The curriculum is delivered in several ways:
- A mandatory three-day online orientation period. The orientation provides interns with administrative details of the program, Professional Development, and Community Nutrition.
- This internship program requires four academic graduate credits for two online courses in medical nutrition therapy and foodservice management. These courses are completed during the first two weeks of the internship. The courses are designed to orient interns to the program standards of practice and to ensure that each intern has the resources to attain competence in each area of study / practice.
- An online pre-assessment is completed at the beginning of the program to provide interns with the opportunity to evaluate their basic knowledge and to assist in improving their test-taking skills.
- The “Required Competencies and Assignments” must be completed by all interns. The required competencies and assignments are completed during a specific rotation (Ex: you will complete all required competencies and assignments for your clinical rotation as you complete the hours).
A minimum of 1000 practice hours. Rotations are completed in four different areas: clinical, food service, community, and area of concentration. Rotations must provide learning activities to attain the breadth and depth of the core competencies and concentration competencies. Learning activities throughout the rotation areas must prepare interns to implement the Nutrition Care Process with various populations and diverse cultures across the life cycle including infants, children, adolescents, adults, pregnant/lactating individuals and older adults. Learning activities must use a variety of educational approaches necessary for delivery of curriculum content to meet learner needs and facilitate learning objectives.
A minimum of 300 hours (maximum 400 hours) must be completed in a clinical rotation(s), with both inpatient and outpatient hours. Your clinical inpatient preceptor must be an RD. Ideally, more than one preceptor in your schedule will be an RD, such as a clinical outpatient RD. At least one hospital must be JCAHO approved. You must secure a hospital that offers acute care. Learning activities should prepare interns for professional practice with patients/clients with various conditions, including, but not limited to overweight and obesity; endocrine disorders; cancer; malnutrition and cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal diseases.
A minimum of 300 hours (maximum 400 hours) must be completed in a food service rotation. Examples of food service facilities are: hospitals, school nutrition programs, non-profit organizations, LTC facilities, and educational institutions.
A minimum of 300 hours (maximum 400 hours) must be completed in a community rotation(s). Examples of community facilities are: WIC, Head Start, Senior Nutrition program, Corporate/Employee wellness, Public Health Department, etc.
A minimum of 100 hours (maximum 300 hours) must be completed in an area of concentration, Nutrition Education & Counseling or Management.
A minimum of 40 hours (maximum 80 hours) must be completed in a Long Term Care (LTC) facility as part of your clinical hours OR your foodservice non-hospital hours.
- Homework hours are not considered part of the required 1,000 supervised practice hours and all interns are required to complete specific assignments outside of practice hours.
- Of the 1,000 practice hours, a total of 200 hours may be completed remotely in virtual rotations (not inlcuding orientation).
- The remaining supervised practice hours must be completed in-person.
- Interns are expected to reside in the United States and complete thier supervised practice in the country.
- No credit is given toward supervised practice hour requirements for prior experience. All students in the UNCO Dietetic Internship Program are required to complete 1000 hours of the supervised practice experience. Students who have extensive experience in one area of dietetics may petition to substitute different learning activities for ones that would not be redundant for them. Students must be able to document experience and skill at learning experiences they wish to substitute but please understand you will be completing the necessary hours in that rotation but in a different “experience”.
- The achievement of competencies is documented through the use of Rotation Evaluation Forms that include the Competencies and are referenced to the Required Assignments and Experiences outline, and the concentration areas.
- Domain Examinations are taken online in order to assist in preparation of the Registered Dietitian Certification Exam.
- Completion of on-going surveys of the UNC dietetic internship will be expected throughout your experience.
- Completion of an exit survey must be done prior to graduating from the UNC internship.
Dietetic Internship Director:
Nicole Withrow, PhD, RDN