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Public Health Nutrition



The RRM Public Health Nutrition staffing module estimates the requirements for Registered Dietitians (RDs)/nutritionists who work primarily outside the hospital/clinical setting to provide nutrition services to communities and programs that promote health promotion and disease prevention in the community. She/he will focus on populations and groups of people rather than on individuals. The public health nutritionists (RD) function as the nutrition expert working with other members of the public health team in a local health agency/setting.

Services Description:

Public Health Nutritionist (RD + master's degree) or Community Dietitian (RD-bachelor's level) functions as the nutritionist working with other members of the public health team in a local health agency/setting. Specific duties include:

Program Development and Evaluation
  • Conducting community or population-based assessments
  • Developing operational plans for nutrition service delivery using professional and community input
  • Conducting surveillance and monitoring of nutrition-related status and risk factors to determine population based nutrition status
  • Provides leadership and expertise in improving the capacity of the community to build a public health infrastructure to better ensure population based behavior change through community centered and community led policy and environmental changes.
  • Provides leadership in community and/or population based interventions that collaborate across disciplines, programs and agencies; and leadership in addressing the access and quality issues around direct nutrition services for populations.
  • Initiating, facilitating and implementing collaborations between local, state and national programs
  • Planning, coordinating, directing, arranging, conducting and evaluating programs/interventions and nutrition components of health promotion and disease prevention educational activities.

Training and Resource Development

  • Developing a variety of curricula and training materials that can be used by clinical and community health professionals, community health workers and tribal food program staff
  • Translating research and new data into health messages
  • Teaching nutrition and health promotion related classes in a variety of settings to professional staff, nutrition program staff and community members. Other services provided include: wellness centers, school nutrition programs such as
  • Head Start and WIC; tribal schools; elderly and residential treatment programs and breastfeeding promotion activities.

Direct Services

  • Functions as a case manager/care coordinator in home health and clinical programs outside the hospital or ambulatory setting, serving medically high-risk clients, implementing standards of care
  • Providing consultation and technical assistant to food assistance programs and other tribal programs and health and social agency staff
  • Providing expert technical assistance and consultation in case management and medical nutrition therapy in a home or community setting.
    • Completing nutrition assessments of individuals
    • Developing realistic nutrition care plans
    • Counseling individuals and families on nutrition needs and diet modifications
    • Referring clients to appropriate community resources, and evaluating clinical care outcomes.

Staff Supervision

  • Supervises public health nutrition program
  • Prepares works assignments
  • Sets performance standards and conducts performance evaluations
  • Schedules nutrition program staff

Other Administrative Duties

  • Participates in multidisciplinary committees, staff meetings and conferences
  • Collaborates with professional and non-professional staff of a variety of disciplines
  • Chairs and/or conducts meetings.

Staffing Criteria

1.1 Public Health Nutritionist for every 3,333 user or census population for the first 15,000 population then 0.5 FTE for every 3,333 population.

.5 Nutritionist Technician for every 3,333 user or census population for the first 15,000 population then 0.25 FTE for every 3,333 population.

Staffing Formulae

Driving Variables:

User or Census Population, which ever is larger.

Personnel Categories:

PHN/Registered Dietitian
Nutritionist Technician


All staffing levels are variable, based on population.


Personal Category FTEs per Driving Variables Min. Max.
Supervisor 1 Facility
PHN/RD 1.1 3,333 User or Census Population n/a 15,000
Nutritionist Technician 0.50 3,333 User or Census Population n/a 15,000
PHN/RD 0.55 3,333 User or Census Population 15,001 n/a
Nutritionist Technician 0.25 3,333 User or Census Population 15,001 n/a