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Dietetic Internship Year

The curriculum for the dietetic internship year is delivered in several ways:

  • mandatory three-day online orientation (occurring at the end of June). The orientation provides interns with administrative details of the program, Professional Development, and Community Nutrition.
  • The internship year provides a total of 20 graduate credit hours of the 55 required to graduate with a Master of Science degree in Dietetics. Credits completed during the summer of the internship year 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.
  • 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). Please see below for documents detailing the required competencies & assignments for each rotation area:
  • A minimum of 1200 practice hours. Rotations are completed in 4 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 females 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 a full-time 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(s). Food service hours can be obtained in any facility with an industrial kitchen offering experience in food procurement, production, & distribution.  Examples of possible facilities include hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, food banks, community centers, restaurants, etc.
    • A minimum of 300 hours (maximum 400 hours) must be completed in a community rotation(s). Rotations with WIC and government assisted programs are strongly encouraged.
    • A minimum of 200 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 hours.
  • Homework hours are not considered part of the required 1,200 supervised practice hours and all interns are required to complete specific assignments outside of practice hours.
  • 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.