Licensure –What every RD needs to know

Why is Licensure important?

The purpose of dietetic licensure is to protect the public by ensuring every person who practices dietetics and nutrition is qualified to meet the minimum requirements for safe practice. Licensure protects a profession from unqualified and incompetent practitioners and allows other entities to determine the qualifications of a health professional.

Don’t all dietitians need to be licensed?

Not all states have licensure. Here in Rhode Island, you must be licensed in order to practice Medical Nutrition Therapy. The Rhode Island Department of Health is the entity tasked with licensing, certifying, and disciplining the dietetic profession.

Within the division of professional regulation in the RI Dept. of Health there is a Board of Dietetics Practice. The Board consists of nine members appointed by The Director of the Dept. of Health and/or the Governor. The duties of the Board include:
– Recommend to the Director rules and regulations necessary to implement this chapter.
– Determine the qualification and fitness of applicants and to issue and/or reinstate licenses.
– Recommend to the Director revocation, suspension and/or denial of a license.

How can I help protect dietetic licensure?

Nutrition is a hot topic in society today and many untrained individuals would like to practice nutrition without doing what is required by law to become qualified. As nutrition practitioners we are obligated to protect the public from those who might practice nutrition in a way that misleads clients or provide unsafe practice. Please see the links on the left side for more information.

Other questions about dietetic licensure?

Go to the Dept. of Health website at http://www.health.ri.gov/licensing