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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts. They evaluate a person’s health and nutritional needs and come up with plans to meet those needs. RDNs help healthcare providers by providing a patient treatment plan that may include the following:

  • Ideal body weight, calorie needs, and dietary needs

  • Foods that help ease swallowing

  • Special diets

  • Dietary changes that need to be made due to a disability

  • Tube feeding formulas and schedules for people who can’t swallow

  • Patient and family education on nutrition topics linked to diseases, such as diabetes

RDNs may practice in different settings, including:

  • Hospitals

  • Inpatient rehabilitation centers

  • Home health settings

  • Private practice

  • School districts

  • Community or government nutrition programs

RDNs hold an undergraduate degree, have completed an approved internship program, and have passed a national exam to be credentialed as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. Many have also earned a master's degree in dietetics or nutrition science.

 

Online Medical Reviewer: Horowitz, Diane, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Wilkins, Joanna, RD, CD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2017
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