Why I Changed to the RDN Credential

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I must confess: When the optional change of our profession’s credential from “registered dietitian” for “registered dietitian nutritionist” was announced, like many others, I wasn’t so sure about it. After all, we have worked so hard to put “RD” and “registered dietitian” on the tips of the public’s tongues as they seek out credible nutrition advice.

But after hearing Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President Ethan Bergman speak at the MINK Conference in April, I was convinced.

I’m making the switch to RDN.

President Bergman stated that the Academy had carried out extensive research on this issue to find out what title would be best for our brand, and decided on adopting RDN.

The truth is, the public just knows the title “nutritionist” better. And besides, “nutritionist” gets more hits on Google. At the end of the day, we all want to use a title that promotes all that we do as professionals, and maybe this one captures all aspects of it better.

It’s got to be worth a try, but regardless whether you plan to remain an RD or become an RDN, the key remains being the best you can be, having a strong online and social media presence to actively share evidence-based information in a fun and interactive way, and being the go-to source of expert nutrition advice.

This credentialing change is particularly interesting to me. When I graduated more 10 years ago in the United Kingdom, we all had SRD credentials — meaning State Registered Dietitian — after our names. But today, British dietitians use RD. Like everything related to nutrition, as evidence comes in, our approach adapts to it. This could be the same with title.

It will be fascinating to see if other countries follow our lead on this.

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Rebecca Subbiah
Rebecca Subbiah, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist in both the UK and the US with a wide range of experience in different clinical areas and social media. From her home in North Carolina, she blogs at ChowandChatter.com and created the Chow & Chatter To Go recipe app. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.