What Is a Registered Dietitian?

Still have questions on what a registered dietitian is?

Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Both RD and RDN are 2 terms for the same professional. Adding the ‘N’ for nutritionist is simply just a way to make the term relatable to the general population. Most people know what a Nutritionist is, but not everyone has heard of a Registered Dietitian.


However, a nutritionist (without ‘registered dietitian’ in front of it) is not a professional. Nutritionist is not a protected title and anyone can use it without education or any professional experience. Any Gabby-go-getter with a blog, business, or YouTube series can call themselves a “nutritionist.” The same goes for “wellness expert” or “enthusiast” of any sort. There are no requirements at all to use this title.

What it takes to become a registered dietitian?

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition

This includes 2 years of chemistry classes, y’all! NOT EASY.

Completion of a dietetic internship

This is 1,200 hours of unpaid work in the field of nutrition. Rotations include wellness, food service, clinical and more. Wherever a dietitian could work – we practice working there.

Pass the national board exam

Most people study for 6-10 weeks and about ¼ of people don’t pass their first time. Very stressful, but worth it in the end!

Continuing education

Every 5 year cycle, RDs need to have 75-hours of continuing education logged. This is a way to ensure we stay on top of research and continue to learn about new developments in the field.

EVERYONE needs a dietitian friend and I am elated to be yours! Allow me to help you on your wellness journey and feel free to reach out anytime – I can’t wait to hear from you.

Your Dietitian Friend,

Lindsey Hudsmith, RDN

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