Creative Pathways for RDN Career Development and Pay Enhancement


Clinical ladders have been a common practice to increase pay rates and recognize advanced skills of dietitians. However, clinical ladders aren’t typically linked to performance, fully aligned with organization priorities or flexible enough to meet the career growth needs of dietitians. Attend this session to hear a conversation with two nutrition leaders who phased out a career ladder and implemented a professional career series with defined job functions and job titles for four levels of RDN practitioners. This model created more flexibility with career development and more competitive hiring practices, and it increased average rates of pay for dietitians by 14.8%. You’ll learn key takeaways to obtain buy-in within your own team and from executive leaders to implement a model for dietitian advancement within your organization. It’s time to ignite the passion of your dietitians around career development and create opportunities for clinical nutrition career paths.

Learning Objectives

Describe the impacts of a professional career job series for dietitians

Identify key differences in job functions in a professional series and clinical nutrition management roles

Discuss key steps for executive and RDN staff support and implementation

Performance Indicators

3.1 Demonstrates and applies leadership skills

3.2 Advocates for and participates in activities that support advancement of the profession

14.4Coordinates human resource activities, adhering to labor agreements, organizational policies and applicable legislation


Melanie Gonzales

Director Food & Nutrition Services

Children's Hospital Colorado

Deedra Geniesse

Director, Clinical Nutrition Services

Stanford Medicine Healthcare


Whitney Gillies

Director Clinical Nutrition

Children's Hospital Colorado

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