Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Act Passes Illinois Legislature: Standards Protect Consumers from Harm

04/08/2022 - In advance of its January 2023 sunset date, the Illinois General Assembly has passed a strong upgrade to the Illinois Dietitian Nutritionist Practice Act and sent the bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his signature.

After nearly two years of planning, negotiation and advocacy, the Academy and the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advanced this important consumer protection legislation that will remedy identified problems and loopholes in the existing law and significantly strengthen Illinois's law in many ways.

Highlights of the bill include:

  • Elimination of licensure for certain individuals with insufficient qualifications, including those credentialed with only an associate’s degree or those passing an insufficiently rigorous examination
  • Addition of RDNs’ ability to independently order enteral and parenteral nutrition if privileged by one's facility to do so
  • Doubling of the number of RDNs on the licensure board to ensure more proportionate representation
  • Stronger requirements for supervised practice for non-RDNs seeking a license, including:
    • Specifications as to supervisor qualifications
    • Need for supervisors of MNT to be licensed
    • A requirement that supervised practice “lead to competence in medical nutrition therapy” and accompanying language granting the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation the critical ability to promulgate rules to enforce this provision.
  • Stronger requirements for education for non-RDNs seeking a license, including:
    • A requirement that all approved academic programs “shall include education leading to competence in medical nutrition therapy”
    • Accompanying language granting the IDFPR the critical ability to promulgate rules to enforce this provision.
  • Limiting practice in food service management related to MNT to licensed RDNs (unless non-RDN licensees complete and demonstrate qualification through additional sufficient education and training)
  • Next sunset date scheduled in five years, providing an opportunity to then make additional positive changes.

The Academy commends IAND and its Licensure Task Force for their advocacy efforts. The Academy will continue to advocate for strong, consistent licensure laws in every state to protect consumers from harm and facilitate RDNs’ ability to practice throughout the country.

To advocate on licensure at the federal level, Academy members are encouraged to join the Licensure Initiatives Affinity Group, which meets online the third Friday of every month from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time.