Online/Blended Degree and Certificate Programs

Category Archive: Nutrition

  1. How to Become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

    According to the American Diabetes Association, an estimated 30.3 million people in the U.S.—over 9 percent of the total population—live with diabetes. Keeping their conditions under control requires careful monitoring, regularly taking any prescribed medication and making informed diet, fitness and other lifestyle choices.

    A diabetes educator plays a vital part in supporting diabetics by offering guidance and encouragement. They help patients take charge of their lives and follow through with the necessary changes for managing the disease successfully.

    When you explore how to become a certified diabetes educator (CDE), you may find that there are several different educational paths that could lead you to success in this field. Earning an online Master of Social Work or a Master of Science in Nutrition degree might each help you to progress toward your professional goals. Here’s what you need to know about starting your career as a health educator for people with diabetes:

    The Role of Diabetes Education

    Doctors and nurses prescribe medications and give their diabetes patients directions for their care. However, managing a chronic disease and all the complications that go along with it requires a strong support system and input from many different perspectives.

    For example, where a doctor may provide general guidelines and dietary restrictions, diabetes educators can translate this advice into actual lifestyle changes. As a diabetes educator, you could expand on the advice that patients and their caregivers hear from other medical professionals, sharing a real-world perspective on how to follow through with large shifts in their daily routines.

    Diabetes educators may teach groups of patients and caregivers in classes or meet with them one-on-one. If you pursue this career, you might be employed in variety of settings, including hospitals, public health departments, nonprofit organizations and colleges or universities.

    how to become certified diabetes educatorSome of the key services that diabetes educators offer include:

    • Lessons in how to use devices like a glucometer and insulin pump
    • Explanations of how to recognize and address complications from the disease
    • Information about healthy lifestyle changes for patients and their families
    • Personalized suggestions for following a treatment plan
    • Advice for solving problems and coping with changes

    Diabetes Educator: Education Requirements

    Specialized education can build your skills in assisting people with diabetes and help you to qualify for certain jobs. Professionals with a master’s degree in social work may be prepared to counsel patients and their families so they can adapt to the changes in their lives. Healthcare social workers have the knowledge and experience to help people plan for the long term as they navigate their treatment.

    Some positions require a master’s degree in nutrition, which helps educators understand the complex role that diet plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle with diabetes. The right nutritional choices can help diabetics control their blood sugar, respond better to insulin and lower their risk for cardiovascular disease. Several common eating patterns have been shown to help people with diabetes sustain a healthier lifestyle:

    • Vegetarian or vegan
    • Low fat
    • Low carbohydrate
    • Mediterranean, which focuses on plant-based foods with some dairy, fish and poultry
    • Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), which is specifically designed to lower blood pressure

    By becoming a diabetes educator, you’ll be able to advise patients on how to make changes in their own lives. Staying up-to-date with the latest thinking in social work and nutrition will allow you to guide people with diabetes as they set goals for their treatment plans and select foods that fit their personal tastes and budget.

    How to Complete Your Diabetes Educator Certification

    Certification as a diabetes educator is a practice-based credential that indicates experience and mastery in the field. The certification is not intended as a step toward first entering the specialty, but diabetes educators who complete the process may be able to pursue advanced career opportunities. CDEs may become leaders and mentors within the field, and they make an average salary of $62,605.

    To become a CDE, you must meet the eligibility requirements established by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) and pass the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators. To be eligible for the exam, fulfill the following requirements:

    1. The discipline requirement can be met by holding an active license to practice medicine or another of the registrations and certifications for healthcare professionals accepted by the NCBDE. These include being a registered dietician or completing a master’s degree in social work. Along with the standard pathway, there are also unique qualifications that can meet this requirement with preapproval from the NCBDE. Individuals who hold degrees in nutrition, exercise physiology or public health may qualify in this way.
    2. The professional practice experience requirement calls for at least two years of professional experience, plus 1,000 hours of diabetes education over the previous four years
    3. Complete at least 15 hours of continuing education from a provider recognized by the NCBDE within two years of applying for the exam

    The exam itself consists of 200 multiple choice questions answered over four hours. If you pass the test, you’ll be awarded your certification.

    About Adelphi’s Online Programs in Social Work and Nutrition

    A career as a Certified Diabetes Educator is full of opportunities to provide patients with valuable information that helps them manage their condition and achieve improved health outcomes. If you’re interested in following this career path, completing an online master’s degree from Adelphi University can help you move forward.

    An online Master of Social Work is designed with busy people in mind. It will help you expand your knowledge of theory and practice through coursework and professional development opportunities. Working with expert faculty, you’ll gain hands-on experience through field education and an intensive on-campus residency. This program will ready you to apply for licensure as master social workers in any state, and the degree can also fulfill the Discipline Requirement for a Certified Diabetes Educator.

    The M.S. in Nutrition curriculum will give you an advanced understanding of nutrition science, including nutrition’s role in disease management and prevention. You’ll learn to communicate nutrition concepts to patients and other non-experts, leading the way in promoting healthier practices. The online program is offers plenty of flexibility for busy professionals and will help you develop the skills that will enable you to succeed in a variety of roles, including, potentially, as a diabetes educator.

    Empowering people to manage their diabetes starts with teaching them to transform their lifestyle and stay on track with treatment. An advanced degree in social work or nutrition will help you make a lasting difference in the lives of patients.

  2. Careers with an MS in Nutrition

    As most people are aware, many major health problems can be linked to poor nutrition, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and osteoporosis. And, these problems aren’t limited to a small number of people: According to the CDC, about half of all American adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor eating habits.
    careers with an ms in nutrition
    Because of these health risks, it’s no surprise that individuals often turn to nutritionists and dietitians to help improve their nutrition and wellness. Employment of dietitians and nutritionists is expected to grow 15% by 2026, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations (7%).

    If you’re currently employed in heathcare or a health-related field and are interested in careers in food and nutrition or nutrition and dietetics, you may consider earning a master’s degree in nutrition to better position yourself for a role in this quickly growing field, and to gain a deeper knowledge of the complex relationship between nutrition, community, and health.

    What Can You Do with a Master’s in Nutrition?

    A master’s in nutrition can open doors to a wide range of career opportunities. Below are examples of popular nutrition and wellness career paths and their associated salaries.

    Dietitian Salary and Career Information

    Dietitians offer health advice and develop personalized nutritional plans for anyone who may need guidance, including individuals with medical conditions that require a certain diet, people who want to lose weight, or those training for their career or a special event. It is important to note that these professionals may only refer to themselves as Registered Dietitians (RDs) once they have earned the RD credential from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), which includes completing a dietetic internship and passing the dietetic registration exam. Even current RDs may strongly consider earning a master’s degree in nutrition, as the CDR will soon require a master’s degree to continue practicing.

    Where they work: Hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, private practice, businesses, academia

    Dietitian Salary: $54,813 average; up to $71,000 depending on location and level of experience

    Nutritionist Salary and Career Information

    Nutritionists often perform the same work as registered dieticians, but they are not registered with the CDR and in most cases may not work in hospitals or clinics. However, many states still have strict requirements for those offering nutrition counseling. Because many nutritionists are self-employed, they often have the freedom to choose their own clients and set their own work hours. Nutritionists may also be health consultants for businesses or work as sports nutritionists for collegiate or professional teams. Some nutritionists even supplement their income by writing for health publications or contributing to other media outlets.

    Where they work: Private practice, corporate wellness organizations, fitness clubs, nutrition and wellness retail stores, community programs, sports teams

    Nutritionist Salary: $42,783 average; up to $70,000 depending on location and experience

    Business and Industry Jobs

    Given how much food and drugs impact our daily lives—and how strictly they must be regulated—there are myriad opportunities for nutrition professionals in business or industry roles including research, quality control, sales, marketing, and public relations. Researchers, for example, may conduct studies to ensure pharmaceuticals and foods are safe for consumers and meet regulations while quality control professionals may oversee the safety and quality of goods from production to distribution.

    Where they work: Food and beverage companies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, food service vendors, health product distributors

    Nutrition Industry Salary: Varies depending on industry, location, and level of experience. Quality Assurance Managers in food manufacturing earn an average of $75,899. Pharmaceutical Project Managers earn an average of $88,150.

    Public Health Jobs

    While dietitians and nutritionists may work in the public health sector, there are many other opportunities available to nutrition professionals in hospitals, medical associations, and public health departments at the city, county, and state levels. Depending on the position, these professionals may conduct research to advance scientific knowledge of nutrition and dietetics, as well as promote good health and disease prevention.

    Where they work: Hospitals, government and non-government organizations, public health organizations, medical associations, research laboratories

    Public Health Job Salary: Varies depending on position, location, and level of experience. Public Health Administrators, for instance, earn an average of $65,321, while some report earning more than $90,000. Public Health Specialists, on the other hand, earn an average of $48,562 and may earn as much as $70,000.

    Nutrition Education and Research Jobs

    Many nutrition professionals have a passion for sharing their knowledge and expertise to make an impact on a wider number of people than they would as a private practitioner. These nutrition educators promote good health by creating and implementing nutrtition education services for hospital patients, home care patients, outpatients, and other groups of people in their community. Other nutrition educators may decide to teach the next generation of nutritionists and dietitians at the community college level. While most four-year universities require a Ph.D., many community colleges and junior colleges allow qualified individuals with a master’s degree to conduct research and develop and teach a range of nutrition courses.

    Where they work: Hospitals, long-term care facilities, K-12 schools, community colleges, junior colleges

    Nutritional Educator Salary: Varies depending on position, location, and level of experience. Postsecondary teachers, on average, earn $76,000 per year. Nutritional Educators in New York City earn an average of $54,871.

    Adelphi University’s Online M.S. in Nutrition

    No matter which nutritional career path interests you, the online M.S. in Nutrition can help you achieve your goals by providing a streamlined curriculum concentrating on the skills and knowledge that both reflect the latest nutrition science research and align with current career opportunities. The program is geared toward busy working professionals in health or health-related fields who want to expand their knowledge so that they can more effectively help others and/or earn a professional credential that is required for employment or career advancement.