Your Online Nutrition Degree Program Can Land You in a Hospital

Your online nutrition degree program can prepare you for a rewarding career working in your local hospital. In fact, hospitals can provide some of the highest paying jobs with an online degree, particularly an advanced degree.

When I was admitted to the hospital to deliver my son there were lots of items in the delivery room. There were monitors for both the baby and for me, forceps and other smaller instruments, and a delicious looking fruit and cheese breakfast. Yes, you read that right. Since I was admitted slightly before the breakfast hour, the hospital dieticians were hard at work making sure that all of the patients got fed, and I was one of them. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat the ripe red strawberries, the mini scone, the cottage cheese, or even the hot coffee since I was busy having a baby.

What Can You Do?
Your online nutrition degree program will prepare you for many of the nutritionist positions needed to maintain a hospital or health care facility. Hospital nutritionists are often called clinical dieticians. Jobs for nutritionists in hospitals typically fall into two categories:

· Health Care Team Members

· Food Service Management

Health care team members participate on a team consisting of doctors, physical therapists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and others that focus on an individual patient’s needs. Such teams might be oriented around a specific type of patient such as through a hospital’s cardiovascular or cancer center. The nutritionist on this team offers advice for optimal meal planning in association with treatments recommended by the other team members.

Food service managers operate the hospital’s cafeterias as well as the in-patients’ meals. Nutritionists in this area are responsible for menu preparation, food ordering, and staff management.

Getting the Job

A search on any job posting website will turn up numerous nutritionist positions. But nearly all positions posted for hospital nutritionists require that you are a registered dietician (RD). An RD is someone who has met the standards that have been established by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The requirements to achieve this status include:

· Minimum of a Bachelor Degree – this must have been completed at a school approved by the ADA

· Supervised Practical Experience – approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE)

· National Examination – given by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

Once you are given the status as a registered dietician, you will need to maintain your status by taking continuing professional education courses.

Beyond the Obvious

As a hospital nutritionist, you might be asked to participate in public outreach programs. My hospital offers several classes to the public on nutrition topics such as the following:

· Nutrition and Pregnancy

· Diabetes Meal Planning

· Lifestyle Changes for Weight Loss

· Feeding Your Toddler

· Family Meals

· Meals for Geriatric Patients

Thank You Nutritionists for My Delicious Hospital Meal

So, once my baby was born and the celebration temporarily subsided, thanks to a great hospital nutritionist, I was finally able to get another strawberry and cheese meal delivered to my room. Perhaps it was the euphoria of having a newborn son, or maybe it was the satisfaction of having a nutritional meal after all of the hard labor, but I have to say it was one of the best meals I ever had…something that might not often be said about hospital food. But you can influence that, can’t you? You can do it…with an education offered through an online nutrition degree program.

Is your online nutrition degree program preparing you for a job in a hospital?

Tell your peers what you want to do when you graduate.