Certified Nutrition Specialist
I haven’t been keeping up with writing blog posts like I have wanted to the last month or so. What’s kept me occupied in the meantime? I’d been focusing on studying for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam. I spent a lot of time reviewing material I studied during my Master’s program and connecting with others on the same path as me to learn and prepare.
The CNS exam is administered by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists. While there are many different certifications for health coaches, wellness coaches, nutritionists, the CNS credential may be the only that is comparable to the Registered Dietitian (RD/ RDN) credential, accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCAA) and the most recognized non-dietetics credential. Unlike many “overnight” nutrition certificates, the CNS credential requires a Master’s degree in the field of nutrition science with coursework covering a variety of nutrition topics as well as physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology and a few others. Upon degree completion, the Board also requires 1,000 hours of practical experience in the field of nutrition. Lastly, taking and passing the CNS exam will finally lead you to obtain your CNS credential award.
In the state of California, nutritionists aren’t legally required to undergo any sort of training unlike RD’s who are legally required to maintain certification. So essentially, anyone can read a book or take some 6-week course and call themselves a nutritionist. So, then why did I go through all this trouble to get my degree, work on my hours and take this exam? What people forget is that nutrition is a science and the foods, nutrients and chemicals we put into a body have a direct outcome on our health. You wouldn’t want your doctor to read an anatomy book, skip medical school training and just open up shop! That would be incredibly dangerous. So, why treat your nutritionist differently? Especially in the currently environment when supplement companies are pushing supplements, vitamins and minerals, and the food industry to processing and manipulating our foods, you would want someone that is educated and knowledgeable in the field to guide you in what can be safe and what to avoid. And I want to be that person! That is why I invested my time and energy in getting relevant training to help clients make the best choices to support a happy and healthy body.
So, what’s next? I am still working on completing my experience hours, and once that is complete, I will officially hold the title of Certified Nutrition Specialist. And as I do now, I will continue to focus on clients and their individual needs. No two persons are the same and every individual has different goals and needs when it comes to their nutrition and health. Understanding how our bodies work and the effects foods and nutrients have on our health, will help me achieve just that!