Nutrition Pathways

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.

Download ACHS’s Nutrition Disclosures White Paper online here for additional information.

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.

ACHS offers programs perfect for anyone at any step of their education and career journey. 

Want to learn more about professional pathways? Contact the ACHS Director of Alumni and Career Services Amy Swinehart 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 on January 23, 2018. 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:
  • 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.
Once you pass the exam, you will not need to sit for the exam again. However, you will be required to renew your board certification every two years. Additional information is available online here.
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. Following are ACHS’s approved programs as of January 25, 2018:
  • Diploma in Holistic Health Practice
  • Associate of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine
  • Associate of Applied Science in Health & Wellness
  • Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition
  • Master of Science in Health and Wellness
  • Master of Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine.
Per the NANP website at (January 23, 2018):Those who have newly graduated from a NANP-approved program 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 his/her exam in which to provide this documentation. Until such time, the candidate will be able to use the title, “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Cand.).” * 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 Tracey Abell 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

Ready to advance your career in nutrition?

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