On November 5th the MI Dietetics and Nutrition Licensure Board passed a final set of proposed rules. Although MNA along with our partners and supporters were successful in loosening some of the rules, we still strongly object to the law as is, and are continuing to explore all legal, legislative and administrative options. We have retained a high level lobbyist to work on our behalf and we are working toward making connections with key people in the new administration.
These rules are not yet in effect; they must go through a series of administrative steps ultimately leading to a public hearing on the rules. We do not how long this will take or when the public hearing will be; we anticipate spring or early summer. Please sign up to receive MNA emails so we can keep you up to date on the hearing and how you can voice your opinions. Read more about the rules.
What this law does
It is important to note that this law regulates both the activities of practicing nutrition and the use of the titles “nutritionist” and “dietician”. This means no matter what you call yourself, if you are not licensed under this law, or if you do not already possess a license that includes the practice of nutrition in it’s defined scope of practice such as an MD, you cannot practice. And even if your scope of practice allows you to practice nutrition, unless you are licensed under this law, you can not call yourself a nutritionist or a dietician. Do you qualify? Find out here.
How do you become licensed?
The law mandates three sets of requirements which must be met in order to be licensed:
We offer a brief summary below but to find out if your training and background qualifies you to practice or, if you would need to do additional training, practice, and/or or take an exam in order to be able to practice nutrition in this state, by using our impact guide.
CONSUMERS AND PRACTITIONERS
We urge you to use our impact guide in order to help us collect
important data about the numbers of people this law will negatively affect.
You must have a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD with a major course of study in human nutrition, nutrition education, foods and nutrition, dietetics, or food systems management. The only acceptable degrees and credits are from “regionally accredited institutions of higher learning”. With few exceptions, “regionally accredited...." means traditional colleges and universities, and excludes private degree and certification programs such as Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Hawthorn University, Hunter College of Health Sciences, Bauman College, etc. Certifications such as CCN, CNC, CN, CNS, DACBN etc, are not recognized. The RD is the only recognized credential, meaning that licensed or not, this law only acknowledges the RD credential and forces this as the standard against which all nutritionists are measured.
For non-RD’s the board has approved an “equivalent course of study”. This includes 21 credits of basic sciences:
Additionally, it includes 23 more credit hours that need to be distributed amongst defined areas of study. Two credit hours must be in Food Service Sanitation regardless whether you work in food service or not. Again, we encourage you to go through our impact guide to assess your situation.
Supervised Practice Requirements
This law makes no provision for grandfathering based on experience. You must accumulate 900 supervised practice hours, and at this point very few professionals other than Registered Dietitians would qualify for licensure and thus be able to serve as your supervisor. Practically speaking that means, for example, if you have been in private clinical practice working from a holistic or functional perspective, utilizing herbs, detoxification, supplements, raw foods, etc., you would have to be supervised by an RD who most likely will have no similar experience, background or training. Or, if you have a PhD in nutrition you would need to be supervised by an RD for 900 hours to call yourself a nutritionist and legally practice! Nationally, 92% of RD’s are based in institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, academia, food industry, or government programs; very few work in private practice.
You will have two choices for a qualifying exam regardless of whether you took a qualifying exam as part of your Masters or as part of any other certification. PhD's do not have to take an exam. One exam is the CDR given by the Commission on Dietetic registration..The other is the CNS exam through the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists.
This law is bad for Michigan's economy
and bad for Michigan's health!