Enteral and Parenteral Order Writing Survey-A Collaborative Evaluation Between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Dietitians in Nutrition Support Dietetics Practice Group and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) Dietetics Practice Section

Nutr Clin Pract. 2020 Jun;35(3):377-385. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10467. Epub 2020 Mar 25.


Introduction: In 2014 and 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services authorized nutrition-related ordering privileges for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) in hospital and long-term care settings, respectively. Despite this practice advancement, information describing current parenteral nutrition (PN) and enteral nutrition (EN) ordering practices is lacking. Dietitians in Nutrition Support, a dietetic practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Dietetics Practice Section of the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) utilized a survey to describe PN and EN ordering practices among RDNs in the United States.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was utilized to describe RDN PN and EN ordering privileges. Respondents were asked to describe PN and EN ordering privileges, primary practice setting, primary patient population served, nutrition specialty certification, highest degree earned, career length, and if applicable, the nature of prior denials for ordering privileges or reasons for not applying for ordering privileges.

Results: Seven hundred two RDNs completed the survey (12% response rate), with 664 RDNs providing complete data. The majority of respondents (n = 558) cared for adult/geriatric patients. Among this subset, 47% had no PN ordering privileges; 14% could order and sign PN; 28% could order PN with provider cosignature; 10% could order partial PN with provider cosignature. Nineteen percent of RDNs had no EN ordering privileges; 37% could order and sign EN; 44% could order EN with provider cosignature. RDNs with ordering privileges were more likely to have a nutrition specialty certification and work in an academic or community hospital setting.

Conclusion: PN and EN ordering privileges are varied because of institution and state requirements. Future research describing the outcomes associated with RDN ordering privileges is needed. This paper has been approved by the Academy's Research, International, and Scientific Affairs team and Council on Research and the ASPEN Board of Directors. This article has been co-published with permission in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The articles are identical except for minor stylistic and spelling differences in keeping with each journal's style. Either citation can be used when citing this article.

Keywords: enteral nutrition; medical order entry systems; nutrition support; ordering privileges; parenteral nutrition; registered dietitian nutritionist.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Academies and Institutes
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietetics / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Dietetics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Enteral Nutrition* / methods
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Intersectoral Collaboration
  • Long-Term Care
  • Medicaid
  • Medical Staff Privileges / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Medical Staff Privileges / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medicare
  • Nutritionists / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Nutritionists / statistics & numerical data*
  • Parenteral Nutrition* / methods
  • Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States