The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics just announced this week that they have approved the (currently) optional credential “RDN” for use by all Registered Dietitians (RD) credentialed by the Commisssion of Dietetic Registration.
This is a hot topic among RDs right now, and, as with any change, there is some resistance. I have always regarded “RD” as my credential, and have defined my title based on the context of my work. While I was “clinical dietitian” for a few years early in my career working both in the inpatient and outpatient settings of a hospital, I was later a Nutrition Consultant when I provided nutrition counseling to clients within a health maintenance organizations. Currently, I am a Nutrition Communications Consultant and Freelance Nutrition Writer, and sometimes a Nutrition Coach, who also happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (and a licensed dietitian-nutritionist for the state of Pennsylvania). After some thought, I will take on the new RDN, replacing my RD nomenclature. Just keep in mind, that they both represent a rigorous credential requirement.
To quote the Academy: “Every registered dietitian is a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a registered dietitian”.