Become a CNS® Supervisor

The American Nutrition Association® (ANA®) and the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS™) welcome practitioners to become supervisors for Certified Nutrition Specialist® (CNS®) candidates. CNSs are advanced-degreed nutrition professionals. As such, your participation as a CNS supervisor offers you and your practice many benefits:

  • It provides you with an excellent opportunity to fully integrate nutrition into your practice through the services of a highly qualified nutrition professional CNS candidate, resulting in enhanced outcomes for your patients.
  • You will not only help advance the career of this professional, but you will support the mission of nutrition as a foundational tool in the prevention and management of chronic disease.
  • Helping a nutrition professional grow will broaden your own knowledge base and clinical nutrition skills.

The CNS®

The Certified Nutrition Specialist® credential (CNS®) is the most advanced certification for personalized nutrition practitioners. Certified Nutrition Specialists practice science-based personalized nutrition therapy to power people to health. They are spearheading the transformation from population-based to personalized nutrition, and from disease care to authentic health care. The CNS designation demonstrates to colleagues, clients, employers and the public at large that certified individuals have the knowledge and proficiency required of the professional nutrition practice. To be eligible for the CNS credential, an individual must have a minimum of a master’s degree in nutrition or a related health science, meet specified coursework requirements, achieve a passing score on the vigorous Certification Examination for Nutrition Specialists, and document achievement of a set of clearly defined practice competencies in 1000 hours of Supervised Practice Experience.

The Supervised Practice Experience (SPE)

Satisfactory completion of the CNS SPE is essential to being awarded the CNS® credential. The CNS SPE consists of 1,000 hours of supervised practice in personalized nutrition assessment, intervention, and monitoring to address both prevention and management of a broad range of health issues.

The SPE program is self-directed and designed to be tailored to each candidate’s individual career goals. It is structured to ensure each candidate obtains the in-depth knowledge and skills expected of an advanced-level nutrition professional as outlined in CNS SPE Competencies. The supervised experience may be obtained entirely or partly from internship, residency or clinical rotation, clinical practice setting, community setting, institutional setting, home health care setting, and/or practicum as part of a master's or doctoral degree program.

Eligibility Requirements for CNS® Supervisors

Supervisors must meet both of the following criteria:

  1. Must hold at least one of the following:
    • CNS credential in good standing; or
    • Master’s of science or doctoral degree in a field of nutrition/dietetics from a regionally accredited institution; or
    • Licensed MD/DO with didactic training or education and experience in clinical nutrition as documented by 75 CE credits or the equivalent over the past 5 years (without exception); or
    • Doctoral-level health professional (e.g. DC, ND, PharmD) who meets curriculum eligibility requirements for CNS and who can legally provide nutrition services in the state of practice. Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) must also be a CNS or MS, Nutrition.
  2. Must have a minimum of 3 years full time clinical experience in personalized nutrition care or the equivalent after obtaining the required degree or credential.

Additional Requirements

  • Supervisors may not be married to, related to or domestic partners with the supervisee(s).
  • Approved supervisors may supervise multiple candidates on an ongoing basis.
  • Supervisor status is valid for 3 years from the date of approval.

Types of Supervision CNS® Supervisors can Offer

In Person

The candidate and Supervisor are in the same physical location.

Remotely

The candidate is supervised by someone who is NOT in the same physical location. Supervision may be done by  phone, online conference platforms or group webinars.

CNS® Supervisor Responsibilities

  • Assist each candidate in tailoring an experience that meets the CNS SPE requirements, CNS SPE Competencies and the candidate’s career goals.
  • Hold regularly scheduled sessions with the candidate. Meetings may be held in-person or remotely. BCNS requires that for every 40 hours the candidate works toward meeting the competencies, a minimum of 1 hour must be spent with the supervisor reviewing cases, competencies covered, etc.
  • Review and approve each of the 5 Personalized Nutrition Case Study Reports competed by the candidate.
  • Complete and submit the CNS Supervisor’s Report for each candidate supervised for approval by the BCNS Credentials Council.
  • Any financial arrangements are between the supervisor and supervisee. The BCNS offers no advice and sets no criteria.

Telehealth Opportunities

  • Candidates may conduct nutrition counseling sessions with clients remotely, provided the regulations of both the state in which the practitioner practices and the state in which the client resides are followed.
  • In some states, the supervisor must be licensed to practice nutrition in the state in which the candidate resides. Regulations have been modified due to the COVID pandemic. Refer to theANA.org/AdvocacyCV19.
  • For more information on regulatory issues, refer to theANA.org/Advocate.

How to Apply