On Monday, Rutgers University graduated 20 students of a new, entry-level master’s of science in clinical nutrition program that the school says is the first of its kind in the nation.
“When these students graduate, we believe they are going to function at a higher level of practice and professionalism than was previously possible,” Jennifer Tomesko, program director, and an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Health Professions said. “They will be better prepared to be critical thinkers and clinicians who will perform evidence-based practice.”
The course is designed to meet changing requirements that call for a master’s degree for registered dietitian nutritionists by 2024, which is not a current condition.
Students must currently earn a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from an accredited school and then complete an accredited 1,200-hour dietetic internship or accredited bachelor’s or master’s level coordinated program to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians Nutritionists.
Current requirements do not include the Master’s degree.
Rutgers says the United States has an increasing need for nutritionists and dietitians, with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting growth of 11 percent in the industry through 2028, faster than average for all professions.