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Degree Offered

Students who complete the UNMC Dietetic Internship Program are awarded a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. They will also receive a verification Statement of Completion and are eligible to take the national registration examination for dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Course credit earned during the dietetic internship can be applied toward a master's degree for students who pursue that option.

Length of Program

Nutrition Therapy Emphasis

The UNMC Dietetic Internship Program has a nutrition therapy emphasis that provides approximately 1000 hours of the total 1320 hours of supervised practice experience. Management, community nutrition, and clinical research comprise the remainder of the supervised practice experience. Courses emphasizing nutrition therapy, nutrition research and community nutrition are integrated into the program.

Calendar

The dietetic internship program begins in mid-August and is completed in mid-July of the following year. Classes are conducted on Mondays and supervised practice experiences are scheduled Tuesdays. Service learning and community nutrition experiences also occur on selected evenings and weekend days. Additional time is required to complete reading assignments and projects associated with classes and clinical rotations.

Degree Requirements

Students in the 11-month post-baccalaureate UNMC Dietetic Internship Program complete 15-18 semester credit hours of coursework in conjunction with the supervised practice experience. Most of the courses are interdisciplinary, covering a variety of topics in healthcare management, research, and ethics. Some of the courses are specific to the dietetic internship program, covering specific nutrition therapy, foodservice systems management and community nutrition topics.

Academic Medical Center

The nutrition therapy rotations are provided at Nebraska Medicine, the primary clinical teaching site for UNMC. The clinical preceptors are experienced Registered Dietitians and Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapists with academic appointments in the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions. This academic medical center setting provides a unique and stimulating interprofessional learning environment.

Outcomes

The curriculum is competency based. Students completing the UNMC Dietetic Internship Program are prepared for entry-level practice and are qualified to take the national Registration Examination for Dietitians. During the five year period of 2011-2015, UNMC graduates achieved a 93% first-time pass rate on the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Master's Degree

The Medical Nutrition Education Program offers a master's degree with an emphasis in medical nutrition. Students enrolled in the UNMC Dietetic Internship Program are eligible to pursue a master's degree upon successful completion of the post-baccalaureate certificate requirements. Coursework completed during the dietetic internship program will contribute toward the master's degree.

Admission to the Program

Enrollment in each program is limited and competitive. Evaluation of the qualifications of each applicant and the final selections for admission are made by the admissions committee of each program, which comprises program faculty and administration.

To be considered for admission, students are required to have:

  1. Bachelor's Degree from a U.S. regionally accredited college or university
  2. Verification Statement of Completion of (or Declaration of Intent to Complete) a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (Students who are in their final months of study are eligible to apply.)
  3. Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale
  4. GRE -- General test scores sent to UNMC Institution Code 6896, Nutrition Department Code 0214

How to Apply

For information on how to apply to the Medical Nutrition Internship Program, visit the "How to Apply" website. For information on application deadlines and interview dates, visit the "Application Deadline" website.

Master's Degree Option

The Medical Nutrition Education Program offers a master's degree with an emphasis in medical nutrition. Students enrolled in the dietetic internship are eligible to pursue a master's degree upon successful completion of the post-baccalaureate certificate requirements. Coursework completed during the dietetic internship program will contribute toward the master's degree.

Purpose

The purpose of this educational track is to offer Medical Nutrition Education Division students (UNMC Dietetic Internship program students) the opportunity to complete a Master’s degree  with an emphasis in Medical Nutrition. This option is designed to prepare graduates with the advanced knowledge, research skills, and intellectual maturity to advance the practice of medical nutrition.

Program Objectives

The Medical Nutrition master's degree option at UNMC has two primary objectives:

  1. Train medical nutrition practitioners to conduct sound medical nutrition research and collaborate with researchers across other scientific disciplines.
  2. Apply evidence based principles in clinical practice and contribute to the development of evidence based guidelines for nutrition care.

Admission

UNMC Dietetic Internship Program students will be eligible to pursue a master's degree after successful completion of the post-baccalaureate certificate requirements.

Program of Study

The CAHP Medical Nutrition Education (MNE) faculty at UNMC will oversee the admission of students and appointment of master’s student supervisory committees. Students seeking the master's degree must satisfy all of the requirements of the program. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Didactic course work
  • Participation in Seminars (related to area of practice and research interest)
  • Completion and successful defense of master’s level research project

UNMC Dietetic Internship enrollees will complete assigned coursework during the 11-month dietetic internship program. Each student pursuing a master's degree will develop an individual plan for seminar and research project requirements, meeting approval requirements of his/her supervisory committee.

Students pursuing a master's degree will meet with their supervisory committee to discuss potential areas of interest for a research topic. Students will be encouraged to conduct research consistent with the MNE Division’s evolving research plan and agendas. They may, however, also have the opportunity to pursue alternate avenues of funded research.

Courses

Courses for the Medical Nutrition master's degree are available through UNMC. During the dietetic internship, students must complete approved courses and all supervised practice experience requirements associated with the UNMC Dietetic Internship Program.

The master's degree curriculum for the first 11 months is incorporated into the UNMC Dietetic Internship program.

The second year of the master's degree option will contain additional coursework and clinical experiences, including:

  • Interprofessional Learning and Leadership
  • Coursework in Statistics
  • Special Topics course
  • Two semesters of enrollment in seminar programs
  • Master’s degree research (6 credit hours)

Certification

Graduates of the 11-month program are well prepared for careers in dietetics and nutrition and are eligible to take the national registration examination for dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

About the Profession

The UNMC Dietetic Internship Program will prepare you to be a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), a food and nutrition expert who works in a wide variety of employment settings. An RD understands the science of nutrition and is skilled in the art of teaching and counseling.

Educational and professional requirements for Registered Dietitians (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) include:

  • Complete a minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a US regionally accredited university or college, or foreign equivalent.
  • Complete current minimum academic requirements (Didactic Program in Dietetics) as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Complete a supervised practice program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. NOTE: The UNMC Dietetic Internship Program meets this supervised practice program requirement.
  • Successfully Complete the Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  • Remit the annual registration fee.
  • Comply with the Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) recertification requirements administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

To learn more about the educational requirements and accredited education programs, please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Center website.

Registered dietitians who provide patient care must be licensed in most states - in Nebraska they are Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapists. These professionals generally work in hospitals or other health care facilities, such as outpatient clinics. They are key members of the health care team and perform such services as: 

  • Assessing and monitoring nutritional status of patients;
  • Developing care plans to complement the patient's overall plan of medical care;
  • Counseling patients and their families to help them achieve nutrition care goals relating to varied health conditions, and
  • Working with the physician to manage enteral and parenteral nutrition support for patients who are not able to meet their nutritional needs with oral diet.

 Registered dietitians have many other career opportunities, including: 

  • Food and nutrition related businesses and industries - foodservice systems management, communications, consumer affairs, product development, sales...
  • Community nutrition - government sponsored public health programs, teaching the public, program development for target audiences, counseling in health clinics on topics related to pregnancy, infant feeding, geriatric care...
  • Sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs - client education about food and fitness...
  • Private practice - consulting with long-term care facilities, nursing homes, restaurants, distributors, athletes, providing medical nutrition therapy for individuals/groups...
  • Teaching and research - conducting research in laboratories or clinical settings, teaching medical students and allied health students...
  • Writing - newsletters, newspaper columns, magazine columns for the public...

Career Outlook

Employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022.

Registered dietitians work in a wide variety of employment settings, including hospitals, research facilities or universities, food and nutrition related businesses and industries, community nutrition such as government sponsored public health programs or program development, sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs.

Certified Registered Dietitians’ salaries can range from $51,000 to $88,000 with an average salary of $55,240.

Curriculum

The UNMC Dietetic Internship Program has a nutrition therapy concentration. The curriculum includes a combination of didactic, interactive, and supervised practice learning experiences. Classes are scheduled on Mondays and clinical rotations are scheduled Tuesdays-Fridays.

  • The 11-month program includes approximately 1320 hours of supervised practice, exceeding the 1200 hours required for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
  • The academic calendar for the program includes fall semester, spring semester and summer term.
Plan of Study Grid
FallCredit Hours
MNED 775 RSCH METHDS MED NUTR (minimum 16 hours Supervised Practice Hours) 3
MNED 777 MEDICAL NUTRITION AND DIAGNOSIS RELATED CARE 3
MNED 710 NUTRITION SERVICES SCOPE (minimum 128 Supervised Practice Hours) 2
MNED 720 INTERPROFESSIONAL LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP I (minimum 36 Supervised Practice Hours) 1
MNED 730 PEDIATRIC NUTRITION CARE (minimum 128 Supervised Practice Hours) 2
MNED 732 NUTRITION THERAPY - ADULT AND GERIATRIC PATIENT CARE (minimum 192 Supervised Practice Hours) 3
500 Total Supervised Practice Hours  
 Credit Hours14
Spring
MNED 785 APPLIED MEDICAL NUTRITION RESEARCH (32 Supervised Practice Hours) 3
MNED 787 MEDICAL NUTRITION AND THE NUTRITION CARE PROCESS 3
MNED 722 INTERPROFESSIONAL LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP II (36 Supervised Practice Hours) 1
MNED 734 NUTRITION THERAPY - EDUCATION & COUNSELING (128 Supervised Practice Hours) 2
MNED 736 NUTRITION THERARPY - COMPLEX ISSUES & CONTINUUM OF CARE (128 Supervised Practice Hours) 2
MNED 738 NUTRITION THERAPY - CRITICAL CARE & NUTRITION SUPPORT (128 Supervised Practice Hours) 2
MNED 750 ADVANCED PRACTICE SELECTIVE (128 Supervised Practice Hours) 2
580 Total Supervised Practice Hours  
 Credit Hours15
Summer
MNED 773 CLINICAL NUTRITION MANAGEMENT (64 Supervised Practice Hours) 1
MNED 779 NUTRITION THERAPY PRACTICUM (176 Supervised Practice Hours) 3
240 Total Supervised Practice Hours  
UNMC Dietetic Internship Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Total - 13201  
 Credit Hours4
 Total Credit Hours33
1

Supervised Practice Hour requirements completed - eligible for national examination for registered dietitians. 

  • Students must successfully complete all courses to meet requirements for completion of the dietetic internship program. All courses contribute to competencies specified for the dietetic internship program. Coursework credit earned during the dietetic internship program can be applied toward the optional master's degree requirements.
  • The UNMC Dietetic Internship Program is approximately 11-months in length (mid-August through mid-July) and follows the UNMC academic calendar. Scheduled breaks include: Labor Day; fall semester break; Thanksgiving; break between fall and spring semester terms; Martin Luther King Day; spring semester break; Memorial Day and July 4th holiday.
  • Variations in the courses and rotation calendar may occur related to specific educational opportunities.