The BCNS mission is to advance human health through the science and practice of professional nutrition care.

About the BCNS

The Board for Certification of Nutrition SpecialistsSM (BCNSSM) was launched in 1993 and administers the gold-standard certification for personalized nutrition practitioners: Certified Nutrition Specialists® (CNS®).

CNS professionals are on the front lines using medical nutrition therapy and counseling to battle the epidemic of chronic disease and obesity. The BCNS supports these efforts by certifying nutrition professionals that achieve the highest standard of competence.

The BCNS has developed a rigorous certification process based on education standards, experiential eligibility criteria and the ability to demonstrate knowledge and skills through a formal examination process. Attaining the CNS credential attests to the qualifications, advanced skills and professional stature of an advanced personalized nutrition professional.

BCNS is affiliated with non-profit organizations in the nutrition field: the American Nutrition Association® (ANA®), the American College of Nutrition®, the Accreditation Council for Nutrition Professional EducationSM, and the ANA FoundationSM.

BCNS is a separate and independent organization: It is a separate legal entity, with its own fully independent Board of Directors, bylaws, and financials, and solely responsible for its certification standards and implementation.

BCNS neither recommends nor endorses any particular education or training from the ANA or any other organization for purposes of preparation for the CNS certification process.


BCNS awards the Certified Nutrition Specialist®(CNS®), and specialty credentials. All BCNS‐certified professionals earn these distinctions through education, experience, and by meeting the highest standards of science and practice of professional nutrition care validated by their performance through examination. The certification programs are developed for nutrition specialist practitioners throughout the United States.

Certified Nutrition Specialist® (CNS®) 

The CNS designation demonstrates to colleagues, clients, employers and the public at large that certified individuals have the knowledge and proficiency required of the professional nutrition practice. BCNS has established qualifying pathways for Nutritionists, APRNs, DCs, DDSs, NDs, PAs, PharmDs, MDs, DOs, and other advanced-degreed health professionals who wish to demonstrate competence as advanced clinical nutrition professionals and/or obtain a potential pathway to state licensure for nutrition practice and Medical Nutrition Therapy. The Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) is formal recognition for nutrition professionals who have met rigorous and demanding eligibility requirements, including postgraduate education, subsequent supervised practice in professional nutrition and demonstration of a depth and breadth of knowledge appropriate for effective practice in the profession of nutrition.

The CNS® program is accredited by the NCCA. NCCA accreditation distinguishes the CNS® for its robust and reliable process for development, implementation, maintenance, and governance of the certification.

Certified Ketogenic Nutrition Specialist℠ (CKNS℠)

The CKNS designation demonstrates to the public that certified professionals are trained on the appropriate, safe, and effective therapeutic use of ketogenic nutrition to improve clinical outcomes in a broad range of chronic metabolic conditions.

Certified Nutritional Genomics Specialist℠ (CNGS℠)

The CNGS designation will help identify you as a trained professional in Nutritional Genomics. By successfully completing the Nutritional Genomics Training Program offered by the American Nutrition Association (ANA), you have completed the first step to earn this credential.

If you would like to verify the status of a CNS, please contact [email protected]