Dietitian FAQs

Q1: Can another licensed health care professional, such as a Registered Nurse, provide nutrition advice?
A: Anyone may provide general non-medical nutrition information as described in Ohio Administrative Code Rule 4759-2-01(M). Pursuant to Section 4759.10(A) of the Ohio Revised Code, a health care professional licensed under Title 47 of the Revised Code who is acting within the scope of their profession may provide nutrition advice. However, a health care professional who is not a licensed dietitian may not use the title of dietitian or in any other way represent themselves as practicing dietetics.


Q2: Can a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) provide nutrition advice?
A:
A Certified Diabetes Educator may provide nutrition information related to the scope of their training. A Certified Diabetes Educator credential is a specialty which focuses on diabetes education, such as carbohydrate counting, food choices, timing of meals and snacks. Changes to insulin levels or other medications must be ordered by the physician or other licensed health professional whose scope of practice specifically includes prescriptive authority. The CDE certification itself does not authorize writing medication prescriptions.


Q3: What are the requirements to be a dietary director in a nursing home?
A:
Please see Chapter 3701-17 of the Ohio Administrative Code which are the Ohio Department of Health regulations for nursing homes. Pursuant to rule 3701-17-07(H) of the Ohio Administrative Code:
A food service manager designated pursuant to paragraph (J) of rule 3701-17-18 of the Administrative Code who has supervisory and management responsibility and the authority to direct and control food preparation and service shall obtain the level two certification in food protection according to rule 3701-21-25 of the Administrative Code.


Q4: What titles are restricted by Ohio law?
A:
Ohio law prohibits anyone, other than a licensed dietitian, from using the title “dietitian” or any title, designation, words, letters, abbreviations, letters, insignia, or combination thereof tending to indicate that the person is practicing dietetics. Ohio Revised Code Section 4759.02(B).
The terms "Nutritionist", "Nutrition Counselor", and like terms tend to indicate that the person is practicing dietetics. Ohio Administrative Code 4759-2-01(K)


Q5: Who is exempt from licensure and regulation by the State Medical Board of Ohio?
A:
Pursuant to R.C. 4759.10, sections 4759.01 to 4759.08 of the Revised Code do not apply to:

A. A person licensed under Title XLVII of the Revised Code who is acting within the scope of the person's profession, provided that the person complies with division (B) of section 4759.02 of the Revised Code;
B. A person who is a graduate of an associate degree program approved by the academy of nutrition and dietetics or the state medical board who is working as a dietetic technician under the supervision of a dietitian licensed under section 4759.06 of the Revised Code or registered by the commission on dietetic registration, except that the person is subject to division (B) of section 4759.02 of the Revised Code if the person uses a title other than "dietetic technician";
C. A person who practices dietetics related to employment in the armed forces, veteran's administration, or the public health service of the United States;
D. Persons employed by a nonprofit agency approved by the board or by a federal, state, municipal or county government, or by any other political subdivision, elementary or secondary school, or an institution of higher education approved by the state medical board or by a regional agency recognized by the council on postsecondary accreditation, who performs only nutritional education activities and such other nutritional activities as the board, by rule, permits, provided the person does not violate division (B) of section 4759.02 of the Revised Code;
E. A person who has completed a program meeting the academic standards set for dietitians by the academy of nutrition and dietetics, received a baccalaureate or higher degree from a school, college, or university approved by a regional accreditation agency recognized by the council on postsecondary accreditation, works under the supervision of a licensed dietitian or registered dietitian, and does not violate division (B) of section 4759.02 of the Revised Code;
F. A person when acting, under the direction and supervision of a person licensed under Title XLVII of the Revised Code, in the execution of a plan of treatment authorized by the licensed person, provided the person complies with division (B) of section 4759.02 of the Revised Code;
G. The free dissemination of literature in the state;
H. Provided that the persons involved in the sale, promotion, or explanation of the sale of food, food materials, or dietary supplements do not violate division (B) of section 4759.02 of the Revised Code, the sale of food, food materials, or dietary supplements and the marketing and distribution of food, food materials, or dietary supplements and the promotion or explanation of the use of food, food materials, or dietary supplements provided that the promotion or explanation does not violate Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code;
I. A person who offers dietary supplements for sale and who makes the following statements about the product if the statements are consistent with the dietary supplement's label or labeling:
1. Claim a benefit related to a classical nutrient deficiency disease and disclose the prevalence of the disease in the United States;
2. Describe the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient intended to affect the structure or function of the human body;
3. Characterize the documented mechanism by which a nutrient or dietary ingredient acts to maintain the structure or function of the human body;
4. Describe general well-being from the consumption of a nutrient or dietary ingredient.
J. Provided that the persons involved in presenting a general program of instruction for weight control do not violate division (B) of section 4759.02 of the Revised Code, a general program of instruction for weight control approved in writing by a licensed dietitian, a physician licensed under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code to practice medicine or surgery or osteopathic medicine or surgery, a person licensed in another state that the board considers to have substantially equivalent licensure requirements as this state, or a registered dietitian;

K. The continued practice of dietetics at a hospital by a person employed at that same hospital to practice dietetics for the twenty years immediately prior to July 1, 1987, so long as the person works under the supervision of a dietitian licensed under section 4759.06 of the Revised Code and does not violate division (B) of section 4759.02 of the Revised Code. This division does not apply to any person who has held a license issued under this chapter to practice dietetics. As used in this division, "hospital" has the same meaning as in section 3727.01 of the Revised Code.


Q6: How do I make a complaint if I think that someone is violating the dietetics licensure law?
A:
A complaint may be submitted by going to the File a Complaint page on this website. 


Q7: What can unlicensed personnel such as dietary managers, dietary clerks, or dietary aides do in the area of nutrition care?
A:
Persons who do not meet the criteria for licensure or exemption from licensure may not practice dietetics even under supervision. If properly trained, unlicensed assistive personnel may collect and record nutritional data to assist the dietitian with assessments and counseling. Evaluating or interpreting nutritional data is considered the practice of dietetics. Refer to Guideline D for further clarification.


Q8: What can the student dietitian or student dietetic technician do?
A:
The board recognizes that work experiences are a proper and necessary part of an educational program pursuant to 4759-5-02 OAC. A student may not engage in dietetic practice beyond that which is a part of the academic or pre-professional program. The dietitian that provides supervision should remember that students should only be working at the level of his/her educational experiences.


Q9: Can a Licensed Dietitian (LD) take an order from a physician either electronically or telephonically?
A:
Only approved medical health professionals may be involved in the prescription process. At times it may be necessary that a physician phones in or electronically transmits a diet order, which the LD can include in the patient’s plan of care. This applies to therapeutic dietary needs, but NOT medications.


Q10: Does Ohio law address billing codes for dietitian use?
A:
The Medical Board does not have laws or rules related to billing. Other state agencies, such as the Ohio Department of Medicaid may address this issue.


Q11: A Dietetic Technician, Registered, has advanced their career and completed all educational requirements to take the Registered Dietitian national exam. Do they need a Limited Permit to practice dietetics?
A:
Yes. Pursuant to Ohio Administrative Code rule 4759-4-08, they must also take the examination for licensure within seven months of the issuance of the limited permit.


Q12: Can a dietetic technician provide free diabetes education to uninsured individuals?

A: Pursuant to section 4759.10(B) of the Ohio Revised Code, the supervising licensed dietitian assigns tasks based on the dietetic technician’s competency. Ohio law is to be followed regardless if fees are charged or not.


Q13: What is the scope of practice for a licensed dietitian?
A:
Pursuant to section 4759.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, the practice of dietetics means any of the following:

Nutritional assessment to determine nutritional needs and to recommend appropriate nutritional intake, including enteral and parenteral nutrition;
Nutritional counseling or education as components of preventive, curative, and restorative health care;
Development, administration, evaluation, and consultation regarding nutritional care standards.

 

Q14: What areas of nutrition and dietetics require licensure?
A:
Ohio law set forth in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4759 is a mandatory licensure law, which became effective on July 1, 1987. This means that everyone who practices dietetics, as defined in the law, must be licensed, unless specifically exempted. The three areas defined as dietetic practice are:

1. Nutritional assessment to determine nutritional needs and to recommend appropriate nutritional intake, including enteral and parenteral nutrition.
2. Nutritional counseling or education as components of preventive, curative, and restorative health care
3. Development, administration, evaluation, and consultation regarding nutritional care standards. Ohio Revised Code section 4759.01(A)

Dietitian licensure law sets minimum standards. Agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. are free to add additional requirements to job descriptions and requirements, e.g. Registered Dietitian (RD), length of experience, type of experience.


Q15: What are the requirements to become licensed as a dietitian in Ohio?
A:
The requirements for licensure are set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 4759.06(A):

1. Has satisfactorily completed an application for licensure in accordance with division (A) of section 4759.05 of the Revised Code:
2. Has paid the fee required under division (A) of section 4759.08 of the Revised Code;
3. Is of good moral character;
4. Has received a baccalaureate or higher degree from an institution of higher education that is approved by the board or a regional accreditation agency that is recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Post-Secondary Accreditation, and has completed a program consistent with the academic standards for dietitians established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

and

5. Has successfully completed a pre-professional dietetic experience approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or experience approved by the board under division (A) (3) of section 4759.05 of the Revised Code;
6. Has passed the examination approved by the board under division (A) (1) of section 4759.05 of the Revised Code;

The board shall waive the requirements of 4, 5, and 6 for Registered Dietitians with the Commission on Dietetic Registration who present satisfactory evidence of current registration.


Q16: What about the use of RD by a registered dietitian?
A:
The Registered Dietitian (RD) is a trademark of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Those who are registered may continue to use the designation “registered dietitian” and the abbreviation “RD”, but they may not practice dietetics in Ohio as defined in the law, unless they are also licensed in Ohio. Ohio Revised Code Section 4759.02(C).


Q17: What would happen if I dropped my RD status?
A:
Provided an individual maintains licensure as a dietitian in Ohio the individual may continue to practice dietetics and use the LD credential. The law requires that licensed dietitians provide proof of continuing education when they renew their license. The documentation process for continuing education would change.


Q18: What documentation of continuing education is required to maintain licensure?
A:
Licensees must comply with two continuing education requirements for renewal of the license as described in rule 4759-4-04 of the Ohio Administrative Code.
1. Licensees must maintain general continuing education for licensure in Ohio in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of the Commission on Dietetic Registration for Registered Dietitians – 75 hours in a 5-year period, utilizing the Professional Development Portfolio Process.
The dietitian who is also an RD, will, by maintaining registration, meet the requirement for continuing education in Ohio law. The licensed dietitian who is not an RD must provide evidence of continuing education directly to the board.
2. Additionally, the board has a one-hour jurisprudence continuing education requirement for every renewal period for all licensees including RDs.


Q19: What are the penalties for violations of the law?
A:
For violations of R.C. 4759.07, the board may limit, revoke, or suspend an individual's license or limited permit, refuse to issue a license or limited permit to an individual, refuse to renew a license or limited permit, refuse to reinstate a license or limited permit, or reprimand or place on probation the holder of a license or limited permit. The board may seek an injunction to stop the activities of an unlicensed person who is practicing dietetics illegally under Ohio Revised Code Section 4759.09. In addition, practicing dietetics without a license is a misdemeanor crime (Ohio Revised Code Section 4759.99).


Q20: What titles and signatures are appropriate for those practicing in the field of dietetics?
A:
To ensure compliance with Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4759:

  • Licensed dietitians may use the title "licensed dietitian", "dietitian", “nutritionist”, or "LD." If the licensed dietitian is also a registered dietitian, the letters "RD, LD" may be used.

  • Students -- Students enrolled in an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics approved baccalaureate, associate, or Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) may use the title "student dietitian" or "student dietetic technician."

Persons in pre-professional experiences:

a. Dietetic Intern --- may use title "dietetic intern."
b. Dietetic Technician --- may use "student dietetic technician."

 

Dietetic Technicians meeting the exemption and working under the supervision of the licensed dietitian may use Dietetic Technician (DT) or Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR), if registered.


Baccalaureate Graduates meeting the exemption and working under the supervision of the licensed dietitian may not use "dietitian" as a part of their job title. Nutrition Associate or Nutrition Assistant are suggested titles.


Limited Permit Holders who have completed educational and pre-professional experience requirements, but who have not yet taken the examination should use LP with their permit number, i.e. Name, LP number. If an LP holder has passed the RD exam, the RD credential may be added to their title, i.e. Name, RD, LP number, until the limited permit expires.

 

Q21: How often am I required to renew my license?
A:
You are required to renew your license once every two years by June 30th of every even numbered year.


Q22: What can happen if I do not renew my license?
A:
Licenses expire on June 30th of even numbered years, and a valid license is mandatory for practicing dietetics in Ohio. Practicing dietetics without a license is a violation of the law and the person could be subject to board discipline, an injunction, or even a criminal misdemeanor charge.


Q23: What is the procedure for name or address changes?
A:
Go to https://elicense.ohio.gov/oh_communitieslogin and log into your e-License account. Under options choose name change request or address change request and submit it through the e-License portal. If timely, you may also make appropriate name or address changes on your online application during licensure renewal. It is the licensee's responsibility to inform the board office of name and address changes.


Q24: Are limited permits available to practice dietetics? Who is eligible?
A:
A limited permit may be granted to a person who has completed the education and pre-professional requirements as specified in the law and who presents evidence to the board of intent to take the examination approved by the board within seven (7) months of the issuance of the limited permit.


Q25: Could I lose my limited permit?
A:
The permit enables the holder to engage in the full scope of practice and requires compliance with the laws and rules. A limited permit holder who has failed the examination once must report the results to the board office immediately and establish a direct supervisory relationship with a licensed dietitian to continue to practice. Failing the examination twice results in the immediate expiration of the limited permit. A limited permit shall not be issued to a person who has failed the examination two or more times.

 

Direct supervision, as required by Ohio Revised Code 4759.06(E)(4), and Ohio Administrative Code rule 4759-4-08, must be provided by a licensed dietitian for a person holding a limited permit who has failed the examination once. The licensee providing the direct supervision must be present on site or readily available by telecommunication. 
Further information about supervision is provided in Guideline C on the Medical Board’s website.


Q26: What are the requirements for supervision of persons, claiming exemption from licensure as dietetic technicians or baccalaureate degree Nutrition Associates?
A:
These persons must be supervised by a licensed dietitian in a manner which protects the public and given sufficient guidance to enable them to perform competently. Ohio Administrative Code rule 4759-5-01 specifically addresses supervision requirements. The licensee providing the supervision need not be on site at all times.


Q27: What are the fees associated with dietitian licensure?
A:
Application - Initial License $225.00
Renewal of License $180.00 Reinstatement - (expired 2 years or less) $205.00
Restoration - (expired more than 2 years) $230.00
Limited Permit and Renewal of Permit $65.00
License Verification $50.00


**Criminal Records Check
First time applicants for a license must submit fingerprints for a criminal records check completed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Instructions on how to accomplish this are posted at www.med.ohio.gov and associated fees will be charged by the fingerprinting site. See R.C. 4759.061.


Q28: Who is on the Dietetics Advisory Council?
A:
The members of the Advisory Council are appointed by the State Medical Board of Ohio. A majority of members must be licensed dietitians who are actively engaged in the practice of dietetics. One member must be an educator holding a doctoral degree and one member must be a public member to represent the interests of consumers. See R.C. 4759.051.