District of Columbia


The District of Columbia licenses dietitians and nutritionists under an exclusive scope of practice model. Only a licensed dietitian or licensed nutritionist can provide nutrition care including: assessment, goal setting, counseling, or advice. Only licensed individuals may use the titles: "LDN," "LN," "LD," "dietitian/nutritionist," "dietitian," "nutritionist," "or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices dietetics or nutrition."


DC participates in the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act. This Act may allow out-of-state licensed health practitioners to offer volunteer services affiliated with a host agency during a time of emergency. Contact the DC Department of Health or the DC Medical Reserves Corp for more information. https://dchealth.dc.gov/mrc 

The Board of Dietetics and Nutrition may also be able to issue temporary licenses for fixed periods of time to applicants. DC Statute § 3–1205.08a Contact the Board for additional information.

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Practice Act/Statute Rules & Regulations Regulatory Body

Qualification Requirements for State Licensure or State Certification:
  • Academic: Dietitians: Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution with a major in human nutrition, foods and nutrition, dietetics, food systems management, or an equivalent major course of study. Nutritionists: A baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a major in human nutrition, foods and nutrition, dietetics, food systems management, or a major in an equivalent course of study.
  • Experience: Completion of preprofessional experience which was obtained in a dietetic or nutrition program approved by the Board, under the direction of a registered dietitian or nutritionist that consisted of at least 900 hours completed over a period of at least 22 and not more than 45 weeks, with at least 1 hour per week under the immediate supervision of a registered dietitian or nutritionist and with the remaining experience was under the general supervision of a registered dietitian or nutritionist. The applicant's performance must have been rated as at least satisfactory.
  • Examination: Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam or Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Registered Dietitian (RD) exam. Individuals with a master’s or doctoral degree in nutrition from a university that was accredited by the AND’s Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education at the time the applicant graduated are exempt from the exam requirement.

Disclaimer: This is a preliminary interpretation of language of state statutes and regulations, and cannot substitute for legal counsel.