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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 4, 2018 10:44 AM
From: Representative Thomas L. Mehaffie, III
To: All House members
Subject: Updates to the Professional Nursing Law for Dietitian Nutritionists

Licensed dietitian nutritionists assess, counsel, and evaluate the diets and nutritional health needs of their patients, which is crucial for the prevention and/or management of specific diseases and overall wellbeing.

Unfortunately, some individuals take advantage of Pennsylvanians by falsely claiming to be dietitian and/or nutritionists without appropriate education and training. This may cause delays in receiving appropriate advice and care for diet-related disease, potentially decreasing quality of life and increasing healthcare costs. Patients need to be protected against this fraud.

In response, this bill will expand title protection and provide practice protection for licensed dietitian nutritionists. It will more clearly outline the range of functions and responsibilities of dietitian nutritionists.

Specifically, the language will revise the Professional Nursing Law by:
  • Providing for definitions of “dietitian,” “dietetics,” “nutrition care process,” and “registered dietitian,” among others.
  • Outlining the scope of practice for licensed dietitian nutritionists.
  • Clarifying circumstances under which a dietitian nutritionist license is required.
  • Providing exceptions to the license requirement including: students working under the supervision of licensed dietitian nutritionists, retailers who do not hold themselves to be dietitian nutritionists, and weight control service providers, among others.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB2721