What Does a Registered Dietitian Do?
Registered dietitians are responsible for the health and well-being of their clients by helping create safe and sustainable eating habits. They create comprehensive nutrition programs and offer counseling and lifestyle coaching to better tailor their plans to customers.
These nutritional experts provide valuable information, like how to cook on a budget, how to read ingredient labels, how to spot stress eating, and much more. They identify areas of opportunity for those seeking to live healthier lifestyles in reasonable ways and help navigate around potential problems like food allergies, addiction, and more.
By cutting through the latest diet fads and offering tried and tested, science-backed solutions to today’s eating problems, these experts provide longer and more fulfilling lives to those seeking to improve. Registered dietitians that wish to remain competitive will typically have a bachelor’s degree and comprehensive certification and licensure which will need to be updated yearly.
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National Average Salary
Registered dietitian salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Registered Dietitian is:
Registered Dietitian Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting a registered dietitian, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
[Your Company Name] is searching for a professional and knowledgeable registered dietitian. The registered dietitian will be responsible for consulting with clients and advising clients on proper dietary plans and measures. This position is full-time with benefits. During the course of your work, you may be required to travel to different offices in the state to consult with locals and develop and critique meal plans. The registered dietitian will also be required to manage data and documentation for clients and management. This will include inputting data, modifying data, and presenting occasional reports. This position is not for someone who is unable to complete these tasks. Please consider carefully before applying. If this does sound like you, though, we would love to have you join our team at [Your Company Name].
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Provide dietary services following state and federal laws and regulations
- Develop nutrition plans and implement interventions based on knowledge of patients’ current health
- Design plans to address specific health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, eating disorders, or hypertension
- Develop facility-wide nutritional programs for educational, correctional, healthcare, and other institutions
- Complete monthly, quarterly and yearly assessments of clients and adapt nutrition plans as needed
- Implement personalized, age-specific, and culturally appropriate nutrition strategies
- Deliver client nutrition recommendations to physicians, nurses and aides
- Provide nutrition education and counseling for patients
- Increase public awareness of healthy nutritional standards and habits
Education and experience
- This position requires a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field. A candidate must also be a registered dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
Required skills and qualifications
- Stay current of, comply with, and model national, state and local legislation, policies, and standards for food safety
- Apply knowledge of biological, physical or chemical properties that may cause food to be unsafe for human and animal consumption
- Develop and provide education and counseling on safe food-handling and sustainable practices to prevent and minimize contamination
- Educate the public on the role and the benefits of receiving care or services from a registered dietitian
- Educate patients and the general public on the availability of nutrition services
- Increase public awareness of the importance of nutrition and public welfare
- Apply knowledge of hygienic food preparation practices and causes of foodborne illness in food preparation
- Demonstrate proficient use of technical operating systems and software to communicate and disseminate information; to collect, track and retrieve data; and to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Use standardized terminology to describe nutrition assessment data, nutrition diagnoses, nutrition interventions, and nutrition monitoring and evaluation
- Identify and promote sustainable, resilient, healthy food to staff, customers and the public
- Recognize the environmental implications of infectious diseases, compromised health conditions, and outbreaks, and identify and implement required preventive action for public safety
- Master’s degree in nutrition or related field
- 5 years experience writing health plans
- Strong written skills
Primary duties and responsibilities
- Provide Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) on-site and virtually to assigned patient caseloads, in addition to traditional MNT
- Completion of nutrition assessments using the Nutrition Care Process
- Make clinical recommendations to the treatment team for the maintenance and/or improvement of nutritional status
- Strong collaboration efforts with our partnering Functional Medicine practitioners
- Regular and proficient computer use of our Electronic Health Records (EHR) and systems to ensure adequate care of patients within caseload and communications with the group providers, partners, and administration
- Coordinate follow-up scheduling with the caseload. New patient scheduling and benefits checking will be provided by our administrative assistant
- Generate insurance claims for patient visits which are managed by the practice
- Provide strong role model examples to patients and maintain upbeat, positive, collaborative relationships with group dietitians and patients
- Willingness to attend training and shadowing sessions prior to starting date is expected as compensation for the waiving of onboarding overhead during the months credentialing is in process with insurance companies and claims are waiting to come in
- Training includes a 1-week shadowing period and weekly touch bases on an arranged schedule which can be flexible. Includes group policies, systems, and how to effectively manage patient and non-patient time to optimize workflow and income
- Meet weekly for chart reviews and mentoring with lead RD 1-3 months post-go-live date with patients depending on the level of experience
- Maintain integrative and functional nutrition knowledge base through continuing education
- Contribute to nutrition in-service education/training at group monthly meetings on a rotating basis, and join round table case discussions
- Contribute to our partner DENT Neurology’s Corporate Wellness Newsletter on a rotating monthly basis
- Participate in HIPAA and other annual compliance training
- Current registration with CDR as a Registered Dietitian
- Current registration with the NYS Office of Professions as a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist (CDN). CDN is mandatory for the position at the time of interviewing. Please indicate RDN and CDN registration numbers on your application
- Certificate of Training with DIFM (Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine DPG), IFNA Certificate of Training, or IFNCP advanced practice credential through IFNA
- Practice experience in Integrative and Functional Nutrition. Strong interest will be considered in providing DIFM Certification completed prior to the go-live date with patients
- At least 1-year practice experience is mandatory
- Outpatient experience preferred. A certificate of training in Motivational Interviewing strongly encouraged
Education, experience, and licensure requirements
- Bachelor’s degree in dietetics or related program approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Currently registered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and meet licensure or certification per State requirements. Must maintain an active license in good standing throughout employment
- Registered with American Dietetic Association
- Prior experience in nutritional assessment and planning
- Two (2) years experience in a health care facility. Prior post-acute care experience preferred
Specific job requirements
- Familiar with standards of practice used in the assessment of geriatric patients
- Make independent decisions when circumstances warrant such action
- Knowledgeable of practices and procedures as well as the laws, regulations, and guidelines governing functions in the post-acute care facility
- Implement and interpret the programs, goals, objectives, policies, and procedures of the department
- Perform proficiently in all competency areas including but not limited to: patient rights, safety, and sanitation
- Maintains professional working relationships with all associates, vendors, etc.
- Maintains confidentiality of all proprietary and/or confidential information
- Understand and follow company policies including harassment and compliance procedures
- Displays integrity and professionalism by adhering to Life Care’s Code of Conduct and completes mandatory Code of Conduct and other appropriate compliance training
- Consult with patient and family concerning nutrition needs and goals
- Check menu plans to ensure they meet the nutritional needs of patients and to ensure quality food service standards
- Plan modified diets for patients as requested by the attending physician
- Input dietary information accurately and in a timely manner (i.e., patient charting, dietary database)
- Participate in Interdisciplinary Patient Care meetings involving nutrition
- Assist with other food service duties as required
- Exhibit excellent customer service and a positive attitude toward patients
- Assist in the evacuation of patients
- Demonstrate dependable, regular attendance
- Concentrate and use reasoning skills and good judgment
- Communicate and function productively on an interdisciplinary team
- Sit, stand, bend, lift, push, pull, stoop, walk, reach, and move intermittently during working hours
- Read, write, speak, and understand the English language
The Registered Dietitian will oversee that all schools within the designated district are in compliance with federal and state regulations pertaining to all USDA programs implemented by the schools including the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. This position will also be responsible for handling any special dietary needs of the students within the school district.
- Perform onsite reviews of assigned school sites to evaluate compliance
- Plan menus that are within Federal and State Regulations for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program
- Oversee communication with district staff, employees, and community regarding special dietary needs and menu-related topics
- Create and implement training materials and handouts to support the district as needed
- Conduct training with kitchen staff
- Any other duties as assigned
- Minimum BS in Nutrition or related field.
- A registered Dietitian credential is required
- A minimum of 2 years of work experience in school nutrition or a related field is preferred, but not required. Consideration will be given to candidates with other foodservice related work experience
- This position requires a person that is a leader and can handle a fast-paced environment
Physical demands and work environment
- Ability to speak, read, write, and understand English and/or the dominant language at the school
- Be able to work in a standing position for long periods of time (up to 5 hours)
- Be physically able to lift, reach, bend and stoop frequently and lift up to 50 pounds
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Registered Dietitian (RD). The Registered Dietitian certification is offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and is what defines a registered dietitian. This certification is crucial to any registered dietitian, and is required before candidates can go into the field.
- Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). The Registered Dietitian Nutritionist certification is an extension to the default certification for a Registered Dietitian. This certification can be immensely useful to any registered dietitian in order to expand their certification portfolio and stand out from other applicants to a job or position.
How to Hire a Registered Dietitian
There are a number of important initial considerations when hiring a registered dietitian:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Are you hiring for a project or an ongoing need?
- Urgency: How soon does the opening need to be filled? What happens while it remains open?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for registered dietitian openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Do you have experience conducting nutrition assessments, and how do you ensure that they are accurate and comprehensive?
- How did you ensure that a patient’s or client’s nutrition plan met their individual requirements and preferences when developing a personalized nutrition plan?
- How do you ensure that patients and clients with specific dietary requirements, such as those with diabetes, food allergies, or kidney disease, are met?
- What steps do you take to incorporate the latest nutrition research and developments into your practice?
- What steps did you take to ensure the effectiveness of a nutrition intervention you implemented?
- In order to ensure that patients or clients understand and can implement the nutrition plan, how do you educate them about nutrition and its impact on health?
- In what ways are you able to ensure that nutrition programs are tailored to the specific needs of groups or communities you work with?
- When it comes to ethics and conflicts of interest, what are the ways in which you address and manage them?
- If you faced a challenging case, how did you approach it so that the patient or client received the best outcome possible?