I've seen academic and online programs advertising "certified nutritionist" credentials or health coaching certificates.  What can I do with these?


The requirements for licensure are statutorily defined. One must apply and meet the requirements provided in North Carolina G.S. § 90-357.5 in order to be granted a license to provide medical nutrition therapy in North Carolina. However, many organizations market nutrition certifications and the opportunity for fitness professionals, health coaches, and like persons to improve their nutrition knowledge through earning certificates/certification, online diplomas, or taking nutrition courses. Many of these programs advise applicants to review their state laws to determine what nutrition services can legally be offered once the advertised credential is earned. Under the Dietetics/Nutrition Practice Act, in order to practice dietetics and/or nutrition in North Carolina (defined in N.C. General Statute § 90-352), one must be licensed unless otherwise exempt. A certificate or diploma, standing alone, is not enough to authorize a person to practice dietetics and/or nutrition in North Carolina.

For more information, please download and review Guideline A.

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? Do I contact the NCBDN for issues with food service in a prison? 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?