer:

The requirements for licensure as a nutritionist, as set forth in the Dietetics/Nutrition Practice Act under N.C. General Statute § 90-357.5, are as follows:

(c) Each applicant for a license as a licensed nutritionist shall submit a completed application as required by the Board, submit any fees as required by the Board, and shall submit proof of the completion of all of the following educational, supervised practice experience and examination requirements:

(1) The applicant has received any of the following from a college or university accredited at the time of graduation from the appropriate regional accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Higher Education, or a validated foreign equivalent: a master's or doctoral nutrition degree with a major in human nutrition, foods and nutrition, dietetics, community nutrition, public health nutrition, nutrition education, nutrition, nutrition science, clinical nutrition, applied clinical nutrition, nutrition counseling, nutrition and functional medicine, nutritional biochemistry, nutrition and integrative health, or an equivalent course of study or a master’s or doctoral degree in a field of clinical health care.  Regardless of the course of study, an applicant shall have completed coursework from a regionally accredited college or university in medical nutrition therapy that shall consist of the following courses:

a. Fifteen semester hours of clinical or life sciences, including such courses as chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, molecular biology, biotechnology, botany, genetics, genomics, neuroscience, experimental science, immunotherapy, pathology, pharmacology, toxicology, research methods, applied statistics, biostatistics, epidemiology, oxidative/reductive dynamics, energy production, molecular pathways, hormone and transmitter regulations and imbalance, biotransformation pathways and imbalances, and pathophysiologic basis of disease. At least three semester hours must be in human anatomy and physiology or the equivalent.
b. Fifteen semester hours of nutrition and metabolism, including such courses as nutrition assessment, developmental nutrition, nutritional aspects of disease, human nutrition, macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, functional medicine nutrition, molecular metabolism, clinical nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, nutrition and digestive health, and public health nutrition. At least six semester hours must be in biochemistry.

(2) The applicant must have completed a Board‑approved internship or a documented, supervised practice experience in nutrition services of not less than 1000 hours involving at least 200 hours of nutrition assessment, 200 hours of nutrition intervention, education, counseling, or management, and 200 hours of nutrition monitoring or evaluation under the supervision of a Certified Nutrition Specialist, a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, a licensed dietitian/nutritionist, a licensed nutritionist, a State‑licensed health care practitioner whose licensed scope of practice includes dietetics or nutrition, or an individual with a doctoral degree conferred by a United States regionally accredited college or university with a major course of study in human nutrition, foods and nutrition, dietetics, community nutrition, public health nutrition, nutrition education, nutrition, nutrition science, clinical nutrition, applied clinical nutrition, nutrition counseling, nutrition and functional medicine, nutritional biochemistry, nutrition and integrative health, or an equivalent course of study, with a reasonable threshold of academic credits in nutrition and nutrition sciences as described in subdivision (1) of this subsection. Supervisors who obtained their doctoral degree outside of the United States and its territories must have their degrees validated by the Board as equivalent to the doctoral degree conferred by a United States regionally accredited college or university.

(3) The applicant meets one of the following criteria:

a. The applicant has successfully completed either the examination administered by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists, the examination administered by the American Clinical Board of Nutrition, or another examination approved by the Board and meeting the requirements defined in G.S. 90 359.
b. The applicant has either a valid current certification with the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists that gives the applicant the right to use the term "Certified Nutrition Specialist" or "CNS" or a valid current certification with the American Clinical Board of Nutrition that gives the applicant the right to use the term "Diplomate, American Clinical Board of Nutrition" or "DACBN."

Frequently Asked Questions What nutrition care services can unlicensed assistive personnel provide What can I do with certifications or online programs What areas of nutrition and dietetics require licensure Who can become licensed as a dietitian or nutritionist Who can become licensed as a nutritionist What titles are restricted by the law? How does licensure impact my Registered Dietitian (R.D.) title? What are the penalties for violations of the law? What other states require a license to practice dietetics/nutrition? How often am I required to renew my license? What can happen if I forget to renew my license? Do I need to renew my license if I am currently unemployed? What should I do if I suspect my licensure card was copied, stolen, or is being used fraudulently? What documentation of continuing education is required to maintain a license? Who is eligible for a provisional license? What are the requirements for supervision of persons claiming exemption from licensure? Who is exempt from licensure and regulation by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition? What can an unlicensed person, who is not otherwise exempt, do in the field of dietetics/nutrition? Is it within the scope of practice for NC LDNs to write diet orders? Is my license valid for one year from when I first apply and get licensed? What do I need to do if I get married or divorced and my name changes? How do I reactivate or reinstate my license? What are the considerations when providing nutrition care services via Telehealth?