ABOUT LR'S DIETETIC INTERNSHIP
LR’s Dietetic Internship, in concert with its innovative Solmaz Institute, offers qualified students the opportunity to meet the post-baccalaureate requirements necessary to allow them to sit for the Registered Dietitian (RD) certification exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Internship opportunities are available locally, regionally, and/or through LR’s distance program, which provides student interns the ability to complete their supervised practice rotations in their own geographic location within the United States.
The Solmaz Institute provides a unique post-baccalaureate dietetic internship that focuses on the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity in addition to meeting the basic competencies set forth by ACEND. At this time LR offers the only program with this concentration in the United States.
Candidates interested in applying must meet the following criteria:
- Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website to read more about this profession if you are interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian. The ACEND website provides information about the requirements and processes for becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist and dietetic technician, registered.
- Please note, requirements to take the RD credentialing exam are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree, with coursework from an ACEND accredited program (coursework would include nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, chemistries and related labs, statistics, etc). Those who have successfully completed the required undergraduate coursework will have a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement. If you are interested in practicing in the field of nutrition and dietetics learn more about programs in your area that offer this coursework. The Dietetic Internship is a post-baccalaureate program only, the required undergraduate courses are not offered at LRU at this time.
DIETETIC INTERNSHIP CURRICULAR INFORMATION
The Dietetic Internship program offers location options in North Carolina (Asheville/Western NC, Hickory/Foothills Region, or Charlotte Region) or South Carolina, in addition to the distance internship option.
Interns in the Distance Option complete the internship in their own geographic location outside of North and South Carolina. Distance interns are currently required to attend the orientation courses on the LR campus but will complete the supervised practice portion of their internship and the capstone course in their own geographic area. A personal computer and high speed internet access is required of all interns as didactic learning will be delivered via online modules, assignments and blogs outside of the interns supervised practice hours. The distance intern is responsible for securing preceptors and supervised practice facilities in their own geographic location. At this time, we can accept distance applications from all states and territories except Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). For more information, please contact the Director of International & Special Projects.
The Dietetic Internship is a post-baccalaureate program only at LR, and it does not alone lead to a graduate degree (although a number of interns do choose to complete their Master of Public Health (MPH) in concert with the DI program. Students earn 18 graduate credits upon completion of the dietetic internship, of which nine may be applied toward the Master of Public Health degree offered at Lenoir-Rhyne University. The remaining Master of Public Health degree courses are offered online.
Interns meet the following competencies specific to childhood and adolescent weight management:
- Apply current evidence-based or best practice recommendations for dietary treatment of weight status and associated co-morbidities in the pediatric population as part of an interdisciplinary team.
- Identify environmental, cultural, socio-economic, and family influences for the prevention of overweight in the pediatric population.
- Identify population approaches, community programs, target sites for intervention and areas of concern related to the prevention and development of overweight.
The Dietetic Internship program currently consists of the following components:
- The Dietetic Internship is a full-time (40 hours/week) nine-month program that begins in August annually.
- Orientation, currently held virtually due to COVID-19, familiarizes interns with program details and prepare them for supervised practice rotations.
- Three supervised practice rotations:
- Clinical (11 weeks/440 hours)--includes a minimum of 8 weeks at an inpatient acute care facility (hospital), with the remaining weeks either at the same inpatient facility or at another clinical location, such as outpatient services (diabetes center, renal dialysis center, surgical weight loss, eating disorders and/or women's health), or a rehabilitation or long-term care center.
- Community (8 weeks/320 hours)--may be completed at a health department, or other outpatient community health facility, or organization which provides nutrition services such as WIC, childhood/adolescent nutrition and community nutrition education.
- Foodservice Management (4 weeks/160 hours) — includes experience in hospital foodservice management or school nutrition.
- 80 hours of supervised practice simulations
- Educational enrichment and activities related to our concentration of childhood obesity prevention and treatment.
- Online capstone activities designed to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired throughout the year and provide preparation for moving forward professionally
Program Completion Requirements:
To meet all the requirements for the program (for both regional and distance options), the intern must complete the required didactic work, supervised practice hours, graduate coursework and demonstrate satisfactory performance and competence throughout the program rotations, as evaluated by site preceptors and the Dietetic Internship Director. The intern must complete all program and self-assessments. The intern must demonstrate no misconduct, academic or non-academic, and must perform ethically in accordance with the values of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The intern will receive a Dietetic Internship Verification Statement following successful completion of the dietetic internship. Their name will also be submitted to CDR for eligibility for the RD exam.
- 94% of students in LR’s Dietetic Internship program passed the CDR Credentialing Exam for Dietitian Nutritionists within one year of first attempt between 2017 and 2019.
- 92% of students in LR’s Dietetic Internship program passed the CDR Credentialing Exam for Dietitian Nutritionists within one year of first attempt in 2019.
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program at Lenoir-Rhyne are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.
In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.