RHN vs Dietician

    Q: What is the difference between a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a Registered Dietician?

    A: Registered Holistic Nutritionists are granted their designation after completing a demanding course of study set by the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition . They must complete the program within the allotted time frame (1 or 2 years) along with case studies, subject-specific, board and oral examinations, and practicum hours, with a cumulative minimum average of 80% to graduate. The school then grants them the RHN designation. Many RHNs go on to join the IONC, or International Organization of Nutritional Consultant and obtain the RNCP designation. RHNs and RNCPs must abide by strict codes of ethics or face consequences like losing their designation and the right to practice. RNCPs must complete annual upgrading requirements to keep their title. There has been much confusion lately with use of the term “nutritionist”. Although it is true that anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist”, only graduates from the CSNN program can call themselves an RHN. There are other nutrition schools granting various designations, and the client should investigate the credentials of their practitioner if they doubt their training or experience. Dieticians play an important role in the community, educating large groups of people, working in hospitals and other health care institutions. They have completed their bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and an internship program to gain clinical experience in their chosen field of employment. Most Dieticians (95%, according to our sources) work in clinics, industry or institutions, and about 5% are in private practice. Dieticians are regulated under the Regulated Health Practitioners Act. Although some RHNs are employed in clinics and by the food industry, most RHNs work in private practice. Dieticians follow general recommendations for food selection set out by the Canada Food Guide. RHNs do not believe that there should be one guide for everyone, because everyone is different. However, RHNs recognize and appreciate that the Canada Food Guide is a reference tool for persons that are generally healthy and active without any health conditions or symptoms of ill-health. Registered Holistic Nutritionists respect the education, training and expertise of Registered Dieticians. Because of the differences in thier training, an RHN will take a different approach (as compared with a Dietician) to nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. RHNs help their clients choose appropriate foods specific to their needs and sensitivities and provide other services with respect to this selection process. Dieticians have many other specific skills, especially in the areas of psychology and education. Some dieticians have even joined the IONC as RNCPs, or obtained an RHN designation. We welcome the opportunity of working with Dieticians and other Health Professionals for the good of our clients.


    **Please note this information was obtained through wellness wizards.com.

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