Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Department

Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Evelyn Enrione

Second Advisor's Name

Victoria Castellanos

Third Advisor's Name

Susan Himburg

Keywords

registered dietitian, entry-level, activities, education, RD, responsibility

Date of Defense

11-17-2010

Abstract

Minimal educational requirements for Registered Dietitians (RDs) include a bachelor’s degree and practice program. Recently, a master’s degree was recommended. Studies have not established whether education affects employment. A secondary analysis of 2005 Dietetics Practice Audit data determined whether job responsibility, individuals supervised, and activities differed between 1,626 bachelor’s RDs (B-RDs) and 767 master’s (M-RDs) RDs, registered ≤5 years. Chi-square and ANOVA analyzed differences between B-RDs and M-RDs, at entry-level (0-3 years experience) and beyond-entry-level (3+-5 years experience). Beyond-entry-level B-RDs (31.8%) and entry-level M-RDs (31.9%) reported “supervisor/executive” responsibility more than entry-level B-RDs (26.5%; p=0.01). A higher percentage of M-RDs supervised (29.2%) than B-RDs (24.7%; p=0.02); however, B-RDs supervised more individuals (7.38 ± 4.89) than M-RDs (6.25 ± 4.87; t=2.32; p=0.021). A master’s degree has limited benefits; experience may affect responsibility, individuals supervised, and activities more than education.

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