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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: Nutrition Educator
Date: March 12, 2010 at 7:55 am PST

In Reply to: Nutrition Educator posted by Connie on February 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm:

Thanks for your post, and sorry for the delay in my reply.

Ultimately, the answer lies in what specific type of career activity you want, and in health care reform. If health care reform is ever passed, and nutrition as disease therapy ever takes hold, then reimbursement will become an issue. Insurance companies may eventually agree to provide reimbursement for nutrition to treat a wide range of diseases, but they'll probably grant that only to properly-credentialed professionals---RDs and possibly CNS (but not to graduates of Bauman, Clayton College, National Inst of Whole Health or Certified Holistic Counselors). So, if you want to counsel clients to treat disease, then I recommend the RD. Please know that even though you have to attend an accredited program and internship, afterward, you can direct your interests and knowledge in any direction you like. If you want to obtain additional training in holistic approaches, and offer those services, you certainly can.
I was not able to verify that Clayton is approved by the CBNS, and I would be very surprised if they were. CBNS issues the CNS (certified nutrition spec-ialist), which is not recognized in all states, but it does provide a lot more credibility than Clayton, Bauman or NIWH.

Schools (such as National Inst of Whole Health) are not registered with insurance companies for reimbursement. Only individuals who hold credentials from recognized Boards (such as CBNS, or CDR, which is a branch of ADA) can become registered as reimbursable.

In short, alternative credentials will not allow you to become reimbursed via insurance companies or the government's programs (Medicare and Medicaid). You might check out Bastyr ( which combines holistic and conventional approaches, but they are located in Washington state.

I hope that helps,
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD

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