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Dietetic Internship Program

Program Concentration: Medical Nutrition Therapy in Clinical & Community Dietetics

Phone:(908) 889-2488       
Fax: (908) 889-2505

M. Geraldine McKay, M. Ed, R.D.

Program Faculty:

Pinkin Panchal, MS, RD, CDE                                                                                                                                           



NEW LOCATION: Rutgers University-RBHS-School of  Health Professions

Department of Nutritional Sciences

65 Bergen Street, Newark, NJ  07107

FRIDAY:    November 17, 2017        TIME:   12 Noon - 2pm


MONDAY:      January 8, 2018                 TIME:   1:30pm - 3:30pm

        Room Location, Directions and Parking Instructions will be confirmed by Ms.Ora Payne
Register your attendance via email to: Ms. Ora Payne:

(Please include your Last name, First Name, University/College and a Cell Phone #)


Program Overview

The Dietetic Internship at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Health Professions (SHP) is housed within the Department of Nutritional Sciences. It is an intensive full time program providing a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice in nutrition and dietetics beyond the baccalaureate degree.  A minimum of a Bachelor's degree and completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics(DPD)are required. The program provides learning experiences through which dietetic interns acquire the core professional competencies required for practice as registered dietitians as well as additional competencies to fulfill the concentration in medical nutrition therapy in clinical and community dietetics. 

Concentration Description: Medical Nutrition Therapy in Clinical and Community Dietetics

The Dietetic Internship Program builds on previously acquired knowledge of food, nutrition and biological sciences. Course instruction focuses on theory and techniques of nutritional evaluation, management and care, and the scientific principles upon which to plan medical nutrition therapy. Since many of the implementation strategies used by a dietitian require communication, counseling and educational skills, classroom instruction emphasizes these principles and techniques. Dietetic interns have opportunities to work collaboratively with a variety of other health professionals and diverse learning experiences are provided in areas such as:

Acute clinical care including medical, surgical, renal, intensive care/nutrition support; ambulatory nutrition care; obstetric and pediatric rotations, rehabilitation, geriatrics, oral health, diabetes, community education and food access, management and delivery of community health promotion, multi-skilling, food service systems management and specialty dietetics practice.

The dietetic interns have opportunities to observe and participate with dietitians who are practitioners who work directly with or serve as consultants to community agencies, school systems, physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals. Throughout the internship year, the interns plan and prepare teaching aids for use in patient instruction or community based health promotion and disease prevention programs, utilize a variety of current technologies and participate in research projects.

Graduates of the program are able to assess the nutritional needs of individuals and groups. Based upon this assessment, a nutrition care plan determines the type of nutrition therapy required, the treatment modality, intervention strategies, and educational needs. Implementation of the nutrition care plan occurs through the provision of appropriate foods or other forms of nutrition support, individual client counseling or community education, and follow-up evaluation.  

The competencies for the concentration in Medical Nutrition Therapy in Clinical and Community Dietetics are:

1. Integrates pathophysiology, applies and interprets principles of medical nutrition therapy in patients with complicated disease states and conditions.

2. Conducts individualized comprehensive counseling and education sessions for patients/clients with diabetes and renal disease.

3. Develops, implements and evaluates a comprehensive, interactive community-based food and nutrition education program targeting adolescents located in a school setting.

Track I: Dietetic Internship                                                                                         Department of Nutritional Sciences (DNS), School of Health Professions (SHP)

A maximum of sixteen students (dietetic interns) are admitted into Track I on an annual basis and complete the program as SHP students. Students are admitted for summer session (July 1 annually) and complete a single, on-line summer course. The on-site requirements begin in late August and continue through the first week of May of the following year. Graduates are awarded a certificate solely from SHP attesting to their successful completion of the program, receive a Verification statement and they become eligible for active membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and to take the Registration Examination with the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Track 2: The Dietetic Internship/MS Track 2 option is NOT accepting applications for new students at this time.

Dietetic Internship through SHP and Masters-Degree through Graduate School-New Brunswick (GSNB)

Students( dietetic interns) in Track II are admitted as students into both SHP and GSNB and are required to meet the admissions and graduation requirements for both schools. This track has a maximum enrollment of four students. Students are admitted for summer session at SHP (July 1 annually) and complete a single on-line summer course. They begin an on-site with Track 1 students in late August and continue through the Fall semester at SHP completing half of the required supervised practice hours. The next three (spring, summer, fall) semesters are dedicated to graduate courses and Master's thesis research at GSNB. Students return to SHP in the spring of the second year to complete the second half of the supervised practice hours.  Upon completion of the supervised practice requirements, students are awarded a certificate from SHP, receive a Verification Statment, are prepared to meet the requirements for active membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and are eligible to take the Registration Examination with the Commission on Dietetic Registration. In the following summer, students return to GSNB to complete the writing and defense of the Masters thesis. Fulfillment of the academic requirements for the Master of Science Degree are then completed at GSNB with the conferral of the degree granted at that time. Students in both Track 1 and 2 complete an independent summer course prior to beginning supervised practice rotations.

Program Mission

The Dietetic Internship Program at SHP has a unique mission that is consistent with the preparation of entry-level registered dietitians. The program is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in Dietetics and Nutrition by providing the clinical and didactic education necessary to train competent, critically thinking and compassionate dietetic practitioners to apply a broad knowledge base of food, nutrient composition and the role of nutrition in the regulation of body processes. Graduates of the program are able to perform competently, work independently and collaboratively with other health professionals, educators and policy makers to promote health and positively impact the nutritional status of individuals within the community, state, national and global environments.  They are well-rounded practitioners able to adapt with the evolving healthcare environment. The mission of the Dietetic Internship Program is compatible with the University, School and Department Mission statements.

Program Goals and Outcomes

The goals of the Dietetic Internship Program for both Tracks are:


    • To provide clinical and didactic learning experiences reflecting the breadth of dietetic practice that allow dietetic students to become competent entry-level Registered Dietitians and graduates with the skills necessary to assume expanding roles in the health care environment.
    • To expand the knowledge and skills needed to develop practitioners who are able to actively participate in the application and practice of research, public policy and legislative issues and development and implementation of public presentations.
    • To foster attitudes and behaviors consistent with ethical, professional practice that will instill a sense of commitment and involvement in the profession and life-long learning.

    Track II (DI/MS) has the additional goal:

    • To provide students with the skills required for critically evaluating and actively conducting research in nutritional sciences through completion of the Master of Science Degree in Nutritional Sciences.

Program Objectives

90% of the students who enroll in the DI program will complete the program requirements within 150% of the time planned for completion.  ( Expected completion is 10 months with a maximum completion of 15 months).

80% of graduates, over a 5 year period will successfully pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians on the 1st attempt.

90% of graduates who seek employment within or outside of dietetics will obtain positions within 12 months of program completion.

90% of employers who respond to a graduate employer survey will rate the graduates performance as meeting or exceeding expectations.

50% or more of graduates will participate in one of the following activities: Public Policy/Legislative Issues, Public and Professional presentations.

25% of gradutes who respond to an alumni survey will have enrolled in an advanced degree program and/or seek certification in a specialty practice area at 5 years or longer following graduation.

          The learning experiences of the internship program have been selected in accordance with our program mission, goals and outcomes. The program graduates dietitians dedicated to the principles of health promotion and disease prevention and trained to fulfill their professional role competently and skillfully at a level commensurate with their experience.

To prepare the student to assume the role of the dietitian, the program provides experiences with individuals of all ages both well and ill. Beginning in a supervised environment, the intern gradually acquires the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to fill the existing need for trained dietitians.

Lifelong Learning at SHP

With a strong commitment to lifelong learning, SHP offers a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Nutrition exclusively for the Registered Dietitian. Graduates of the SHP Dietetic Internship Program who maintain a 3.2 GPA or better are granted admission into this graduate program after submitting a complete application and interviewing with the program faculty. In addition, graduates of the SHP Dietetic Internship Program are granted six credits toward the M.S. Degree if they begin the Master's program within 5 years of completing the Internship Program.

Accreditation Status

The School of Health Professions is accredited by the Commission of Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Dietetic Internship Program is accredited by the

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND),

120 S. Riverside Plaza, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995,

800/877-1600, ext. 5400
Fax: 312/899-4817

       In June 2012, the program received continued full accreditation status through 2022. 

SHP does not discriminate against qualified individuals on the basis of race, creed, national origin, or disability. The Disability Compliance Coordinator may be reached at 973-972-8594.

SHP recognizes the value of diversity and is committed to providing appropriate support for its student body.

                                                 Congratulations !!!!    to the 44th Dietetic Internship Class of 2017 !








Rutgers School of Health Professions



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