Registered dietitians (or nutritionists) work in hospitals, home health agencies, and nursing homes. They work with patients of all ages and perform duties including evaluation of a patient’s dietary needs, including food preferences, nutritional needs, and vitamin deficiencies, diet recommendations including collaboration with other facility staff to ensure the patient gets adequate nutrition to assist their medical condition(s), and providing input on patient’s readiness for discharge and transition to another level of care.
A Bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field is required to enter this profession. However, many practitioners working in this field opt for a Master’s degree in areas such as Nutrition or Management.
This degree program can often easily be completed online, as there are far less in-person and hands-on components than other healthcare degree programs.
Programs in this area are generalist in nature. Courses may include statistics, bacteriology, physiology, food science, biochemistry, and home economics.
Depending on the program, fieldwork experiences will range between 6 and 12 months working under the supervision of a registered dietitian.
This can be completed full-time or part-time depending on the needs and schedule of the student.
It is an option to declare or prepare for a specialties once working in the field. These specialty areas include:
- Renal nutrition
- Sports dietetics
- Gerontological nutrition
- Pediatric nutrition
- Oncology nutrition
Registered dietitian salary:
Dietitians with a Master’s degree can expect to make about $60,000 per year depending on geographic location and setting.
Dietitians with a Bachelor’s degree will make an estimated $57,000 yearly depending on setting and geographic location.