Nutrition Care Process

The Nutrition Care Process is a systematic approach to providing high-quality nutrition care. It was published as part of the Nutrition Care Model. Use of the NCP does not mean that all patients/clients get the same care; the process provides a framework for the RDN to individualize care, taking into account the patient/client's needs and values and using the best evidence available to make decisions. Other disciplines in healthcare, including nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists have adopted care processes specific to their discipline. 

In 2003, the Academy's House of Delegates adopted the NCP in an effort to provide dietetics professionals with a framework for critical thinking and decision-making. Use of the NCP can lead to more efficient and effective care and greater recognition of the role of dietetic professionals in all care settings. The Nutrition Care Process consists of distinct, interrelated steps:

  • Nutrition Assessment: The RDN collects and documents information such as food or nutrition-related history; biochemical data, medical tests and procedures; anthropometric measurements, nutrition-focused physical findings and client history.
  • Diagnosis: Data collected during the nutrition assessment guides the RDN in selection of the appropriate nutrition diagnosis (i.e., naming the specific problem).
  • Intervention: The RDN then selects the nutrition intervention that will be directed to the root cause (or etiology) of the nutrition problem and aimed at alleviating the signs and symptoms of the diagnosis.
  • Monitoring/Evaluation: The final step of the process is monitoring and evaluation, which the RDN uses to determine if the patient/client has achieved, or is making progress toward, the planned goals.

electronic Nutrition Care Process Terminology

The electronic Nutrition Care Process Terminology (eNCPT) is an online publication containing a narrative explanation of the Nutrition Care Process. Subscribers of the eNCPT have access to the most up-to-date terminology used in nutrition care as well as reference sheets that provide clear definitions and explanation of all terms, including indicators, criteria for evaluation, etiologies, and signs and symptoms.

  • Standardized Language

    In order to clearly document the impact on patient care, the Academy, and its committees, are dedicated to creating a standardized language that captures the specifics of what the dietetics profession does.

  • NCP 101

    The Nutrition Care Process is a standardized model intended to guide registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered, in providing high-quality nutrition care.

  • NCP: Getting Started

    In order to clearly document the impact of RDNs on patient care, we need to have a language that is capable of capturing the specifics of what the dietetics profession does. So, begin here and get all the information you need to implement the Nutrition Care Process and Terminology.

  • NCP: The Next Level

    Already have a basic understanding of the Nutrition Care Process and Terminology? Then, start here and review the resources for educators and professionals.

  • Use of the NCP Terminology

    Do you have to acquire permission to use the NCP Terminology? Find the answer here, along with other important answers to common questions concerning content use of NCP Terminology.

  • NCP and Model: FAQs

    What is the Nutrition Care Process Model? Find answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning the Nutrition Care Process.