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What is the CNS credential?

Since nutrition is one of those fields with many blurred lines and dubious definitions (what about health coaches, nutrition counselors, dieticians, etc.?), it's important to know what credentials your nutritionist has. Many more people are familiar with registered dieticians (RD) and their credentials and while a lot of what we do overlaps, there are real differences in what we do and how we practice. There is a place for all of us and our specialties. 

As found on the American Nutrition Association website (, "The Certified Nutrition Specialist® credential (CNS®) is the most advanced certification for personalized nutrition practitioners. Certified Nutrition Specialists practice science-based personalized nutrition therapy to power people to health. They are spearheading the transformation from population-based to personalized nutrition, and from disease care to authentic health care".

Those seeking this credential must obtain an advanced degree (graduate or doctorate) in nutrition by an accredited institution. They must also complete 1,000 hours of supervised clinical hours as well as pass the rigorous exam set by the Board of Certified Nutrition Specialists. This is the credential I am currently a candidate for.