Medical nutrition therapy is a medical treatment. Like other non-physician practitioners providing medical treatments, registered dietitian nutritionists generally can practice MNT because of licensure and certification laws, which provide authority for RDNs to provide this medical service. It is with this understanding that the Academy strongly recommends — unless there is an applicable exception or exemption or a state does not provide for licensure or certification requirements — practitioners hold licensure or certification in all states where the practitioner's clients or patients are located when services are provided.
Links to State Boards, Statutes and Regulations
Statute and Regulation Details
Licensure (or Certification) by Endorsement of RDN Credential/Exemptions
§ 3806. Qualifications of applicants.
(b) Persons who provide evidence of current registration as a registered dietitian awarded by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, credentialing agency of the American Dietetic Association shall be considered to have met the qualifications for licensure under this chapter in lieu of subsection (a) of this section.
Licensure (or Certification) by Reciprocity or Endorsement of Another License
§ 3807. Reciprocity.
Reciprocity will be provided for registered, certified or licensed dietitians or registered, certified or licensed nutritionists from other states provided that the standards for registration, certification and/or licensure in that state are reasonably equivalent to those set forth in § 3806 of this title. Reciprocity applicants must follow the rules and regulations for application established under § 3809 of this title.
Temporary/Provisional Licensure (or Certification)
§ 3810. Licensure required.
(7) The practice of dietetic and nutrition therapy by a person who is eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians as administered by the Commission of Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency of the American Dietetic Association. This individual is excluded under this chapter for a period of 1 year upon completion of qualifying experience as set forth by the American Dietetic Association.
§ 3810. Licensure required.
No person shall represent oneself or engage in the practice of dietetics and nutrition therapy as a Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist in this State or use the title "Licensed Dietitian," "Licensed Nutritionist," "Nutritionist," "Dietitian," use the letters "L.D.N.", or any combination of above terms and/or abbreviations unless such a person is licensed under this chapter. This chapter does not prohibit or restrict:
(1) Any person licensed in this State under any other act from engaging in the practice for which that person is licensed.
(2) The practice of dietetic and nutrition therapy by a person who is employed by the United States or state government or any of its bureaus, divisions, or agencies while in the discharge of the employee’s official duties.
(3) The supervised practice of dietetic and nutrition therapy of person pursuing a course of study leading to a degree in dietetics, nutrition or an equivalent major, as authorized by the Board, from a regionally accredited school or program, if the activities and services constitute a part of a supervised course of study and if the person is designated by a title that clearly indicates the person’s status as a student. This period is not to exceed 2 years unless written approval is provided by the Board. The individual will be supervised by an individual licensed under this chapter.
(4) An herbalist, retailer or other person who does not hold himself or herself out to be a dietitian or nutritionist by using 1 or more of the titles restricted by this chapter, who makes recommendations regarding lifestyle, or who markets, distributes, sells, or who recommends, advises, or furnishes nonfraudulent information about, herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates, sugars, enzymes, food concentrates, foods, other food supplements, or dietary supplements. For purposes of this paragraph, "fraud" shall be defined as an intentional misrepresentation for financial gain. Legitimate disagreement about the role of the above-listed nutrients and foods as they apply to human nutrition shall not, in and of itself, constitute fraud.
(5) The practice of the tenets of any religion, sect or denomination whatsoever, provided that a member of such religion, sect or denomination shall not designate himself or herself by any other term or title which implies that such member is engaged in the practice of dietetic and nutrition therapy.
(6) A person presenting a general program of instruction for weight control need not be a Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist provided the general program is approved in writing by:
a. A dietitian registered by the Commission of Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association; or
b. A licensed physician.
Updated August 2023
Disclaimer: This page is not intended to constitute legal or career advice. All information, content and materials are for general informational purposes only and may not represent the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites, which are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites, nor does such information necessarily constitute a legally binding interpretation of state policy. The ultimate authority to interpret each state's requirements is the licensing board or agency of that state.
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