Frequently Asked Questions about becoming an RDN.
Q. I’m ready to complete the requirements and obtain my RD, where do I start?
A. If you have been out of college even for a little while, it may be frustrating trying to find out what is required and what programs are available to you. There are more options today than ever before to complete the requirements, especially for working students. The WIC Career Development Coordinator will work with you to determine your best choices and resources available. Since the Career Development Program was started, WIC employees throughout the state have completed college courses, WIC dietetic internships or distance dietetic internships and received their RDN credential! To get started you should complete Career Development and Dietetic Internship form and e-mail to the Career Development Coordinator at email@example.com.
Q. I have a degree in another field, do I need to start over to become an RD?
A. You will need to have your college transcripts evaluated by a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) accredited by ACEND. The director will evaluate your transcripts and identify the courses that you need to complete the DPD requirements for that institution. Although DPD programs have similar requirements, they may vary from one institution to another. You may want to contact more than one DPD program to determine the program that is best for you. The number of courses you need and the college’s degree requirements will determine whether you need to complete another degree. It may be possible to complete the required didactic course work while enrolled in a graduate program. The DPD director can advise you about your options.
Q. I understand that the degree requirements are changing to be a RDN. Will I have to have a master’s degree before I can apply for a dietetic internship?
A. CDR’s mandate is that all candidates must have a master’s degree to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians starting in January 1, 2024. CDR has authority over the registration of dietitians and cannot require that the master’s be required for a dietetic internship. However, WIC dietetic internships and many others may require that applicants have a graduate degree or that they complete the degree by the time they graduate from the dietetic internship, in order to be eligible to take the RD exam.
Q. I understand that a master’s degree will be required to take the RD exam but will there also be changes in requirements for dietetic internships?
A. No, the current DPD and supervised practice requirements (CP, DI or ISPP), remain in effect. The only change is the degree level moving from a minimum baccalaureate degree to a minimum graduate degree. The foreign degree equivalency requirement also remains in effect.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the RDN Exam
Q. I’m a WIC employee but I wasn’t a WIC intern, can I still participate in the e-RD-2b study program?
A. Yes, as long as you graduated from a dietetic internship within the last year. If it’s been more than a year, contact the California WIC Career Development Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org to determine the best study plan for you and available resources to help you study for the exam.
Q. I was eligible to take the RDN exam a couple years ago, but for personal reasons did not take the exam. How can I qualify to take the RDN exam and participate in the RDN Exam study program?
A. First, you need to contact AND/CDR for authorization to take the exam. You are allowed one year to pass the exam, if you need more time you must reapply for another year. The longer you have been out of college and your internship, the more difficult it is to pass the exam. We find that after 1 year, the pass rate goes down to 50%. If it’s been more than 3 years, you will probably need a “refresher” course to update your knowledge in medical nutrition therapy and the nutrition care process. Since you graduated more than a year ago you aren’t eligible for the e-RD-2b study program; however, can contact the Career Development Coordinator at: email@example.com for study resources and suggestions.
Q. I was a dietitian in the Philippines; do I need to take the RDN exam?
A. CDR currently has a reciprocity agreement with the Philippine Commission for individuals who completed all certification requirements (didactic, experiential and examination) in the country with whom CDR has an agreement. You must pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). You are required to submit an eligibility application with required documentation directly to CDR. Once CDR notifies you that you are eligible to take the exam, you have one year to pass the exam. After one year, you will have to apply again. Individuals should contact CDR directly at 312/899-0040, ext. 5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain information regarding establishing registration eligibility.