Rethinking RDN Leadership from Curriculum to Corporation


Registered dietitian nutritionists are the experts in nutrition, but are we seen as food and nutrition leaders? With opportunities in food service, clinical nutrition, marketing, education, and more, RDNs have a diverse set of opportunities available – but aren’t always taught the skills to pull up a seat at the table. A 2017 survey of clinical RDNs showed that 90% believed leadership was relevant in their daily practice, with 76% of RDNs saying they enjoyed their job more when they demonstrated leadership. When asked about their dietetics curriculum, most attributed leadership training to foodservice management coursework. In this session, learners will hear from Chelsea Capelo, MBA, RDN, LDN and Shawnee Kelly, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND, as they share how students and even seasoned RDNs can have a better understanding of the tools and opportunities available to optimize their career growth.

Planned with the Dietitians in Business and Communications Dietetic Practice Group

Learning Objectives

Explain the importance of applying leadership, business, and communication skills in any practice setting

Describe how enhanced leadership skills help RDNs get a seat at the table to challenge the status quo

Identify tools and opportunities to expand business and communications skills, empowering RDNs to go beyond the linear path of career development

Performance Indicators

3.1 Demonstrates and applies leadership skills

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

4.2 Exercises critical thinking when faced with opportunities and challenges


Chelsea Capelo

Director of Clinical & Patient Operations

Luby’s Culinary Services

Shawnee Kelly

Assistant Teaching Professor/MPS in Nutritional Sciences Graduate Program Coordinator

The Pennsylvania State University


Amanda Kruse

Medical Marketing Manager - Specialty

Reckitt/ Mead Johnson Nutrition

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