Becoming a Registered Dietitian in Kansas

Kansas has higher obesity ratesKansas than the national average, according to a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As of 2020, 34.4 percent of adults in Kansas are obese, and 12.5 percent of Kansas youth ages 0-17 are obese. It is projected that within the next decade, if current trends continue, 55.6 percent of Kansas’ population will be obese. Increases in obesity in Kansas are associated with many factors, including cultural beliefs, access to food, socioeconomic status, and health behaviors.

Registered dietitians in Kansas can help residents to make better food choices and improve their overall health. Dietitians can also help them to manage diseases they already have through diet and lifestyle changes. Does this type of occupation interest you? If so, read on.

Education, Training and Experience for Registered, Licensed Dietitians in Kansas

The first thing that you must do in order to become a registered, licensed dietitian in Kansas is get the right education. You must select a program that has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the national regulating body for registered dietitians, has changed the degree requirement as of January 2024 to a master’s degree. You will see both undergraduate and graduate degrees listed among the programs accredited by ACEND in Kansas. These programs include:

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)– There is just one DPD in Kansas, resulting in a bachelor’s degree, and it includes solely courses. Once you finish your DPD, you are required to take on a Dietetic Internship (DI) of a minimum of 1000 hours. There is one DI in Kansas as of August 2022. 

Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP)- There is one CP in Kansas, and it integrates classwork with supervised experience of 1000 hours or more. There are two tracks available, a concurrent bachelor’s/master’s degree, and a stand-alone master’s degree.

Registration Examination for Dietitians in Kansas

Next, you must pass the CDR’s Examination for Registered Dietitians. You will be given the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates by a school representative and instructed on how to apply to take the exam. 

This examination is administered at Pearson VUE test centers, who also take care of collecting your $200 fee and processing your application. Centers in Kansas where you can take the exam are located in the cities of Hays, Wichita, Topeka, and Overland Park.

If you pass the CDR exam, you will be mailed your registration card some weeks later. 

Applying for Kansas Registered Dietitian Licensure 

You are now prepared to apply for dietitian licensure in Kansas. Download the Application Pack for the Application for Kansas Dietitian License. You will submit a pro-rated application fee, listed on the application pack, with required documentation (official transcripts, copy of CDR card) to [email protected] or by mail to Health Occupations Credentialing, 503 S. Kansas Ave, Suite 300c, Topeka, KS 66603-3414. 

RD licenses are issued for two years. They can be renewed online, as long as you enter 15 hours’ continuing education you have completed during the time period and pay the fee to renew your LD.

Becoming Certified as a Diabetes Educator in Kansas

One of the most commonly seen professional certifications for registered, licensed dietitians in Kansas is CDCES, or Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. This certification is offered through the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (ADCES) and is only for those who already have one professional credential such as RD, RN, RDN, PA, DO, MD, or pharmacist). To get your CDCES, you must have accumulated 15 hours of diabetes continuing education in the past two years, and have logged 200 hours of experience with diabetes in the past year. You must also pass an exam before you can receive your CDCES credentials. 

It’s not surprising that the CDCES is a common credential for Kansas RDs to have, when you consider the fact that as of 2020, 11.1 percent of Kansas adults reported ever being diagnosed with diabetes. Many cases of Type 2 diabetes can be controlled through dietary changes, with which a RD can assist. Cases of pre-diabetes can also be managed by an RD who helps patients to make better food choices. 

Earnings for Registered Dietitians in Kansas

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the annual median wage for the 470 nutritionists and dietitians (they group these occupations together) in Kansas (circa May 2021) at $60,450. Those working in the Wichita area make the most, at $62,680 annually; followed by dietitians in the Topeka area, earning $60,110 per year; and those working in the Kansas nonmetropolitan area, who earn $59,400 per year.

Registered Dietitian Jobs in Kansas

As of August 2022, the following are among the numerous jobs posted for registered, licensed dietitians in Kansas:

  • Sports Performance Dietitian, The University of Kansas Health System – Overland Park, KS
  • Clinical Dietitian, HaysMed – Hays, KS
    • Salary: $42,200 to $53,400/year
    • Need Kansas LD licensure and national RD registration 
    • Need bachelor’s degree
    • Need BLS certification
  • Food Service Systems Manager Dietitian, U.S. Veterans Health Administration – Wichita, KS
    • Salary: $79,363 to $103,176/year
    • Need Kansas LD licensure and national RD registration 
    • Need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  • Registered Dietitian, ClearSky Health – Elwood, KS
    • Salary: $47,400 to $60,000/year
    • Need Kansas LD licensure and national RD registration
    • Need bachelor’s degree in dietetics, nutritional sciences, clinical nutrition, public health nutrition, or a related area
    • Need two years of dietetic experience 
  • Dietitian/Health Coach, Optimal Performance – Wichita, KS