Washington State Certification

Certification for Dietitians in Washington State

In the state of Washington, the title of certified dietitian, certified nutritionist, dietitian, CD, CN, or D is to ensure that sound nutritional advice is given to patients and clients. Not only is it used to protect the patient/client, but to benefit the dietitian/nutritionist, the employees, and the dietetic profession.

The following examples explain how beneficial certification can be for the dietitian/nutritionist:

  • Dietitians certified from other states, who move to Washington State, and apply for certification are required to provide the department of health with a letter from the previous state in which they are certified. The letter informs the WA Department of Health of any outstanding disciplinary orders against them for misinformation given to a patient/client. Certification may be denied in the state of Washington with an opportunity for a hearing.
  • Facilities can be certain of a dietitian's or nutritionist's background when hiring an individual who is given the CD/CN title.
  • Medical Assistance Administration (MAA) guidelines only allow a Certified Dietitian to bill for services i.e. Healthy Kids/EPSDT and nutritional evaluation to recieve medical nutritionals (infant formula, medical formula, and nutritional supplements).
  • It is not mandatory to have a CD/CN title for insurance. However, due to changes in insurance benefits for health care facilities, many facilities are now requiring the dietitian/nutritionist to have a CD/CN title.
  • There are very few nutritionists within the state of Washington who meet the requirement for a CN title. However, a CN title can provide a distinct recognition for those select few to protect what they have worked so hard to acheive.

The law relating to dietitians and nutritionists in the state of Washington is 18.138 RCW. A booklet can be obtained from the WA Department of Health, which clearly outlines the minimum requirements for certification.

The minimum requirement for a registered dietitian is:

  • a baccalaureate degree or higher and evidence of completion of a continuous pre-professional experience or coordinated undergraduate program in dietetics under the supervision of a qualified supervisor.  This includes the ACEND-required supervised competency based practice hours.
  • a current CDR card.
  • four hours of HIV/AIDS training.

The minimum requirement for a nutritionist is:

  • a master's or doctorate degree in one of the following areas: human nutrition, nutrition education, foods and nutrition, or public health nutrition.
  • seven hours of HIV/AIDS training.

Dietitians and nutritionists are required to renew their certifications every year before their birthday. A renewal card and the appropriate fee are needed.

Training to meet certification requirements (AIDS) may be available online, at local community colleges or at the Red Cross.  You'll find information regarding online course options here.

If you have questions about the certification process, you may contact:

WA Department of Health - Health Professions Quality Assurance
360/ 236-4700
e-mail: HPQA.CSC@doh.wa.gov

Link to the Washington State DOH website info here.

To link directly to the certification application form - click here