Becoming A Clinical Nutritionist: The Steps You Need To Take
If you are considering becoming a clinical nutritionist, you might ask yourself, “Where do I start?” We’ve broken down the complete process into five easy steps that, when completed, will make you an expert in science-based, whole-foods approaches to optimal health and performance.
The first step in becoming a clinical nutritionist is completing undergraduate requirements. While requirements vary by institution, at Northeast College of Health Sciences we require candidates to have completed 90 semester hours with at least 9 of those hours consisting of biosciences. During undergraduate studies, Northeast requires that every candidate’s grade point average should be 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). Last, while a healthcare or science background is not required, it is highly recommended to garner the most from the Master of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition (MSACN) program.
The next step to becoming a nutritionist is earning your master’s degree. At Northeast College of Health Sciences, we offer an M.S. in Applied Clinical Nutrition program that is 100 percent online and can be completed in just two years. Our program consists of six trimesters of various course work designed to get you prepared for your career.
Many certifications are required to become a clinical nutritionist. Because our MSACN is a regionally accredited master’s degree, it successfully meets the majority of the didactic requirements to sit for several important national certification exams. For more information on these exams, see below:
Once you have successfully earned your MSACN and completed required certifications, it's time to start your career. The most common places clinical nutritionists work are private practice, industry, government, nursing, and education. Once you decide where you want to work, you can choose to specialize further, including working with patients with specific health conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, or digestive disorders.
As you continue in your career, you might want to seek out new certifications to either show an advanced level of knowledge or to become an expert in an area of specialty. A Certified Nutrition Specialist credential is an excellent example of reaching that next level of expertise. To maintain this credential, you must complete 75 continuing education credits every five years. To increase your knowledge in a specific specialty, consider looking into The Commission on Dietetic Registration, as they offer specialty certifications like pediatric nutrition, renal nutrition, and more.
The journey to becoming a clinical nutritionist is short and flexible. With a totally online program that can be completed in just two years, you can manage your life, work, and studies seamlessly and become a practicing clinical nutritionist in no time. Learn more about Northeast's M.S. in Applied Clinical Nutrition program: visit our programs page or contact us today.