Nutritionist Overview To become a clinical nutritionist, you will generally need to have earned the Certified Nutritional Specialty (CNS) credential, which involves an exam and 1000 hours of supervised practice experience. After earning your degree and completing your certification, it's time to start your career. The first step to becoming a clinical nutritionist is to complete the undergraduate requirements. While requirements vary by institution, at Northeast College of Health Sciences we require that candidates have completed 90 semester hours and that at least 9 of those hours consist of biosciences.
During undergraduate studies, Northeast requires that each candidate's grade point average be 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). Finally, while no experience in health or science is required, it is strongly recommended to make the most of the Master of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition (MSACN) program. Clinical nutritionists certified in education must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in science from an accredited university. They must have taken courses in anatomy, physiology, human biology, chemistry, nutrition and microbiology.
However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nutritionists with advanced degrees may have greater job prospects. Graduates with a Master's degree in Nutrition can also apply for the CCN exam. Health professionals who have an MD, DO, or BS in nursing must take 56 hours of online training in clinical human nutrition to qualify for the CCN licensing exam. Depending on the requirements of a certified nutritionist in your state, you may also be required to complete a 900-hour internship to become a CCN.
The Department of Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences at Rutgers School of Health Professions is a demonstration program accredited under the Graduate Accreditation Standards (Future Education Model). The master's degree in clinical nutrition instills an appreciation for interprofessional collaboration and education, and provides opportunities to achieve broader roles in health promotion, disease prevention, and intervention for a multicultural society. Some nutrition schools allow you to gain an edge on your CNS license through clinical experiences. Clinical nutrition is a constantly evolving field and the need for qualified nutritionists is increasing.
Apply community and population nutritional health theories by supporting community or population nutrition programs. In addition, clinical nutritionists can educate their clients on how food and nutrition can help prevent and control diseases. You can be licensed as a certified clinical nutritionist (CCN) or certified nutrition specialist (CNS). In the Applied Clinical Nutrition program that is 100 percent online and can be completed in just two years.