Monday, September 24, 2012

My Road to R.D.

It's official! I'm a Registered Dietitian!!

This past Saturday, I took and passed my R.D. exam! Eight long years after I started out on this career path, I'm finally here.  I'm so thrilled to join the ranks of so many fantastic nutrition professionals that are working to make our world healthier! 

{If you're not sure what type of work R.D.'s do or if you're interested in becoming an R.D. yourself...check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics site here.}

Let's take a look back at the long and winding road that has gotten me to this point...

In the fall of 2004, I started working towards a B.S. in Dietetics at the SUNY College at Oneonta.  During my four years there, I made lifelong friends and partied a tad.  Oh, I also took courses in Medical Nutrition Therapy, Foodservice Management, Biochemistry, Community Nutrition and more.  By the time graduation came, I honestly wasn't sure I was going to continue on this path to become a Registered Dietitian.  So I didn't apply to Dietetic Internship programs.  

In the summer of 2008, I began working for Nutrition Energy, a private nutrition practice in Manhattan.  It may sound cheesy but I consider this one of the best things to happen to me in terms of my career path.  I was able to get first-hand experience with nutrition counseling and was introduced to some of the absolute best dietetic professionals out there.  I found myself in awe of the incredible R.D.'s at Nutrition Energy and was reassured of the amazing impact nutrition has on people.   It was my inspiration to finish what I'd started.

I applied to Dietetic Internship programs for 2010 and was not selected.  The internship process is extremely competitive and frustrating.  The DI is a requirement for exam eligibility, and yet so many intelligent and experienced dietetics students get denied every year.  And then have to wait until the following year to apply again.  Which I did.  In the meantime, I went back to school and began working toward my M.S. in Nutrition.  

Finally, in April of 2011 I was matched with the North Shore LIJ Health System DI program.    This intensive 10-month program included rotations in long-term care, community nutrition, foodservice, and a main focus on clinical nutrition in the acute-care setting.  It was ridiculously challenging but I gained so much clinical knowledge...and a few fantastic friends. 

After graduating from the DI in June and successfully landing a job in a long-term care facility, I still had one more hoop to jump through!

I think the R.D. Exam might have been the most frustrating part for me, because I don't really feel that it is an accurate measurement of one's ability to be a good dietitian.  Hopefully that will change in the future.  As for me, I passed and that's all that matters!

So with all of that behind me, I'm officially Kimberly Hoban, RD.  I'm extremely proud of myself for setting a goal, finally achieving it...and doing something I'm passionate about.  In addition to patting myself on the back, I think it's important to thank the people who supported me along the way and made this all possible.  Bear with me as I give my best cheesy "acceptance" speech:

Thank you... my parents and my family.  They have given me so much unconditional love and support over the years and I'll never be able to repay them. Thank you isn't enough. my roommate.   She allowed me to borrow her wardrobe when I was working full-time for free.  She let me vent my endless frustrations over the past 8 years.  She let me and my laptop, internship modules, study-guides and flash cards take over the coffee table for way too long.  She's put up with my studying techniques (a.k.a. walking around the apartment talking to myself about adult diarrhea or the proper temperatures for cooking and storing meat).  Couldn't have done it without her! Thanks, LP. my mentors, preceptors and peers.  The nutrition community is truly amazing and I'm excited to continue being inspired by and learning from these people. my friends.  I have put a lot of people on the back-burner during this process due to time and money constraints, yet every hoop I jumped through I was met with reassurance, support and love.  Thanks dudes. my running shoes, hot tea and dark chocolate.  Every girl needs outlets and "me" time. anyone still reading this post.  Thanks for listening.  It's been a long road and I'm psyched for the rest of my journey ahead.  Let's do this.

Signing off,
Kimberly Hoban, R.D.


  1. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats!!! That is so awesome! My school wants me to take a few more classes and I'm all HECK NO I'M DONE!!! :-D Glad you found the light at the end of the tunnel, it's bright with possibility.

    1. Thanks Kristin! It's such a great feeling! Let's get together soon?