Dietetics Students Placed in Internships

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The PLNU Dietetics Program, in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, celebrated the Spring 2014 placement of six of its students into accredited dietetic internships around the U.S. Graduates who complete PLNU’s program receive a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics and must move onto further training into year-long internships as the next step to become Registered Dietitians (RDs.)  Accredited internship programs provide supervised practice in multiple areas of dietetics expertise and include rigorous rotations in clinical therapeutic nutrition, community health promotion and food service management. Upon passing a national competency exam at the end of this training, individuals can then use the coveted RD designation.  

Nation-wide, accredited dietetic internships are challenging to obtain because of a shortage of slots; currently, only 50% of qualified baccalaureate graduates can be accepted, so the best students will be placed. Internships that accepted PLNU students this year include Rush Medical Center (Chicago), UC-San Diego Medical Center, Pasco County (Florida), Oregon State University, Utah State University, and San Francisco State University.  These students join a cadre of successful PLNU alumni who are now Registered Dietitians---20 since the program was accredited. Another three graduates will be RD-eligible, as they are currently completing their post-baccalaureate training. One dietetics-RD alumnus has also earned her Pharm.D, another is also a Physician’s Assistant, and three have completed their Master of Science degrees.

Since the PLNU FCS Department graduated its first students from its Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-accredited program in 2006, 28 of 36 students who went onto apply for dietetic internships have been successful, a 78% placement rate compared to the national average of 50%.  Additionally, to date 95% of PLNU alumni passed the national RD certification exam on their first sitting, with a 100% pass rate for all attempts.