Becoming a Licensed or Non-Licensed Nutritionist in Nebraska

Nebraska is another restrictiveNebraska state when it comes to dietitians and nutritionists. They only license “medical nutrition therapists,” or MNTs, and the definition of MNTs is very narrow. Only licensed medical nutrition therapists may legally provide nutrition care in Montana, including services like assessment, goal setting, counseling and nutritional advice. 

Does that mean that there is no place for unlicensed nutritionists in Nebraska? Not exactly. Unlicensed nutritionists, such as holistic nutrition professionals, must focus on providing general nutrition information on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, as well as general nutritional advice that applies to everyone and is not individualized. 

Here, we will discuss what a licensed nutritionist (i.e., a licensed medical nutrition therapist) and what an unlicensed nutritionist may legally do in Nebraska, and how you can become one or the other. 

Medical Nutrition Therapists, aka Licensed Nutritionists, in Nebraska

The intention of Nebraska’s licensing law for medical nutrition therapists is to license registered dietitians as MNTs. However, if you want to be a “licensed nutritionist,” this would be the closest thing to that title. Nebraska’s Medical Nutrition Therapy Practice Act states that medical nutrition therapy is “the assessment of the nutritional status of patients.” It involves assessment of a patient’s nutritional status, treatment which may range from modifying their diet to providing specialized nutrition support, determining a patient’s nutrient needs, and monitoring a patient’s response to treatment. Licensed MNTs may also order patient diets, including therapeutic diets.

How to Become a Licensed MNT/Nutritionist in Nebraska

Nebraska law states that there are a variety of ways that a person may become qualified to be a licensed medical nutrition therapist. They include:

  • Fulfilling the requirements of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) (for more details on this process, see Becoming a Registered Dietitian in Nebraska (link to article). This includes completing an approved dietetic education program with a bachelor’s degree, 900 hours of supervised dietetic experience, and scoring a passing grade on the RD exam. 
  • Receiving a master’s or doctorate degree in human nutrition, nutrition education, food and nutrition, or public health nutrition, and scoring a passing grade on the CDR exam
  • Receiving a master’s or doctoral degree in clinical nutrition, with at least 200 hours of biochemistry and physiology combined and 75 hours in human nutrition. You must also pass the CDR exam.

If you complete one of the above-mentioned ways to become a licensed MNT in Nebraska, the next step is to file an application. The fee is $114. Complete the Application for Medical Nutrition Therapy and be sure to include any required documentation. Mail it to: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Licensure Unit, P.O. Box 94986, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4986. If you have any questions about the application process, call (402) 471-4918 or email Once licensed, you must renew the license by September 1 of odd-numbered years. You will pay a $114 renewal fee and must complete 30 hours of continuing education during each licensure period.

Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Nebraska 

Nebraska’s law actually spells out what non-licensed nutritionists may do- in short, provide general nutrition services. The law says that this includes:

  • Identifying the nutritional needs of individuals and groups in relation to normal nutritional requirements
  • Planning, implementing and evaluating nutrition education programs for individuals and groups in selecting food to meet normal nutritional needs throughout a person’s life cycle

Additionally, the following persons may provide medical nutrition therapy without a license:

  • Anyone who is credentialed in Nebraska under the Uniform Credentialing Act and is engaging in services pertinent to that credential
  • Anyone serving in the armed forces or other federal agency, if their practice is limited to that service
  • Anyone who is conducting a teaching clinical demonstration in teaching a dietetics or nutrition program
  • Anyone performing general nutrition series incidental to the practice of their profession, as long as it does not exceed their education and training
  • Anyone who markets or distributes food, food materials or dietary supplements, advises on the usage of those products, or their preparation, or counsels individuals or groups in selecting such products to meet general nutritional needs
  • Anyone conducting classes or giving information on general nutritional services
  • Anyone caring for the sick in accordance with the tenets and practices of a church or religion
  • Anyone providing information and instructions regarding food intake or exercise as part of a weight control program
  • Anyone with an advanced postgraduate degree who is involved in academic teaching or research

Education and Credentials for Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Nebraska

If you plan to work as an unlicensed nutritionist in Nebraska, you need fulfill no educational or certification mandates. It is always a good idea, however, to have a level of training in nutrition and possibly professional certification. Some examples of degrees or certificates, as well as professional credentials, that you could pursue in Nebraska include:

  • Master of Science in Community Nutrition and Health Promotion – University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition – Purdue University Global (online)
  • Child Nutrition Training Academy Certification – through the Nebraska Department of Education and the University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP)- through the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals 

Positions for Non-Licensed Nutritionists in Nebraska

It is not necessary to have a license as a medical nutrition therapist in order to get a job in nutrition in Nebraska. The following positions for non-licensed nutritionists in Nebraska were available as of September 2022:

  • Open Rank Extension Educator, Food, Nutrition & Health – University of Nebraska, Lincoln
    • Salary: not specified
    • Master’s degree in nutrition, nutrition education, public health or related field required
    • RD Certification preferred
    • One year of experience in nutrition or health related field preferred
  • Nutritional Health Coach – Natural Grocers, Omaha
  • Food Service Director – Aramark, Omaha
    • Salary: not specified
    • Bachelor’s degree in nutrition or food required
    • Four years of experience required, one to three of them in a management role
    • Previous experience in food service required
  • Wellness Coach – Elkhorn
    • Salary: $25 to $30 per hour
    • Bachelor’s degree preferred
    • Two years of experience in wellness required
  • Assistant Food Service University – York University, York
    • Salary: $42,000 to $45,000 per year
    • Bachelor’s degree required
    • Two years of food service operations coordination experience required


Here is also some useful information on Becoming a Registered Dietitian in Nebraska.