Nutrition Professional

Nutrition licensure laws: outline the scope of practice of nutrition professionals for a given state generally including: assessment, counseling, and monitoring.  Laws also outline education, exam, and supervised experience requirements necessary to obtain state nutrition certification/licensure. The specifics for these requirements vary widely from state to state. The nutrition professionals who are eligible to obtain state certification/licensure and provide nutrition advice vary based on both the defined scope of practice as well as the outlined requirements. An individual's professional certifications may or may not meet all of the state requirements to qualify for the government issued certification/licensureThe following sections outline two groups of nutrition professionals and describes the conditions under which they can provide nutrition care.

 

 

GROUP 1:
This group includes nutrition care providers with professional certifications that are recognized in at least one state as meeting the education, exam, and/or training requirements to be eligible for state certification/licensure. These Professional Nutrition certifications include:

Note that there are cases where a professional certification meets one or two but not all three requirements for state certification. It is up to the practitioner to identify if they have meet all requirements for state licensure.

 

When can you use nutrition tools in your practice:

If your nutrition state law outlines a licensure with exclusive scope of practice and:

then you can obtain the certification/licensure and practice nutrition care.

 

If your nutrition state law outlines a licensure with exclusive scope of practice and:

  • Your credential’s exam is listed as acceptable to meet the exam requirements and you have also met the nuanced requirements for the specified education and/or experiencial training

then you can obtain the certification/licensure and practice nutrition care. NOTE that it is critical to review all three requirements (exam, education, and training).

 

If your nutrition state law outlines a licensure with exclusive scope of practice and:

then you can obtain the certification/licensure and practice nutrition care.

 

If the nutrition law in your state is a licensure without exclusive scope of practice then you can practice nutrition care without being certified/licensed as a nutrition care provider. However, if specific title protections exists in the law, you may not use any protected title in advertising or practice.

 

If your state law outlines a licensure with exclusive scope of practice, then you CANNOT legally provide nutrition advice in your state if you do not meet the accepted criteria for licensure, and you are not listed as one who is exempt from the law.

 


GROUP 2:
This group includes professionals who may have extensive training in nutrition care but who are not recognized by their own state law, cannot obtain state certification/licensure, and unless protected by an exemption, are thus subject to any exclusions created by their state nutrition law and any corresponding criminal consequences. This group includes but is not limited to:

 

When can you use nutrition tools in your practice:

If the nutrition law in your state is a licensure without exclusive scope of practice, then you can practice nutrition care without being certified/licensed as a nutrition care provider. However, if specific title protections exists in the law, you may not use any protected title in advertising or practice.

 

If your state law outlines a licensure with exclusive scope of practice, then you CANNOT legally provide individulized nutrition advice in your state if you do not meet the accepted criteria for licensure, and you are not listed as one who is exempt from the law. See Health Coach for a more detailed discussion of laws applied to practitioners in the Group 2 category.

 

Check your nutrition state law to see if it is: a licensure with exclusive scope of practice; a licensure without exclusive scope of practice; you fall within the listed exemptions of the law; or there is no law for your state.  The state law will indicate whether your specific professional certification meets the requirements to obtain certification/licensure in your state and can legally provide nutrition advice.

 

Disclaimer: This information represents a preliminary interpretation of state statutes, and cannot be substituted for legal counsel.