The District of Columbia licenses dietitians and nutritionists under an exclusive scope of practice model. Only a licensed dietitian or licensed nutritionist can provide nutrition care including: assessment, goal setting, counseling, or advice. Only licensed individuals may use the titles: "LDN," "LN," "LD," "dietitian/nutritionist," "dietitian," "nutritionist," "or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices dietetics or nutrition."
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Qualification Requirements for State Licensure or State Certification:
- Academic: Dietitians: Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution with a major in human nutrition, foods and nutrition, dietetics, food systems management, or an equivalent major course of study. Nutritionists: A baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a major in human nutrition, foods and nutrition, dietetics, food systems management, or a major in an equivalent course of study.
- Experience: Completion of preprofessional experience which was obtained in a dietetic or nutrition program approved by the Board, under the direction of a registered dietitian or nutritionist that consisted of at least 900 hours completed over a period of at least 22 and not more than 45 weeks, with at least 1 hour per week under the immediate supervision of a registered dietitian or nutritionist and with the remaining experience was under the general supervision of a registered dietitian or nutritionist. The applicant's performance must have been rated as at least satisfactory.
- Examination: Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam or Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Registered Dietitian (RD) exam. Individuals with a master’s or doctoral degree in nutrition from a university that was accredited by the AND’s Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education at the time the applicant graduated are exempt from the exam requirement.
Disclaimer: This is a preliminary interpretation of language of state statutes and regulations, and cannot substitute for legal counsel.