Is there an advantage to working with an RD or an RDN? In this post, I will explain what each of these credentials means, and then you can decide.
The title Registered Dietitian or RD is the first credential used to designate a nutrition provider as someone who completed a bachelor’s degree in an accredited program as well as advanced and supervised training to become eligible to take the national registration exam. Once, passed, this person is a Registered Dietitian. The “N” for nutritionist was added in 2013 as an optional letter to our current title to communicate with the public that we are also nutritionists. Only providers who have met the requirements of education and testing can say they are a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. The term “Nutritionist” alone does not designate the level of education or training that person has completed. You will see dietitians using both credentials, RD and RDN behind their name. It is completely up to them which one they use and does not change their license or services they can offer. I chose to take the RDN as an update to our profession and, of course, to be progressive!
All registered dietitians are nutritionists but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians.