Maryland licenses dietitians and nutritionists as licensed dietitian-nutritionists under an exclusive scope of practice model. Only a licensed dietitian or a licensed nutritionist can provide therapeutic nutrition care including: assessment, goal setting, counseling, or evaluating nutrient-drug interaction. Only licensed individuals can use the titles: “dietitian-nutritionist”, “licensed dietitian-nutritionist”, “LDN”, “dietitian”, “licensed dietitian”, “D”, “LD”, “nutritionist”, “licensed nutritionist”, or “LN”. This law does not apply to other licensed health professionals.
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Qualification Requirements for State Licensure or State Certification:
- Academic: A bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution with the completion of academic requirements for the field of dietetics as approved by the Board, or a master's or doctoral degree, from a regionally accredited institution, in nutritional sciences (with emphasis in human nutrition), food and nutrition, dietetics, human nutrition, community nutrition, public health nutrition, or equivalent training approved by the Board.
- Experience: Satisfactory completion of a Board-approved supervised, continuous, preplanned professional experience program, completed within a span of 30 months, to include at least 100 hours each in (a) Assessing individual and community food practices and nutritional status; (b) Developing, establishing, and evaluating nutritional care plans; (c) Nutrition counseling and education as part of preventive or restorative health care throughout the life cycle; (d) Determining, applying, and evaluating standards for food and nutrition services; and (e) Applying scientific research to the role of food in the maintenance of health and the treatment of disease. Clinical or research experience gained while completing a master's or doctoral degree may satisfy this requirement if it is in human nutrition, and contains the specified number of hours in each content area. This requirement must be under the supervision of a licensed dietitian, a licensed nutritionist, a licensed physician, a registered dietitian, a certified nutrition specialist, or an individual with a doctoral degree with a major course of study in human nutrition, nutrition education, food and nutrition, dietetics, or food systems management.
- Examination: Dietitians: Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Registered Dietitian (RD) exam. Nutritionists: Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam.
Disclaimer: This is a preliminary interpretation of language of state statutes and regulations, and cannot substitute for legal counsel.