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ERIC Number: ED552564
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 378
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2679-5416-9
Educational Requirements for Entry-Level Practice in the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics
Abad-Jorge, Ana
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
The profession of nutrition and dietetics has experienced significant changes over the past 100 years due to advances in nutrition science and healthcare delivery. Although these advances have prompted changes in educational requirements in other healthcare professions, the requirements for entry-level registered dietitians have not changed since 1928. The bachelor's degree requirement has remained the same, for example, due to the profession's roots in hospital foodservice. This lack of effective preprofessional education for registered dietitians has limited compensation, advancement, autonomy, and recognition. To address this problem, this study investigated the case for a graduate degree requirement for entry into the profession. Educational policy changes across other healthcare professions served as the conceptual framework for this study. The guiding research question related to the impact of attaining a graduate degree on entry-level practice in job satisfaction, professional involvement, and compensation. Survey data were collected via e-mail from both bachelor's- and masters-level entry-level registered dietitians ( n = 96) and were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics, including Chi-square, t test, and ANOVA. The results indicated that entry-level registered dietitians with a master's degree had significantly higher job satisfaction, professional involvement, and a trend towards higher compensation. Raising the minimal entry-level educational requirements can lead to significant social change by promoting greater career satisfaction, recognition, and compensation for dietitians and a higher level of nutrition expertise and quality nutrition services provided to the public. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A