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Stuck deciding on a career. Nursing or Dietician

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On 8/22/2020 at 6:12 PM, Thesky_isthe_limit said:

Hello Nutrituon2Nurse,

Thank you very much for your input! If you don't mind I do have alot of questions I would like to ask you. Based on all the schooling required to become an RD (bachelors, 50% chance on getting into the DI, the year long unpaid DI & now the masters) do you now think that becoming an RD is a good investment? If you had to do it all over, would you? I’ve heard that they don't get paid well & not much opportunities are present. I’m a single mom of 2 & I don’t have that $$ to be throwing around for a degree thats not gonna have a good investment back. At my univ, they try to encourage more ppl to go into this profession & keep them hopeful but honestly when I look up on Indeed for any job postings. There’s not much & have crazy requirements & little pay.

In my opinion, the investment to become an RD is not worth it. I spent roughly $100k on both degrees and my internship. I live in a decent sized metro in Arkansas and the majority of the RD jobs start out at around $48k. In my case, where my spouse is the primary earner, that’s fine, I can pay off my school loans in two-ish years. In your case, the salary vs cost of education probably wouldn’t be worth it.

You also need to factor in the length of whatever internship you choose. That will be 1-2 years of unpaid work. Most internships will tell you not to work while interning.

There isn’t a whole lot of room for advancement for clinical RD’s. I believe there is more room for advancement with community health, but the starting pay is usually a bit lower and there is typically travel required. Clinical research tends to pay better but in my experience, it’s kind of hard to break into that field. The amount of online jobs available to RD’s is very small compared to RN jobs.

I will say that in my original comment, when I said that dietitians tend to act like they are competing rather than working as a team. That comment mostly applies to the dietitians I worked with under the age of 45, the older dietitians seemed more comfortable and willing to help/teach the younger ones.

My final advice I guess is just weigh your pros and cons. You might not even get accepted into an internship for several years after graduating. Internships tend to choose applicants that were heavily involved in extra-curricular dietetic activities, volunteering and working dietetics-related jobs. As a single mom, that would be harder for you than a traditional student, so keep in mind that that will automatically lower your chances of getting accepted. It’s very competitive and very difficult for non-traditional students. Good luck!

On 8/24/2020 at 12:03 PM, Nutrition2Nurse said:

In my opinion, the investment to become an RD is not worth it. I spent roughly $100k on both degrees and my internship. I live in a decent sized metro in Arkansas and the majority of the RD jobs start out at around $48k. In my case, where my spouse is the primary earner, that’s fine, I can pay off my school loans in two-ish years. In your case, the salary vs cost of education probably wouldn’t be worth it.

You also need to factor in the length of whatever internship you choose. That will be 1-2 years of unpaid work. Most internships will tell you not to work while interning.

There isn’t a whole lot of room for advancement for clinical RD’s. I believe there is more room for advancement with community health, but the starting pay is usually a bit lower and there is typically travel required. Clinical research tends to pay better but in my experience, it’s kind of hard to break into that field. The amount of online jobs available to RD’s is very small compared to RN jobs.

I will say that in my original comment, when I said that dietitians tend to act like they are competing rather than working as a team. That comment mostly applies to the dietitians I worked with under the age of 45, the older dietitians seemed more comfortable and willing to help/teach the younger ones.

My final advice I guess is just weigh your pros and cons. You might not even get accepted into an internship for several years after graduating. Internships tend to choose applicants that were heavily involved in extra-curricular dietetic activities, volunteering and working dietetics-related jobs. As a single mom, that would be harder for you than a traditional student, so keep in mind that that will automatically lower your chances of getting accepted. It’s very competitive and very difficult for non-traditional students. Good luck!

Thank you for your response although I am not the OP, it’s good to hear from a actual dietician. To the OP, I had written in a previous post that I would not recommend nursing but maybe a role like Diabetes Educator would be the best of both worlds?

On 8/24/2020 at 12:03 PM, Nutrition2Nurse said:

In my opinion, the investment to become an RD is not worth it. I spent roughly $100k on both degrees and my internship. I live in a decent sized metro in Arkansas and the majority of the RD jobs start out at around $48k. In my case, where my spouse is the primary earner, that’s fine, I can pay off my school loans in two-ish years. In your case, the salary vs cost of education probably wouldn’t be worth it.

You also need to factor in the length of whatever internship you choose. That will be 1-2 years of unpaid work. Most internships will tell you not to work while interning.

There isn’t a whole lot of room for advancement for clinical RD’s. I believe there is more room for advancement with community health, but the starting pay is usually a bit lower and there is typically travel required. Clinical research tends to pay better but in my experience, it’s kind of hard to break into that field. The amount of online jobs available to RD’s is very small compared to RN jobs.

I will say that in my original comment, when I said that dietitians tend to act like they are competing rather than working as a team. That comment mostly applies to the dietitians I worked with under the age of 45, the older dietitians seemed more comfortable and willing to help/teach the younger ones.

My final advice I guess is just weigh your pros and cons. You might not even get accepted into an internship for several years after graduating. Internships tend to choose applicants that were heavily involved in extra-curricular dietetic activities, volunteering and working dietetics-related jobs. As a single mom, that would be harder for you than a traditional student, so keep in mind that that will automatically lower your chances of getting accepted. It’s very competitive and very difficult for non-traditional students. Good luck!

Woowww! Thank you sooo freaken much!! I re-evaluated my reality & future goals & with all this info & experience that you provided, I made my final decision. I’m pursuing Nursing, thank you very much for your honesty and reality towards this profession. I really appreciate you! God bless you & wish you the best in your journey<3

On 8/24/2020 at 11:08 AM, jobellestarr said:

Thank you for your response although I am not the OP, it’s good to hear from a actual dietician. To the OP, I had written in a previous post that I would not recommend nursing but maybe a role like Diabetes Educator would be the best of both worlds?

Hello jobellestarr,

Thank you for your time replying to my post. Yes! It’s really good hearing from a actual dietician bc it gives us an insight of how the profession really is. All the dieticians at my university keep sugar coating it and encourage students to pursue this profession but I wanted the truth. So Nutrition2Nurse’s post really was helpful. Diabetes Educator does sound like the best of both worlds. Thank you!