Licensure & Consumer Protection
Consumer Protection and Licensure
The following information, links and pages contain information to assist you with your PA State License. If you need further assistance, please contact:
Consumer Protection and Licensure Coordinator
Katrina Claghorn MS RD LDN at PA.Academy.CPC@gmail.com
PA State Board of Nursing
PO Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
APPLYING TO BECOME A LICENSED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST IN PENNSYLVANIA
How do I start the application process to become licensed as a licensed dietitian nutritionist in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RDNs) and Clinical Nutrition Specialists (CNSs) can apply for a professional license on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s online Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS). Applicants should begin by registering (Found on the left side menu) for an account.
How much is the application fee?
The State charges a non-refundable application fee of $95.00.
In addition to the application, what else is required to complete the process?
The State requires all health-related licensees to complete training in recognizing and reporting child abuse. Please refer to the page on Act 31for further details.
Provide a recent Criminal History Records Check (CHRC) from the state police or other state
agency that is the official repository for criminal history record information for every state
in which you have lived, worked, or completed professional training/studies for the past ten (10)
years. The report(s) must be dated within 90 days of the date the application is submitted. For
applicants living, working, or completing training/studies in Pennsylvania, your CHRC request
will be automatically submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police upon submission of this
application. The PATCH fee will be included at checkout. Your PA CHRC will be sent directly
to the Board/Commission. You will be notified if additional action is required. For individuals
living, working, or completing training/studies outside of Pennsylvania during the past ten (10)
years, in lieu of obtaining individual state background checks, you may elect to provide BOTH a
state CHRC from the state in which you currently reside, AND your FBI Identity History
Summary Check, available at https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summarychecks.
Please note: For applicants currently living, working, or completing training/studies in
California, Arizona, or Ohio: Due to the laws of these states, the Board is not an eligible
recipient of CHRC's or your CHRC will not be issued to you for upload to the Board. Please
obtain your Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Identity History Summary Check, available at
the link noted above.
The State also requires the regionally accredited secondary school issuing the Board-approved degree (Bachelor or higher degree) to submit an official transcript. The major course of study must be in human nutrition, food and nutrition, dietetics or food system management. Refer to the education requirements section of the statute for additional details. This must be submitted directly to the Board by the school.
Finally, the Board requires proof of registration by the Commission on Dietetic Registration for Registered Dietitians-Nutritionists or the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists for Certified Nutrition Specialists. A statement of verification must be submitted directly to the Board by the certifying agency. Registered Dietitians Nutritionists should request a Pennsylvania-specific verification statement be submitted.
What if I encounter issues during the application process?
If you are having issues with the login process, you can contact the Help Center.This will require your Social Security number to assist with access.
Or for login or any other issue, you may submit a ticket to the PALS Support Desk.
If you need to directly contact the Board of Nursing
Phone: 717-783-7142 or email: ST-NURSE@PA.GOV
REQUEST FOR CHANGE OF NAME and/or ADDRESS, DUPLICATE LICENSE, INACTIVE LICENSE
Continuing Education Requirements
Counting CE for PA License Period October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2022: "Even though the 2020 LDN renewal period has been extended until December 29th, the CE period for the next renewal cycle would still be October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2022. However, if the LDN completes CE between October 1, 2020, and December 29, 2020, the CE can only be used for one of the renewals. "For example, if you still need CE for your current renewal then those credits will count toward this renewal and will not count for the next renewal. You cannot count the same CE's for both renewals.
LDN’s are required to complete at least 30 hours of continuing professional education during the two calendar years immediately preceding the application for license renewal. If an activity overlaps two renewal cycles, the date of the completion of the activity will determine the date in which the activity can be reported.
LDNs will verify on the biennial renewal application that they have completed at least thirty (30) credits of continuing professional education approved by the Board during the two years immediately prior to the renewal. LDNs will not be required to submit certificate of completion of CPE with the biennial renewal, but must retain these documents for at least five (5) years and will submit this documentation upon request of the Board.
IMPORTANT: All required continuing education must be completed BEFORE applying for licensure renewal. DO NOT SUBMIT RENEWAL APPLICATION UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED ALL 30 CPE CREDITS
The Board approved the following organizations as providers of continuing professional education for LDNs:
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- The American College of Nutrition (ACN)
- Individual state dietetic associations if a member of the Academy or ACN
The Board will accept for completion of the CPE requirement substantive learning experiences relating to the field of nutrition and dietetics which are not designed for the public and which are sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the ACN, by approved college or dietetic programs that meet the requirements of section 6(b)(2) of the act (63 P.S. § 216(b)(2)) that are approved by ACEND or the ACN when a certificate of attendance is issued, and courses related to the practice of dietetics-nutrition offered by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the Accreditation Council on Pharmaceutical Education, the American Osteopathic Association and the American Medical Association.
In addition to lecture-based CPE courses, LDNs may apply to the Board for approval of CPE credit and the Board may, upon review by the LDN Committee, grant credit for the following:
- Case presentations, such as grand rounds or patient case studies
- Academic coursework and research studies approved by an institutional review board
- Interactive workshops
- Lectures and seminars
- Residency and Fellowship programs which are at the post baccalaureate level, and are sponsored by a United States regionally accredited college or university, or an institution accredited/approved by the Joint Committee on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or the National Committee for Quality Assurance
The Board will not accept for completion of the CPE requirement the following:
- Academic coursework or programs on office management skills, or entrepreneurship, strategic business planning, computer skills, except courses directly related to the practice of dietetics-nutrition such as accessing nutrient analysis databases.
- Attendance at exhibits manned by detail personnel
- Journal clubs
- Professional leadership, such as holding an elective office in a dietetics or dietetics-related organization
- Professional reading for which there is no evaluative test submitted and no certificate of completion or CPE unit awarded
Documentation: The licensee shall retain documentation of completion of Board-approved continuing education for at least five (5) years and shall submit this documentation upon request of the Board.
Waiver: An LDN who can demonstrate to the Board a verified hardship may request a waiver of CPE requirements for a single biennial period. It shall be the duty of each licensee seeking waiver to notify the Board in writing and request the waiver, at least 60 days prior to the end of the biennial renewal period, which will be granted, denied, or granted in part.
For more information, see the State Board of Nursing website at www.dos.state.pa.us/nurse or contact the Board at P.O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA, 17105-2649 or at 717-783-7142.
Licensure Renewal Cycles and Fees
The LDN renewal cycle is October 1 – September 30 of even calendar years.
Initial Application fee: $95.00
Renewal Application fee: $71.00
A notice for renewal will be mailed biennially to the mailing address of record prior to the expiration date of the current license or certification. The license will be mailed to the address on record. It will not be forwarded by the post office.Failure to receive the notice for renewal will not relieve you of the responsibility of renewing your license by the expiration date. It is required that you update your email address and mailing address with the Board within fourteen (14) days of any change.
To reactivate an expired or inactive license call (717) 783-7142.
Licensure Renewal Application
- In order to submit your request for your initial license or your biennial license renewal, you must now register as a user with the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS). Please visit the main webpage for the PALS system at https://www.pals.pa.gov/#/page/default to begin the registration process. The Board of Nursing recommends completing the registration process far in advance of the license renewal period to avoid any issues when attempting to apply for your license renewal prior to September 30.
- If you previously used the old electronic system for a license application or renewal, your information was transferred over to the PALS system. Please use your previous login and password information.
- If you are unable to recall either your password or your user ID, please visit www.pals.pa.gov/recover.
- Please do not forget to complete your Act 31 Reporting Child Abuse Training prior to renewing your license. A two-hour course must be completed once every renewal period. For a listing of approved Act 31 training providers, please visit: https://www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions/Pages/Act-31.aspx
If you have any questions about the renewal process, please reach out to your Licensure Chair at PA.Academy.CPC@gmail.com
ACT 31 OF 2014 – INITIAL TRAINING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION IN CHILD ABUSE RECOGNITION AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA), in conjunction with the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), is providing advance notice to all health-related licensees and funeral directors that are considered “mandatory reporters” under section 6311 of the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) (23 P.S. § 6311), as amended, that EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2015, all persons applying for issuance of an initial license shall be required to complete 3 hours of DPW-approved training in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of licensure.
Additionally, EFFECTIVE WITH THE FIRST LICENSE RENEWAL AFTER JANUARY 1, 2015, all health-related licensees and funeral directors applying for the renewal of a license issued by the Board shall be required to complete at least 2 hours of Board-approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of renewal.
Please note that Act 31 applies to all health-related licensees, regardless of whether they are subject to the continuing education requirements of the applicable board.
The training must be completed through courses approved by the PA State Board of Nursing. The listing of approved courses can be found here.
ACT 31 FAQ
1. Are LDNs Mandated Reporters and required to complete the training required under Act 31? I do not work with children, do I need to complete the training required under Act 31?
YES to both. The definition of a mandated reporter states that any person licensed or certified to practice in any health-related field under the jurisdiction of the Department of State is considered a mandated reporter and thus required to complete the training. LDNs are licensed by the Board of Nursing which is under the Department of State. Thus, LDNs are mandated reporters and required to complete the training.
2. When should I take the training required under Act 31?
New applicants for LDN (as of January 1, 2015) must take 3 hours of approved training BEFORE applying for LDN. Current licensees must take a minimum of 2 hours of training BEFORE LDN licensure renewal.
PLEASE NOTE: ONCE TRAINING IS COMPLETED, ALLOW 10 DAYS BEFORE APPLYING FOR LDN OR RENEWAL OF LDN TO ALLOW PROOF OF TRAINING COMPLETION TO REACH THE BOARD OF NURSING.