Rationale for the CNS℠ Certification
The CBNS mission is to advance human health through the science and practice of professional nutrition care. Certified Nutrition Specialist professionals are on the front lines using medical nutrition therapy to battle the epidemic of obesity and chronic disease, and the CBNS supports these efforts and certifies nutrition professionals that maintain the highest standard of nutrition competence.
These trends in modern scientific disease prevention and treatment have increased the demand for innovative, responsible and creative professional nutritionists. The responsibility for education and training these professionals is being borne by accredited graduate (post baccalaureate) programs offering advanced degrees in basic and applied nutrition science and in fields closely allied to nutrition. In general, graduates of these advanced degree programs have a higher level of competence and a broader scope of knowledge than do individuals who have not received formal training beyond the undergraduate level.
The CBNS℠ provides certification for individuals fulfilling rigorous advanced degree education and experience eligibility criteria. Certification provides formal recognition that nutritioncare professionals have met rigorous and demanding eligibility requirements, including postgraduate educations, subsequent supervised practice in professional nutrition, and demonstration of a depth and breadth of knowledge appropriate for effective practice in the profession of nutrition. The primary intent of a certification program is to provide assurance that all those with the Certified Nutrition Specialist℠ credential meet or exceed these requirements.
The specific purposes of the certification process of the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists℠ are to:
- Develop objective, fair and appropriate standards against which professional knowledge, ability and competence in nutrition science and its application can be evaluated and judged;
- Provide a means of measuring professional nutritionists against these standards;
- Encourage continued personal learning and inquiry, professional growth, adherence to ethical values, and compliance with ethical standards, thereby promoting professionalism among nutritionists;
- Acknowledge, through a formal credential, professional nutritionists who meet the competency standards set by the Board and who have fulfilled the requirements for the Certified Nutrition Specialist credential, and
- Achieve national recognition of the validity of the Certified Nutrition Specialist credential as identifying those nutritionist professionals with advanced training in nutrition science and its application who embody the principles of professionalism (knowledge, understanding, skills, experience, competence, and ethical behavior).