What is a Nutrition Manager and how do you become one?

A Nutrition Manager (NM) plays an important role in healthcare delivery, working closely with many other healthcare professionals to ensure patients receive the best nutritional care possible, and have the best healthcare experience and outcome. Nutrition Managers are a fundamental part of the care team.

Nutrition Managers are key people, in many different kinds of healthcare organizations. According to the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management (CSNM), the organization that accredits the profession, the areas of practice for a Nutrition Manager include:

  • Hospitals – including acute care, chronic, rehabilitation, and pediatric
  • Long-term care and nursing homes
  • Correctional facilities
  • Commercial catering services
  • Government agencies
  • Colleges, schools, and universities
  • Hospitality industry
  • Consulting services
  • Private practice

In healthcare organizations, Nutrition Managers work collaboratively with dieticians, dietary aids, nurses, and physicians. As a member of this care team, the NM is responsible for ensuring each patient is treated as an individual by offering suitable menu options to ensure they are receiving the right diets for their nutritional, therapeutic or cultural needs all within a strict budget.

Nutrition Managers are competent business people who work closely with facility managers and those in procurement roles. Overall, they are responsible for managing the operations of the Food and Nutrition Department and staff.

The Nutrition Manager is a healthcare leader. Their responsibilities may vary depending on the size of the facility. And as every patient is different, being a Nutrition Manager is an ideal role for people who like to do something a little different every day.

The expected salary range for a Nutrition Manager in Canada is $50,000 – $60,000. Consistent with healthcare and the hospitality sectors as a whole, the majority of people who hold this position are female. Most employed in this profession report a high degree of job satisfaction.


How do you become a Nutrition Manager?

The first step in becoming a Nutrition Manager is developing an interest and passion in healthcare and improving the patient experience through food and nutrition. Many people find themselves working in this field after studying in a dietetics program, working in a kitchen or another role within healthcare.

In order to take their career to the next level and become a Nutrition Manager, an accredited Food Service and Nutrition Management (FSNM) Program must be successfully completed. CHA Learning offers a flexible, affordable, online program that enhances knowledge of and performance in areas such as: food service, business operations, human resources management, quality management and nutrition and diet therapy. Our program is accredited by CSNM and has been educating leaders in food service for over 50 years. Most recently, we have begun offering our program in partnership with our college affiliate, Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Our Program

While we have developed more Nutrition Managers than any other program in Canada, we are always looking to improve, and ourselves be leaders. That is why in 2013 we completely redesigned our FSNM Program with the working professional in mind. We worked closely with experts in the field who are leading in this area to develop a flexible program that meets the education requirements that are defined by the CSNM. The end result is an affordable, engaging and supportive program that will equip you with the tools, skills, and confidence to take that next step in your career. You’ll be able to study at your own pace, on your own schedule while working and being present in your family life.

CHA Learning’s FSNM program received a 5-year accreditation from the CSNM in 2015. This is the highest standard for accreditation a program can achieve. Students can automatically apply for membership with CSNM upon graduation from our program. To learn more about this, visit our Food Service and Nutrition Management Program webpage.


Are you interested in a career as a Nutrition Manager? We would love to hear about what interests you in this career! Send us an email, connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn!

By: Jennifer Wilkinson, Director, Food System and Nutrition Management at CHA Learning.