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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

ACSM Certification

The BS in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology (BS NEP) prepares students for Health Fitness Certifications and Specialty Certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and also puts them on the path toward completion of requirements for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The coursework and supervised practice required for the RDN exam is offered through the WSU MS CPD program.

BS NEP graduates will have a strong foundation in the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the non-clinical ACSM certifications noted above, as well as other health professional credentials. In addition, BS NEP students completing an approved clinical internship will be able to apply their practical experience toward the hours required for the ACSM clinical certification (see below). Typically, students in the BS NEP can obtain up to 100 hours of clinically oriented practical hours in senior practicum (NEP 479 and 482) and 400 hours from the clinical internship, applying up to 500 hours toward the total hours required.

The ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-CEP) certification is a professional healthcare credential for individuals who provide exercise management, testing, and training to clients in a clinical setting. Effective September 2018, ACSM requirements for clinical certifications will change to a single ACSM-CEP certification. The new requirements for the ACSM-CEP include a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science or equivalent and 1,200 hours of clinical experience, or a master’s degree in Exercise Science or equivalent and 600 hours of clinical experience. The WSU Department of NEP is developing a clinical track at the masters level in response to this recent change.

Student Assessment

Assessment of student achievement in the BS NEP will be determined by the following knowledge, skills, and abilities as defined by the ACSM:

  • Knowledge competencies in core scientific content and its application to exercise physiology and metabolism: chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, human anatomy and physiology, human nutrition, nutritional physiology and metabolism, exercise physiology, human development, human behavior and psychology, exercise programming, electrocardiography, biomechanical analyses, pathophysiology of certain diseases.
  • Skills in critical thinking, professional ethics, client interaction, client education and resources (e.g., software, technology, equipment use/calibration/ maintenance), management, marketing, exercise assessment and prescription, and emergency procedures during exercise testing and program supervision.
  • Ability to describe normal and abnormal physiological and metabolic indices in resting and exercising persons.
  • Ability to discuss the use and limits of informed consent and medical clearance.
  • Ability to measure and assess physiological responses to exercise.
  • Ability to counsel for lifestyle management, recommend and modify exercise prescription for all ages and various diseases/conditions (e.g., cardiopulmonary disease, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndromes, arthritis, hypertension, chronic pain, cancer, etc.).
  • Ability to identify risk factors and provide recommendations for contraindicative factors to exercise.
  • Ability to demonstrate specific leadership techniques appropriate for working with participants of all ages, educate clients about mechanisms by which exercise may assist in the prevention or rehabilitation of various diseases.
  • Ability to describe specific strategies to encourage the initiation and adherence to healthy exercise and nutrition strategies and return to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the need for psychosocial consultation and referral of individuals who exhibit signs of psychological distress.

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Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology
Spokane Health Education and Research Building
Third Floor