Exam Bulletin - Registered Dietitian (Safety)

Department of State Hospitals

Multiple Testing Departments. Please see list of Departments.

Exam Code: EX-1296

Examination Plans Included:


Final Filing Date: Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Classification Details

REGISTERED DIETITIAN (SAFETY): $4,593.00 - $6,239.00 (A) per Month
REGISTERED DIETITIAN (SAFETY): $5,525.00 - $7,331.00 (T) per Month
REGISTERED DIETITIAN (SAFETY): $4,593.00 - $7,331.00 per Month

View the REGISTERED DIETITIAN (SAFETY) classification specification.

Application Instructions

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Who Should Apply:

The information below will help you determine which classification(s) is(are) appropriate for you. Applicants must meet the Minimum Qualifications as stated on this bulletin to compete in this examination.

Open and Open, Non-Promotional Examination(s):


For all Classifications, once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 6 months:

Exam Code(s):


For REGISTERED DIETITIAN (SAFETY), once you have participated in any of the following examinations, you may not recompete for 6 months:

Exam Code(s):

  • EX-01296

How To Apply:

Submit an Examination/Employment Application (STD 678) to apply for this examination.

Electronic applications can be submitted through your account at www.CalCareers.ca.gov.

Special Testing Arrangements:

If you require assistance or alternative testing arrangements due to a disability, indicate on your application that you need reasonable accommodation. You will be contacted by a representative of the testing department to make the necessary arrangements. If you have not been contacted by the time you receive notification of testing, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

If you are unable to submit your application or complete the test due to a disability, please contact the testing department listed in the Contact section of this bulletin.

Minimum Qualifications

All applicants must meet the education and/or experience requirements as stated on this exam bulletin to be accepted to the examination.

Unless otherwise stated in the Minimum Qualifications, qualifying experience may be combined on a proportionate basis if the requirements stated below include more than one pattern and are distinguished as "Either" 1, "or" 2, "or" 3, etc. For example, applicants possessing qualifying experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 1 and additional experience amounting to 50% of the required time of Pattern 2 may be accepted to an examination as meeting 100% of the overall experience requirement.


Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (Applicants with proof of eligibility to apply for registration will be admitted to the examination but must become registered to be eligible for appointment.)

Position Description


This class is distinguished from the Registered Dietitian by the custody requirements imposed by the criminal nature of the forensic client or patient, and the security features of the facility.


Under direction, incumbents complete nutrition assessments; assist and advise clinical personnel on special nutrition needs; plan dietary intervention and strategies; attend interdisciplinary team conferences; monitor and document nutritional needs and goals; may accept or transmit verbal or electronically transmitted orders from physicians consistent with an established protocol to implement medical nutrition therapy; order medical laboratory tests related to medical nutrition therapy within established protocols; interpret prescription diets; plan regular and special therapeutic diets; establish menus and recipes for use by food production personnel; authorize substitution or modification of diets; assist in the selection of dietary staff; plan and conduct training programs for facility staff, clients, patients, and others; and adhere to food safety and infection control standards.


May participate in committees relating to nutrition, food service, bioethics, performance improvement/quality assurance, and other issues; review the professional work of dietetic interns, Pre-Registered Dietitians, and Dietetic Technicians; and comply with relevant legal and professional requirements.


Apply strategies for the prevention and management of assaultive behavior; promote a safe and secure work environment through effective communication; maintain professional client or patient staff relationship; and identify safety/security hazards and contraband control.


Assist staff in the counting, distribution, and accounting for all utensils to prevent their use as weapons; inspecting facility to identify security breaches that could lead to forensic client or patient escape; and observing and intervening in forensic client or patient behavior that may signal an impending escape attempt.


Special Personal Characteristics

Willingness to work at State facilities with forensic patients/residents/clients/inmates; willingness to work respectfully and courteously with forensic patients/residents/clients/inmates; objective empathetic understanding of the problems of forensic patients/residents/clients/inmates; tact; patience; emotional stability; alertness; keenness of observation; and personal cleanliness.


Special Physical Characteristics

Incumbents must be reasonably expected to possess and maintain sufficient strength, agility, and endurance to perform during physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful and emergency situations encountered on the job without endangering their health and well-being or that of fellow employees, the forensic patients/residents/clients/inmates, and the general public.

For information regarding position location(s), please refer to the Eligible List Information section.

Examination Information

This examination consists of the following components:

  • Online Exam : 100% of the final score.

A final score of 70% must be attained to be placed on the eligible list.

In addition to evaluating the applicant's relative knowledge, skill and ability as demonstrated by quality and breadth of education/experience, emphasis in each test component will be on measuring competitively, relative to job demands, each applicant's:

Knowledge of:

  1. Principles, practices, and theories of nutrition and dietetics, including medical nutrition therapy.
  2. Methods of planning, preparing, and serving food to a large number of persons.
  3. Special dietary requirements of mentally or developmentally disabled persons, pediatric and geriatric populations, and other patient/resident/client/inmate groups.


Ability to:

  1. Apply the principles and practices of nutrition and dietetics, including medical nutrition therapy.
  2. Communicate nutritional requirements to patients/residents/clients/inmates.
  3. Assess nutritional status and develop nutrition care plans.
  4. Communicate nutritional concerns and recommendations with the interdisciplinary team.
  5. Provide effective nutrition education and training.
  6. Analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.

Eligible List Information

A Servicewide Open eligible list for the REGISTERED DIETITIAN (SAFETY) Classification will be established for:

  • State of California

The names of successful competitors will be merged onto the eligible list(s) in order of final score regardless of test date. Eligibility expires 12 months after it is established. Applicants must then retake the examination to reestablish eligibility.

Resulting Eligibility List(s) will be used to fill vacancies throughout the State of California.

Veterans' Preference will be granted for this examination. Veterans' Preference is an assistance program for veterans, veteran widows and widowers, and spouses of 100% disabled veterans who seek employment with the state. Veterans' Preference is also extended to currently serving military members nearing their retirement or separation date.

You are not eligible for Veteran's Preference if you are:

  • A veteran who has been dishonorably discharged or released.
  • A veteran, widow or widower of a veteran, or spouse of a 100 percent disabled veteran who currently has permanent civil service status. (Permanent civil service status is the status of an employee who is lawfully retained in his/her position after completion of the applicable probationary period. This does not include limited term).

Veterans' Preference is codified in Government Code Sections 18973 – 18979.

Veteran status is verified by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Directions to apply for Veterans' Preference are on the Veterans' Preference Application (Std. Form 1093), which is available at www.CalCareers.ca.gov, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Career Credits are not granted for examination(s) administered on an Open basis or a Promotional basis.

Registered Dietitian (Safety) Training & Experience Examination Preview

Rate your knowledge and experience performing specific job-related tasks.


  1. Provide comprehensive nutritional assessments and reviews of patients’ nutritional status to determine nutrient requirements.
  2. Document and record individual nutritional assessments in the patient's record and maintain current patient profile information (e.g., weight, food preferences, allergies/intolerances).

  3. Complete nutritional assessment and make referral.

  4. Identify patients at high nutrition risk based on established criteria and initiate a more intensive nutrition therapy plan.

  5. Coordinate Medical Nutrition Therapy for patients and monitor their response to Medical Nutrition Therapy and plan of care to determine effectiveness.

  6. Provide nutrition counseling, education, and information to patients, staff, and interns on appropriate food selections and eating behaviors on an individual and/or group basis.

  7. Interpret patients’ prescriptions for special diets and authorize any substitution or modification of special diets.

  8. Communicate information regarding patients on special diets to appropriate staff.

  9. Enter and analyze patient data using computer software and generating pertinent reports (e.g., assessment forms).

  10. Collaborate with the treatment/interdisciplinary team to implement a nutrition therapy plan to include diet modifications, drug/food interaction/allergies, nutrition education, monitor patient progress, and further recommendations for evaluation and treatment.

  11. Provide patient contact and assist in identifying potential referrals.

  12. Maintain professional development to improve knowledge and skills in regard to nutrition services to promote continued competence.

  13. Monitor the special diets and nourishment of patients for accuracy.

  14. Keep abreast of current clinical nutrition issues by participating in training, workshops, classes, and literature review.

  15. Develop and revise nutrition information lesson plans, materials, and deliver group or one on one education opportunities for patients.

Rate your knowledge and experience applying specific job-related knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of:

  1. Principles, practices, and theories of nutrition and dietetics including Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) to treat medical conditions and symptoms of adult and geriatric patients.
  2. Methodologies and standard protocol for keeping sensitive data confidential and secure including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

  3. Time management techniques to provide for efficient prioritization and completion of multiple simultaneous projects and assignments.

Ability to:
  1. Assess needs and apply the principles and practices of nutrition and dietetics, including medical nutrition therapy, to provide nutritional care to patients.

  2. Accurately document nutritional data in the medical record.

  3. Maintain professional interactions with staff and patients.

  4. Use judgment and discretion to safeguard confidential patient records, documents, and information.

  5. Effectively listen to others (e.g., patients, peers, management, etc.) to facilitate an open exchange of ideas and to communicate effectively.

  6. Communicate effectively to educate patients regarding nutrition information and interventions.

  7. Collaborate with an interdisciplinary team to effectively discuss nutrition concerns and recommendations.

  8. Conduct oneself with professional integrity to foster confidence and credibility among patients and other staff during the performance of duties.

  9. Work independently on projects or assignments without close supervision or detailed instructions.

  10. Clearly communicate in person, via telephone and/or e-mail to ensure professional and effective information sharing.

  11. Operate computer software (e.g., Microsoft Word) to create and format written documents, such as training curriculum, letters, reports, memos, assessments, policies, and procedures regarding nutrition services.

  12. Be objective and flexible in adapting to changes in priorities, work assignments, and other situations that may impact pre-established courses of action.

Testing Departments

  • Department of State Hospitals
  • State of California

Contact Information

Questions regarding this examination should be directed to:

Department of State Hospitals
Sean Dunston
Department of State Hospitals - Sacramento
Human Resources Office
1215 O Street, MS 17
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 352-3634

California Relay Service: 1-800-735-2929 (TTY), 1-800-735-2922 (Voice). TTY is a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, and is reachable only from phones equipped with a TTY Device.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The State of California is an equal opportunity employer to all, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability (mental and physical), exercising the right to family care and medical leave, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religious creed, sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and related medical conditions), and sexual orientation.

Drug Free Statement

It is an objective of the State of California to achieve a drug-free State work place. Any applicant for State employment will be expected to behave in accordance with this objective, because the use of illegal drugs is inconsistent with the law of the State, the rules governing civil service, and the special trust placed in public servants.

General Information

Examination and/or Employment Application (STD 678) forms are available at the California Department of Human Resources, local offices of the Employment Development Department, and through your CalCareer Account (www.CalCareers.ca.gov).

If you meet the requirements stated on this examination bulletin, you may take this examination, which is competitive. Possession of the entrance requirements does not assure a place on the eligible list. Your performance in the examination described in this bulletin will be rated against a predetermined job-related rating, and all applicants who pass will be ranked according to their scores.

Department of State Hospitals reserves the right to revise the examination plan to better meet the needs of the service, if the circumstances under which this examination was planned change. Such revision will be in accordance with civil service laws and rules and all applicants will be notified.

General Qualifications: Applicants must possess essential personal qualifications including integrity, initiative, dependability, good judgment, the ability to work cooperatively with others, and a state of health consistent with the ability to perform the assigned duties of the class. A medical examination may be required. In open examinations, investigation may be made of employment records and personal history and fingerprinting may be required.

Eligible Lists: Eligible lists established by competitive examination, regardless of date, must be used in the following order: 1) sub-divisional promotional, 2) departmental promotional, 3) multi-departmental promotional, 4) service-wide promotional, 5) departmental open, 6) open. When there are two lists of the same kind, the older must be used first. Eligible lists will expire in one to four years unless otherwise stated on the bulletin.

High School Equivalence: Equivalence to completion of the 12th grade may be demonstrated in any one of the following ways: 1) passing the General Education Development (GED) Test; 2) completion of 12 semester units of college-level work; 3) certification from the State Department of Education, a local school board, or high school authorities that the competitor is considered to have education equivalent to graduation from high school; or 4) for clerical and accounting classes, substitution of business college work in place of high school on a year-for-year basis.

Accepted applicants must provide proof of identification at each in-person test session. Acceptable identification consists of a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification.

Application Methods:
Electronic (Your CalCareer Account)