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CNS Certification - American College of Nutrition

Has anyone taken the Certified Nutrition Specialist certification that is offered by the American College of Nutrition (http://www.cbns.org/CertificationProcess.htm).

I was thinking about doing this, to add to my credentials - since it seems to be pretty well respected and I certainly do not want to be an RD. I am already a licenced nutritionist in New Mexico - but want some kind of board certification in nutrition. I looked into the CCN credential which looks interesting but does not hold hold the same level of respect among our more conventional nutrition piers as does the CNS credential. It certainly appears to be a great alternative to the RD credential.

I would love to know if it is worth applying for. What do you guys think?

Laz

username: redcoat72

Hi Laz, I am working towards

Hi Laz,

I am working towards the CNS certification because it is a direct route for me to licensure as a nutritionist in MN. One of my professors at University of Bridgeport was a CNS and several were CCNs. Since you've already been to the ACN/CNS site you know that to take the exam you have to have a MS or higher degree and 1000 supervised work experience hours or 4000 hours of independent work as a professional nutritionist in a professional setting.

It might help to check out each organization's annual conference programs- speakers, topics, costs, etc. Since attendance is required at a certain number of these conferences for CEU, this is important. I might be wrong about this, but I think, at one time anyway, Stephen Wright, MD and Joseph Pizzorno ND, past pres of Bastyr U. were involved in an advisory capacity with the CCN. Can anyone confirm that for me??

Several NutritionCircle members took the CCN exam last week. They should have some good insight!

Teri

Submitted by Teri Gruss on 31 Mar, 2007

What is the difference

What is the difference between the CNS and CCN?

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Submitted by Patrick W on 31 Mar, 2007

The websites for both

The websites for both nutrition certification board organizations will explain the differences alot better than I can- here they are:

http://www.cncb.org/

http://www.cbns.org/CertificationProcess.htm

Teri

Submitted by Teri Gruss on 31 Mar, 2007

Thanks! Is one better than

Thanks!

Is one better than the other though? Is one looked at more critically than the other?

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Submitted by Patrick W on 31 Mar, 2007

Which is better, Hum, that's

Which is better, Hum, that's a good question. I think that the choice depends alot on your career path and even the licensing laws in your state. Are you planning to go into clinical practice? The CCN certification, according to some that took the exam last week , think that it is geared more to the clinical practitioner.

In Minnesota the licensing laws which until recently were adapted to RDs, state that a nutritionist with a CCN certification must practice under the supervision of a medical doctor, but a nutritionist with a CNS certification can after licensure maintain a private practice.

Hopefully this illustrates the confusion that non traditional (non RD) certification presents.

I really scoured through both websites and the licensing statues in my state, before deciding on the CNS. And then, there are nutritionists out there that are certfiied through both organizations.

I suspect that there isn't a black and white answer to your good question. My best advice is determine your goals, understand the licensure laws in your state and scour each website, call them with questions and talk to people with credentials from each board.

Teri

Submitted by Teri Gruss on 31 Mar, 2007

great, thanks. Where do I

great, thanks.

Where do I find the licensure laws of my state (AZ)? Is it on those sites (I didn't see it if it was)?

My goals would be different than most. I have a degree in exercise science and I am the head of strength and conditioning for a phyiscal therapy and athletic training facility. I typically refer out to an RD for nutrition work for some of my clients (although I typically don't agree with most RD's, this one is pretty darn good). I have studied lots of nutrition on my own and I want to get something that kind of validates me (hence the reason I am thinking about the degree from Univ. of Bridgeport) more than just saying "I am a guy that is pretty well read". Plus, I want to never have to refer out for things. I want to take my athletes of general population clients and be able to handle all the stuff.....training, nutrition, soft tissue work....myself (less cooks in the kitchen so to speak). I would only be refering out for special cases once I had something that licensed me (ie, certain health problems that I don't feel I would be the best at dealing with).

Patrick

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Submitted by Patrick W on 31 Mar, 2007

Patrick, You want to combine

Patrick,

You want to combine your exercise science/phys therapy work with nutrition. That makes alot of sense. One of my classmates at the University of Bridgeport was a certified personal training, a chef and got her MS in Human Nutrition. That's a nice package!

As far as I know -how you are able to practice all comes down to the laws in your own state. Maybe your state is one that doesn't require licensing for nutritionists???

Go down to the legal, licensing and insurance forum, the last category on the site and there is a forum on licensing requirements. To take the CNS you have to have a masters degree or higher degree and to take the CCN, you have to meet a list of academic requirements and intern for 900 hours, just like RDs have to, unless you have a masters from etiher U Bridgeport or Bastyr. So maybe that will help you decide what direction to go. I recommend that you go to your state's gov website, search for dietitician/nutritionist licensure and read all of it. Just do a google search like your state nutrition licensure law and you should be directed to your state's site. Good luck!

Teri

Submitted by Teri Gruss on 31 Mar, 2007

Okay, great! Thanks for the

Okay, great! Thanks for the help.

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Submitted by Patrick W on 31 Mar, 2007

QUOTE(Patrick W @ Mar 31

QUOTE(Patrick W @ Mar 31 2007, 02:08 PM) [snapback]348[/snapback]
Is one better than the other though? Is one looked at more critically than the other?
***********************************************************************************************

I do not know them both well enough to make definitive statements, but here is my sense:

  • Both seem very well respected within the field of nutrition and complementary medicine
  • Both seem to be well run. I've had good interaction with the CNCB (CCN) and have had good conversations with Pearl Small of the CBNS (CNS)
  • CNS seems to maybe be a little more research oriented vs. CCN more clinical oriented (relatively speaking)
  • CNS maybe targets people more specifically focused on nutrition (eg PhDs etc), while CCN also targets other practitioners who incorporate nutrition into their practices (eg Chiro's)
  • Both exams seem to be fairly rigorous - only someone who has a pretty good handle on nutrition could pass them. I took the CCN, and I have the Exam study guide with sample questions for the CNS from Pearl. CCNs questions tended somewhat more toward clinical application than CNS's.
  • The CNS does seem to carry more weight with some state licensing boards. A PhD I know in Connecticut lobbied (successfully I believe) to have the CNS be an alternative licensing exam to the RD exam. Illinois doesn't do that, but does specifically permit licensed LDNs to put CNS after their name if they have the cert. Teri mentioned above the weight it carries in MN licensing. I don't know of similar recognition of CCN, but that doesn't mean there isn't any.
  • CCN is maybe a little more 'alternative minded'
  • At the end of the day, there is probably a lot of overlap. Many people are members of both, I suspect.

Again, these are my sense only. Please correct or add to what I've noted.

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~Michael
Submitted by MichaelS on 8 Apr, 2007

Teri, I would like to talk to

Teri,

I would like to talk to you about your decision to pursue the CNS. I am also in Minnesota and a DC. I start the MS in September.

healthdetective@gmail.com

CBS
 

Submitted by healthdetective on 11 Apr, 2007

Healthdetective- I am so

Healthdetective-
I am so sorry for the lagtime in responding to you- I have been preoccupied and behind in reading posts on NC but I'm trying to catch up this week. Ask me anything! Are you going into the UB MS program? I have zeroed in on the CNS because of licensure laws in Minnesota.

Teri

Submitted by Teri Gruss on 27 Jun, 2007

From the CBNS website

From the CBNS website regarding professional experience requirement before sitting for the CNS exam:

All applicants are required to complete by the time of the examination either:
a) 1000 hours of supervised professional experience in nutrition or related activities, or
cool.gif 4000 hours of independent experience as a professional nutritionist in a professional setting.
Professional experience may include, singly or in combination, experience as a nutritionist, dietitian, nutrition researcher, or public policy nutritionist. Documented self-employment is acceptable. This experience may not include work for which graduate credits were awarded while matriculated in a full or part-time program of the degree-conferring graduate study being cited to satisfy the educational requirement noted above. The Credentials Committee of the CBNS will decide on the applicability of unusual experience in individual cases.

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~Michael
Submitted by MichaelS on 5 Jul, 2007

QUOTE(Patrick W @ Mar 31

QUOTE(Patrick W @ Mar 31 2007, 04:41 PM) [snapback]351[/snapback]
great, thanks.

Where do I find the licensure laws of my state (AZ)? Is it on those sites (I didn't see it if it was)?
Patrick

Patrick - check out this Topic, which has a good start of what you are looking for: http://www.nutritioncircle.org/forums/inde...=licensure+laws If memory serves me correctly, AZ doesn't have a licensure requirement...

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~Michael
Submitted by MichaelS on 5 Jul, 2007

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