Nutrition Certification for APRNs?

Updated:   Published

Hi everyone,

I would love to connect with any other NPs or get any suggestions anyone may have on specializing in the field of nutrition. I worked as a primary care provider for many years until I pretty much burned out, and have realized that my interests have always been more concentrated on prevention than managing chronic diseases in 15 minute office visits (which is most of primary care in my experience). I have a strong interest in plant-based nutrition, and would love to focus my career on providing health education to clients on this topic. I have searched high and low, and have been unsuccessful in finding any programs for licensed APRNs or other medical providers to get some credentials in plant-based nutrition. There is the eCornell T. Colin Campbell program, though I believe this course is open to anyone and I'm not sure if it would allow me to create the role I am thinking of (though if someone has experience with this program I would love to hear from you!). I am the primary breadwinner in my family, so I do not have the option of going back to school full-time to become a registered dietitian given how vigorous the program requirements are. The role I am imagining for myself is one in which I obtain clients motivated to improve or reverse chronic disease through diet and lifestyle modification, but I would rather work in conjunction with their PCPs than be the PCP myself. Any ideas or recommendations would be most appreciated!

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 19 years experience.

What about a position in a weight loss clinic?

Specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro. Has 15 years experience.
On 1/30/2020 at 9:08 AM, Michelle91518 said:

Hi everyone,

I would love to connect with any other NPs or get any suggestions anyone may have on specializing in the field of nutrition. I worked as a primary care provider for many years until I pretty much burned out, and have realized that my interests have always been more concentrated on prevention than managing chronic diseases in 15 minute office visits (which is most of primary care in my experience). I have a strong interest in plant-based nutrition, and would love to focus my career on providing health education to clients on this topic. I have searched high and low, and have been unsuccessful in finding any programs for licensed APRNs or other medical providers to get some credentials in plant-based nutrition. There is the eCornell T. Colin Campbell program, though I believe this course is open to anyone and I'm not sure if it would allow me to create the role I am thinking of (though if someone has experience with this program I would love to hear from you!). I am the primary breadwinner in my family, so I do not have the option of going back to school full-time to become a registered dietitian given how vigorous the program requirements are. The role I am imagining for myself is one in which I obtain clients motivated to improve or reverse chronic disease through diet and lifestyle modification, but I would rather work in conjunction with their PCPs than be the PCP myself. Any ideas or recommendations would be most appreciated!

The problem is that their is a diversity of opinion as to what the "best" nutritional strategy is for particular disease states. For example their is some research (mostly in animals) that intermittent fasting may offer benefits for insulin resistance as may a low carb diet. On the other hand the American Diabetic Association does not endorse this position and calls for frequent (often relatively high carbohydrate meals). Many/most will encourage a "Mediterranean diet", for many conditions from depression to heart disease, but the specifics have significant divergence. You might consider a program in herbal remedies since their are relatively few "herbologists" who are also RN's or NP's. At the same time there are some specific herbs with considerable evidence for their efficacy in certain disorders such as lavender oil for anxiety.

DrCOVID, DNP

461 Posts

Specializes in psych/medical-surgical. Has 14 years experience.
On 1/30/2020 at 8:08 AM, Michelle91518 said:

I am the primary breadwinner in my family...

I think your major barrier is going to be revenue. Insurance is not set up for most primary prevention methods. I think you would have to stick to cash only, older wealthy folks you can focus on and provide 24/7 consultation.

Ashley_113

11 Posts

You should look into the institute for functional medicine. They have a full pathway for providers who are looking for a different primary care model. It’s primarily nutrition based. It would be perfect for you I think.

bebbercorn

455 Posts

Specializes in Family practice, emergency. Has 10 years experience.

One program I like is Be Nourished, which has a certification that is a few grand, but it's less about weight loss and more about introducing better nutrition and lifestyle changes for the sake of health. It's more along the lines of the Health at Every Size movement, so if you're thinking is more here than it'd be worth looking into. I know you can get certified in Obesity med as well...