More and more, nutrition is becoming an in-demand field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nationwide employment in nutrition will increase by 11 percent between 2020 and 2030, faster than the average rate of growth for all career fields. This should come as no surprise, as 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. At the same time, Americans are consistently obsessed with new diet trends that can cause more damage than good. Nutritionists are needed to help educate, diagnose, and support the overall health of their patients through nutrition and diet. As the need for nutritionists increases, so does the interest in this exciting career. Therefore, it’s important that aspiring clinical nutritionists take strides to stand out. How? Learn about this growing industry and how to break into a successful career with a master’s in Clinical Nutrition.
1. What is Clinical Nutrition?
Clinical nutrition involves the prevention, diagnosis, and management of a client’s nutrient intake and overall health. It entails the analysis of a person’s diet, family history, medical history, lifestyle, and laboratory tests, combined with their intake of nutrients, to determine how best to utilize diet and nutrition to treat, support, or prevent illness. Clinical nutritionists provide their clients with counseling and develop meal plans that help prevent, improve, or manage chronic diseases.
2. Is a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition Different from an MS in Nutrition?
In short, not necessarily. While some programs differentiate between a master’s in “Clinical Nutrition” versus “Nutrition,” these titles can typically be used interchangeably. The master’s degree in Nutrition at University of Bridgeport, for example, is designed to train clinicians who can diagnose, treat, and support their clients’ health issues through the lens of diet and nutrition.
UB’s program offers a comprehensive, clinical curriculum to prepare students for their careers. Courses include specialized classes like Pathophysiological Bases of Metabolic Diseases, Clinical Biochemistry, and Nutritional Therapeutics. There is also a Virtual Clinic requirement in the final semester, in which students can gain experience in clinical test analysis, treatment plan development, and more.
3. Is a Master’s Degree Required to Become a Clinical Nutritionist?
In order to become a nutritionist, candidates must earn, at minimum, a bachelor of science. However, nutritionists with advanced degrees have more job opportunities, and can pursue professional credentials like Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) after fulfilling a master’s degree.
4. What are the Clinical Components of a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition?
Every Nutrition degree program is different in what it offers its students for clinical experience. At University of Bridgeport, students gain clinical experience in their fifth-term Virtual Clinic course. This course consists of four monthly modules on clinical management. Each module is managed by different instructors. Over the course of the semester, students will learn key skills in assessment, clinical test analysis, weight-loss strategies, treatment plan development, and how to start and grow a nutrition practice.
5. What Makes UB’s Master’s in Nutrition Unique?
University of Bridgeport’s master’s degree in Nutrition is online and offers a robust clinical nutrition curriculum that can be completed in as few as 23 months or up to five years. The pace is entirely at the discretion of the student! This makes University of Bridgeport’s program ideal for working professionals or nontraditional students. This degree is also a wonderful option for students who do not have a background in science. Students who are making a career change should consider this program an option. The online degree offers robust clinical training, while still allowing for flexibility. Applicants with no science background only need to complete prerequisite courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry, and Nutrition Fundamentals during their first term in the MS program. Applicants who have taken these courses previously may be able to waive some or all of them, if they meet program waiver qualifications (taken within the last 10 years and earned a grade of B or better).
6. What are the Outcomes of this Type of Program?
Graduates of this program will be able to promote and support awareness of optimal nutrition for health and well-being. They will be able to integrate their knowledge of biochemistry and physiology with nutritional, evidence-based interventions in order to help prevent and support their clients’ health challenges. Additionally, this degree program makes graduates eligible to pursue additional credentials.
Graduates of the master’s in Nutrition program are qualified for a variety of career paths. This includes clinical positions, roles in academia, and non-profit roles (e.g. community health educator and advocate). They may also explore careers in nutritional and nutraceutical sales and research as well as nutrition research.
A career in the specialized field of nutrition begins with earning a master’s in Nutrition. This graduate degree prepares graduates to educate, diagnose, and support the well-being of their clients through diet and nutrition. A highly in-demand field, there’s never been a better time to begin training for a career in Clinical Nutrition.
Interested in pursuing a career in clinical nutrition? Contact us online to get more information about University of Bridgeport’s M.S. in Nutrition program.