NSDA Update - Winter 2019
This past fall, presentations were held to provide an overview of what will change when NSDA transitions to a College. The timeline for proclamation of the new Act remains unknown, but we are preparing for fall 2019. In the spring, sessions will be held in Digby, Yarmouth and Cape Breton. A session will also be offered via video conference. Dates and times will be emailed to registrants in the spring.
When the Dietitians Act (2009) is proclaimed, NSDA will become the Nova Scotia College of Dietitians and Nutritionists (NSCDN). The aim of professional regulation is to protect the public by ensuring professionals are qualified to practice and practice in a competent, safe and ethical manner. NSDA was established in 1956 and had the dual role of functioning as both a regulatory body and an association. In 1998, NSDA began functioning solely as a regulatory body. Dietitians of Canada took on the profession's association role.
Under NSDA's current legislation, the profession's titles are protected. Therefore, only those licensed with NSDA may use the protected titles: dietitian and nutritionist. The new Act protects the titles, registered dietitian (RD) and nutritionist.
In the new legislation, the profession's scope of practice is defined. A defined scope of practice will enable the profession to move forward in a manner consistent with most other health professions in Nova Scotia and with dietitians in most other provinces. A scope of practice will enable dietitians to practice to their full capacity. In other words, they will be authorized to do what they are qualified to do. For example, the dietitian will be licensed to order an enteral nutrition regime for a patient in the hospital. Standards for nutrition prescription have been developed and will be launched after college proclamation.
There will be new license categories and the ability to move onto a non-practicing roster if a registrant is taking a leave of absence from practice. The new legislation will enable the profession to self-regulate and for the board to govern in accordance with best practices and in-line with other colleges in Nova Scotia.