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What Is a Registered Dietitian?

A registered dietitian (R.D.) is a skilled health care professional who is an expert in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Qualifications of a registered dietitian in the State of Maryland include:

  • a bachelor's or master's degree in food, nutrition, food service management or a related field
  • completion of an internship or professional experience approved by the American Dietetic Association
  • registration through a national registration exam
  • maintenance of continued professional education
  • licensure through the Maryland State Board of Dietetic Practice

The credentials "R.D." or "Registered Dietitian" show successful completion of the national registration examination and mandatory continuing education credit.

The credentials "L.D." or "Licensed Dietitian" are used to assure other health professionals and consumers that the individuals providing nutritional care meet the standards of the state in which they practice.

What is a Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian (CNSD)?

A Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian (CNSD) is a registered dietitian certified in nutrition support through the independent credentialing board called The National Board of Nutrition Support Certification (NBNSC). The NBNSC was established by the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN). Certification in nutrition support means that a registered dietitian has the knowledge base necessary to deliver parenteral and enteral nutrition support and has passed the certification examination. Re-certification is required every five years.

What is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)?

A Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) is the preferred education provider for individuals and their families who live with diabetes. Certified Diabetes Educators are health care professionals who have qualified for taking a national certification board examination in the speciality of diabetes education through experience and successfully completed the examination. Re-certification is required every five years.

Medical nutrition therapy must be taught by a registered dietitian who is knowledgeable and skilled in implementing current principles and recommendations for diabetes management. There is an importance distinction between education and information. Information is one-dimensional and simply provides facts. Education is two-dimensional and involves discussion, problem-solving, and skills development.

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