With interest in nutrition on the rise, becoming a Registered Dietitian is becoming more and more popular. Personally, I find that there is nothing more satisfying than helping others reach their nutrition goals. Whether it be battling weight loss, becoming more active, preventing chronic illness, or reaching the self-confidence that you've always hoped for, I can go to sleep each night knowing that I have positively influenced all of the clients I spoke with that day. There is no better feeling than having people tell you within an hour of meeting them that you have changed their whole life. This is what being an RD is to me. Now.. lets get to the details of becoming an RD: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
1.) Complete a 4 year education at a University which offers a Dietetics Degree. Within this degree, there are a specific set of courses outlined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which must be taken. These courses include but are not limited to Biology I and II, Chemistry I and II, Biochemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, and Organic Chemistry. Needless to say, you must be a complete science nerd to be a student with a Dietetics Degree!
2.) During this 4 year education, you must study hard. When I say hard, I do not mean you must study for a few days prior to an exam, but you must keep up with material from the moment you are taught it. Your GPA is extremely critical when it comes to applying for your Dietetic Internship, which brings me to my next point.
3.) Apply to a Dietetic Internship, which is outlined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well. Throughout this intensive internship, you will complete various rotations in the clinical environment, food service environment, and within the community. Most internships are full-time, and they range from around 10-12 months. If you have ever spoken to a dietetics student, you may have heard about just how competitive these programs are. After experiencing this journey myself, I can absolutely agree that obtaining a spot in a dietetic internship is extremely difficult. That is why you must study very hard, gain experience in various realms of nutrition including the clinical environment and within the community, and you must be willing to give this your all.
4.) Enjoy every moment of your internship. I mean this! Once you have a spot in an internship program, after you celebrate, realize just how much you will learn throughout this experience. Not only will you learn about about disease states and chronic illness, but about all aspects of life. I have learned so much about people, professionalism, and what it means to be part of the healthcare field. With only three months left of my internship, I can honestly say that it has been an incredible experience. After all the hard work, the long nights, and the ups and downs, I can honestly say that it has all been worth it. I can not WAIT to be an RD!
Have any questions regarding becoming a Registered Dietitian? Feel free to leave comments below! Other people will benefit from your questions, including me! If you would prefer to ask me questions one-on-one, feel free to e-mail me!