A RDN is a food and nutrition expert who has met the minimum academic and professional requirements to qualify for the credential "RDN." To obtain this credential you must complete at least a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited college or university, required coursework and required supervised practice accredited by ACEND. In addition, you must pass a national RDN examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
The majority of RDNs work in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy, often part of medical teams), in hospitals, HMOs, private practice or other health-care facilities. In addition, a large number of RDNs work in community and public health settings and academia and research. A growing number of RDNs work in the food and nutrition industry, in business, journalism, sports nutrition, and corporate wellness programs.
A DTR is a food and nutrition practitioner who has completed at least a two-year associate's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college, required course work and at least 450 hours of supervised practice accredited by ACEND or at least a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and required coursework for a Didactic Program (DPD) or Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP). In addition, you must pass a national DTR examination administered by CDR and complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration. The majority of DTRs work with RDNs in a variety of employment settings including health care (assisting RDNs in providing medical nutrition therapy), in hospitals, HMOs, clinics or other health-care facilities. In addition, a large number of DTRs work in community and public health settings such as school or day care centers, correctional facilities, weight management clinics and WIC programs as nutrition counselors.
Check out information on career opportunities, salaries, and job outlook for RDNs and DTRs.