Nutrition Professional Pathways


If you are interested in pursuing a career in nutrition or dietetics, you should consult with the appropriate state board to assure that your credentials will allow you to achieve your professional goals. Many states have enacted laws that regulate the practice of dietetics and nutrition services.

In some states, it is a violation of state law to practice “dietetics” without a license; while in other states, it is illegal only if an unlicensed practitioner calls him/herself a “dietitian” or “nutritionist.” The nutrition-related services allowed or prohibited in your state must be determined by careful review of the language of your state’s law, and we recommend seeking legal guidance from a law professional in your state.

Prior to enrollment, all students are required to review ACHS’s Nutrition State Licensing disclosures online here to view the requirements in their state and to help them choose a program aligned with their goals and interests. 

Following is more information about industry exams and registration in holistic nutrition. This information is provided for reference only. Please contact the professional organizations directly for the latest information.

Want to learn more about professional pathways? Contact the ACHS Director of Alumni and Career Services Felicia Royce or email us at

National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP)

NANP is a professional organization dedicated to furthering the cause, education, and standards of the holistic nutrition industry. ACHS offers programs that meet the NANP Educational Standards for holistic nutrition and dietary supplement educational programs. Following are opportunities for credentialing with NANP using your ACHS education and experience:

NANP Exam – Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®

Exam Eligibility Requirements:

This information is provided for reference and was retrieved from in January 2023. Please contact NANP directly for the latest requirements.

Individuals wishing to become “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition®” must provide documentation of the following qualifying criteria in addition to submitting required application materials:

  • Meet the NANP’s educational standards. This means successful completion of studies in holistic nutrition from a NANP approved holistic nutrition program (ACHS’s approved programs are listed below) OR providing documentation of an occupational certification, degree or diploma that meets the NANP’s educational standards (requires independent review and a $150 fee).
  • Professional membership in the NANP.
  • Provide documentation of 500 hours (includes a minimum of 250 direct contact hours and up to 250 indirect contact hours) of professional experience in holistic nutrition.


Additional information including continuing education requirements is available online here.

Following are ACHS’s approved programs as of January 2023:

  • Diploma in Holistic Health Practice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Integrative Health Sciences
  • Associate of Applied Science in Health & Wellness
  • Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition
  • Master of Science in Health and Wellness
  • Master of Science in Integrative Health Sciences


Exception for New Graduates*

NANP defers the 500-hour practical experience required to be eligible for the board exam for candidates who are graduates of NANP-approved programs when they sit the exam within 12 months of graduation. 

Per the NANP website at (January 2023): New graduates may apply to sit for the exam without providing documentation of 500 Contact Hours. The candidate will be allowed two (2) years from the date of their exam to provide this documentation. Upon passing the exam and until such time that the documentation requirement is satisfied, the candidate may use the title “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate)” or “BCHN® (Candidate).”

* A new graduate is an individual who graduated from a NANP-approved program within the twelve (12) month period in which they apply to sit for the exam.
For detailed information regarding exam eligibility criteria including the requirements for direct and indirect hours, please visit If you have any questions about ACHS can help you achieve the required hours, please contact Dr. Janet Ludwig at or (800) 487-8839.

NANP - Certified Nutrition Professional

The NANP also offers the following additional level of certification titled, “Certified Nutrition Professional” or “CNP”.

To qualify, the following criteria must be met:

  • All requirements of Board Certification; AND
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in nutrition or a nutrition-related field of study from a NANP approved holistic nutrition program, OR a college or university regionally or nationally accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; AND
  • 1,200 Supervised Practice Hours*

*Supervisor credential requirements apply.

New graduate and veteran practitioner exceptions are also available. Please visit this page for more information.

NANP Continuing Education (CEU) Requirements

The NANP also offers the following additional level of certification titled, “Certified Nutrition Professional” or “CNP”.

View NANP continuing education requirements for all credential levels online here.

Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB)

CCN logoThe CNCB  provides professional training, examination and certification for health care providers. Learn more about the CNCB’s Certified Clinical Nutrition (CCN) Online Examination and how to achieve the CCN (Certified Clinical Nutritionist) designation online at


Important note: Some states may have specific requirements for the use of the title “Nutritionist”. Learn more about scope of practice and Title Protection online at

ACHS graduates of the following programs meet the core education requirements for the Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CCN) exam through the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB). Visit for eligibility requirements.

Graduates of the following programs meet the core education requirements to enter the CNCB’s PostGraduate Studies in Clinical Nutrition (PGSCN) online program in order to qualify to sit for the CCN exam: 

Ready to advance your career in nutrition?