Hello! Thanks for landing on our site. This page is home to over 300 Registered Dietitian Nutritionist members of South Dakota. That’s about 1 RDN for every 2300 South Dakotans!
Though a small group, RDNs are mighty in knowledge, with an undergraduate degree similar to pre-medicine but with more nutritional science, biochemistry and physiology. While everyone is affected by nutrition because we all eat, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can help tailor nutrition recommendations to your situation and help you become an expert at your own body.
Just like any other health practitioner, dietitians come in all shapes, sizes, flavors and specialties.
Some are sporty, like granola bars.
Some are hipster, like kale.
some are nerdy, like quinoa.
some are crunchy, like peanut butter.
Some are cultured, like yogurt.
some are practical, like pizza.
Where can I find a dietitian?
While RDNs can commonly be found in hospitals, clinics, food service management, kidney centers, and government programs you can also find them in gyms, private practice, worksite wellness, grant programs, Extension services and community outreach, grocery stores, policy, schools, management, speaking, writing and more.
They might specialize in general nutrition, weight management, plant-based nutrition, eating disorders, intuitive eating, kidney disease, diabetes, women’s health, digestive health, pediatrics, athletic performance, recipe development, technology, marketing, oncology, long-term care, transplant, food safety, food manufacturing, teaching....the options are really endless!
If you can’t find a dietitian, just ask around! Check with your local hospital, clinic, or grocery store, search the web or social media, or click below to view our Find a Dietitian Directory.
What is a dietitian?
At a minimum, RDNs are required to have:
A bachelor’s degree in nutritional science or dietetics from an ACEND-accredited school. Some second-career RDNs opt for a master’s degree instead, and starting in 2024 a master’s degree will be required for all RDNs.
Completed a 1,200 hour approved, accredited internship/supervised practice in a variety of areas.
Passed a national exam administered by CDR - the Commission on Dietetic Registration - that tests general, clinical, community, & food service management competencies.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists must pay annual registration fees to keep their certification, and complete 75 hours of continuing professional education units every 5 years. Each state has different licensure laws as well, so depending on where you plan to practice, requirements for CEUs may be required to be submitted on an annual basis.
Dietitians are Educated On:
Clinical Nutrition / Medical Nutrition Therapy
This includes how nutrition affects different disease states and the role it plays in preventative health and wellness. RDNs in clinical practice also learn how about prescribing therapeutic diets, calculating appropriate tube feedings and intravenous feedings, food-drug interactions, and lab interpretations.
This includes how to run a commercial kitchen in a hospital, school district, or nonprofit setting, and also how to manage employees, practice food safety, and implement industrial-level cooking.
Advanced Nutritional Science
RDNS in this area know about the biochemistry of how the body digests food and absorbs and utilizes nutrients. They also know about the physiological importance of all the vitamins and minerals, how to spot deficiencies, and how metabolic disorders affect nutrient status.
Food science includes the science behind how the ingredients in a recipe affect the final product, how to use scientific methods to test recipes, developing new products, and performing sensory evaluations. This area also includes performing a nutritional analysis and creating a nutrition label, understanding food labeling and terminology, and industrial food research and production.
Counseling & Behavior Change
RDNs learn the best methods for counseling patients/clients, motivational interviewing techniques, and how to create lasting behavior change.
Many dietitians choose to take courses in specialized areas such as maternal and child nutrition (proper nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy), integrative and functional nutrition (looking at the body as a system, and understanding nutrition’s integral role in optimal heath), community nutrition (how to run community-level nutrition programs to improve the nutritional status of those living in low-income areas or food deserts), or complementary and alternative nutrition (how foods and herbal supplements can help promote wellness naturally and support the body’s systems).