Nurse Practitioner with emphasis in nutrition

  1. Hi everyone! So I currently have my RN-BSN and work in the medical ICU. I plan to start FNP school next year, but I'd like to work as a NP with my focus being in nutrition and dietetics. Ideally, I'd like to eventually open a private practice for a client population of athletes (high school, collegiate, professional), and other health/fitness gurus who are looking to drop weight, gain muscle, improve cardiovascular health, decrease inflammation for overall health benefits, etc etc. In addition to nutritional advice, I'd also be able to prescribe dietary supplements to clients as I see fit. Anyways, my question is what type of schooling would be necessary beyond getting my FNP to make this possible? Would I need a Registered Dietician cert also, or would I be covered with just my FNP license and some further research in nutrition? I'd love any input that y'all have!!!
  2. Visit MICURN123. profile page

    About MICURN123., BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 4

    8 Comments

  3. by   inthecosmos
    You would likely need the additional RD certification. Have you thought about opening up a clinic, but hiring a RD to work alongside you?
  4. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    To become an RD, though, one must have a Bachelors in an appropriate field (nursing is not one of them, to my knowledge). Most have masters degrees as well.

    Honestly, I might go about finding a master's program in dietetics that would accept a BSN as the degree requirement.
  5. by   MunoRN
    To paraphrase, you want to start a business where you recommend what nutritional supplements someone should use to lose weight/gain muscle/improve health? I'm not trying to be snarky (it just comes naturally) but that job already exists, it's a salesperson at GNC.
  6. by   hherrn
    I am curious-
    Is that actually a prescription? I thought "prescription" referred to FDA approved drugs and the like. For example, as least around here, a prescriber can recommend, but not prescribe, weed.
  7. by   MICURN123.
    No MunoRN... there's a little more to it than that. And I'm seeking ADVICE on the topic, not snarky comments. I would like to be able to provide people with professional advice on their diet (not a GNC sales rep) to get the results that they want, specific to each individual. In addition to being able to treat them comprehensively as a FNP. Essentially trying to combine FNP and a dietitian, and wondering how to accomplish that from a BSN.
  8. by   MICURN123.
    Hherrn, Honestly I'm not sure what type of FDA approved weight loss drugs and the like are on the market. Haven't looked into it quite that much yet. But yes, I guess technically I would be "recommending" supplements instead of prescribing.
  9. by   juan de la cruz
    In order to qualify for a billable service in dietary counselling that falls under "medical nutrition therapy", one must be a Registered Dietitian. Also, an order for referral to the dietitian must be written by a licensed provider (physician, NP, or PA). Medical nutrition therapy is only indicated in people with medical conditions that warrant counselling such as diabetes and kidney disease.

    If you are looking into nutrition counselling for physical fitness or weight loss, you fall into a gray area that is vastly unregulated and are not always the purview of legitimate nutrition experts. It's kind of a free enterprise situation where some people set up shop and advertise to the public and claim expertise. These are cash only operations and insurances are not involved.

    Having said that, you certainly can provide primary care as an FNP while focusing on a niche market along the lines of healthy eating and nutrition. Some physicians and NP's do that already. Just be aware that you can only be reimbursed by the insurance companies for the billable medical decision-making that you will be doing and not this extra layer of service you offer.

    Prescribing FDA approved drugs are not billable acts themselves as they are already part of your evaluation and management plan that you bill the patient for. Selling over the counter preparations of nutritional supplements in your clinic (such as those already sold at GNC) can be lucrative on paper but you can run into some huge legal and ethical issues so that's not really advisable.
  10. by   MICURN123.
    Juan de la cruz, thank you so much! Lots of info that I needed.

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