Dietetic Internship

NutritionWestern Connecticut Health Network is pleased to present its Dietetic Internship Program with a concentration in medical nutrition therapy. Dietetic interns will experience a broad range of instruction and hands-on experience in a dynamic setting dedicated to health education and research. Rotations may include travel to New Milford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, and Danbury Hospital.

The program consists of more than 1,200 supervised practice hours in clinical, community, research and food service management. Typically the program runs Monday – Friday with the exception of a few weekends for health fairs. The program runs from August through May of the next year.

Click here to download the Dietetic Internship Program Handbook

Rotations

Clinical 

  • 11 weeks in acute care
  • 5 weeks in staff relief
  • 2 weeks in long term care
  • 8 weeks in community nutrition
  • 5 weeks in food service management
  • 2 weeks in research

Community settings which may include school food service, group homes, outpatient nutrition therapy, bariatric surgery, diabetes education, dialysis, WIC, SNAP Education, cardiac rehabilitation and Meals on Wheels.

Research project is working together on a research topic which will include a professional poster presentation.

Graduation Requirements

During the internship program, the interns must meet all requirements outlined in the Memorandum of Agreement including:

  • Payment of all program tuition and fees
  • Satisfactory completion of all planned experiences and assignments in each rotation
  • Satisfactory evaluations on all rotations
  • Interns receive developmental and performance feedback via:
  • Written evaluation for each rotation by the preceptor
  • Written evaluation of projects and assignments

Western Connecticut Health Network Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

120 Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995 
Telephone: (315) 899-0040 ext 5400
Website: 
www.eatright.org/ACEND

We are approved to accept 6 interns.  Our next accreditation will be April 2019.  

The Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR) establishes requirements for eligibility to take the CDR credentialing exam for  dietitian nutritionists. Current requirements include academic preparation, supervised practice, and confirmation of academic and practice requirements by verification.

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

Academic Degree

Minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college/university or foreign equivalent.

Beginning in 2024 a Master’s Degree will be required to sit for the CDR credentialing exam

SUPERVISED PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS

All dietetic education programs accredited by ACEND must be in the U.S. or its territories. Supervised practice requirements stipulate completion of one of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics accredited pathways:

Accredited Dietetic Internship Program

Provides for the achievement of performance requirements for entry-level dietitians through a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice. The program follows completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics and a Baccalaureate degree. Some programs may be completed part-time with supervised practice.

Accredited Coordinated Program

Academic program in a U.S. regionally accredited college or university culminating in a minimum of a Baccalaureate degree. The program provides for the achievement of knowledge and performance requirements for entry-level dietitians through integration of didactic instruction with a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice.

INDIVIDUALIZED SUPERVISED PRACTICE PATHWAYS (ISPPs)

In September 2011, the Academy announced the development of Individualized Supervised Practice Pathways or ISPPs ("ispeys") which are intended to add supervised practice capacity through ACEND-accredited dietetics programs, while providing student protections missing from the unaccredited models of the past. This approach provides a framework that can align the availability of supervised practice with demand from DPD students who hold verification statements, thereby laying the foundation for addressing supervised-practice shortages in the future.

INTERNATIONAL DIETETICS PROGRAMS

Graduates of international dietetics programs, determined to be “substantially equivalent” by ACEND, are eligible to take the CDR entry-level registration examination for dietitians provided they apply for registration eligibility to the Commission on or before July 1, 2019. Registration eligibility applications from graduates of "substantially equivalent" programs will not be considered after July 1, 2019.

ACEND established a new International Accreditation Process for international dietetics programs in 2012. This new international program accreditation process includes a required supervised practice experience in the United States. CDR has determined that it will allow graduates of the ACEND accredited international dietitian education programs to become eligible for the CDR registration examination for dietitians.

The WCHN Dietetic Internship will provide the required supervised practice hours for eligibility to sit for the CDR credentialing exam.

As a Registered Dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration, you are eligible to apply for the Connecticut Dietitian/Nutritionist (CD/N) Certification.

Please join us for our open house on Thursday January 10,2019 from 2:00-4:00 pm. This will be held at the Danbury Hospital Frank J Kelly Building formerly known as the Medical Arts Center (DHMAC) located at 111 Osborne Street Danbury, CT 06810.  It will be in the second floor conference room. Please RSVP by January 7, 2019.  In the event of a snow storm, the snow date will be Friday January 11, 2019 in the same location, you will be contacted if you are registered as to the date change.   We look forward to meeting you.

Click here to register

Mission Statement

The mission of the Western Connecticut Health Network Dietetic Internship Program is to adequately prepare entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists in a diverse, multi-disciplinary, and community-based setting, by providing a patient centered, quality supervised practice experience.  The program is structured to develop teamwork skills, to improve and enhance the health and well-being of the community, and to understand and utilize technology in healthcare.

Program Goals & Objectives

Goal #1: The program will prepare entry level registered dietitian/nutritionists to function as members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, in the clinical, community or the food service arena.

  • 83% of surveyed program graduates will rank the WCHN DI as preparing them “adequately” upon graduation for entry level practice.
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%
  • 83% of program  graduates  take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion
  • At least  80% of program interns complete the requirements within 14 months (150% of the program length) 

Goal #2: The program will supply the workforce with competent entry-level registered dietitian/nutritionists

  • Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation
  • 80% of returned employer surveys, will rank graduates working in the field of dietetics as “adequately prepared” for entry level practice.
  • 95% of graduates employed in dietetics who respond to the alumni survey will rate themselves as "adequately prepared” for their first position.

Outcome data available upon request

Application Process

Candidates interested in the Western Connecticut Health Network Dietetic Internship Program must meet the following requirements.

Admissions Procedures

Applicants must participate in the Spring DICAS matching process and meet the following criteria to be considered for admission to the internship program:

  • Minimum DPD GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale
  • Verification Statement from an approved undergraduate program in dietetics
  • Excellent reference/recommendations
  • Applicable nutrition courses must have been completed within the past 5 years
  • GRE not required

Applicants must include the following in your personal statement on DICAS:

  • Why you are interested in the WCHN Dietetic Internship?
  • Why would you be successful in the WCHN Dietetic Internship?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What are your strengths and areas needing improvement?

Application and Selection Process

Danbury Hospital Dietetic Internship participates in the online centralized internship application, DICAS.

  • Please visit DNDDigital.com for the timelines and fees for the Spring match

D & D Digital Systems 
Suite 301 
304 Main Street 
Ames, IA 50010 
(515) 292-0490

Mail to: Danbury Hospital Food and Nutrition Department 
c/o Janet Hiser
24 Hospital Ave 
Danbury, CT 06810

Top applicants will be interviewed in early March through  Zoom via the internet. The interviews are conducted by the Dietetic Internship Director and a panel of preceptors from the program, the interview will last approximately 15 minutes. The panel will ask general questions regarding your experience and skills. Western Connecticut Health Network is an equal opportunity institution with respect to both education and employment.

Western Connecticut Health Network does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, sex, national origin, ancestry and marital status, present or past history of mental disorder, disability, handicap or sexual orientation.

Following acceptance to the Internship Program, the student will receive:

  • A welcome letter with additional information about the program
  • A list of pre-program assignments
  • A list of requirements including medical testing and medical insurance

Deadlines

March
Interviews conducted for selected candidates

April
Applicant matching results will be posted on D&D Digital, please visit website for exact dates

Matched applicants MUST CONTACT the Dietetic Internship Program by telephone, FAX, or e-mail to confirm acceptance of the MATCH.

After this time, the program is under no obligation to hold the opening for the matched applicant.

May-August 
Incoming interns will receive a welcome letter as well as pre-program homework assignments and information regarding physicals and needed documentation for the start of the internship.

June 1
$500.00 deposit due

October 1
4,250.00 due

February 1
4,250.00 due

Application fee - due with the application to the program

$60

Tuition

$9,000

Totals Fees

$9,060

Other approximate expenses

Housing expenses (rent and utilities)

$15,000

Transportation
(Note: A car and valid driver's license is required )

$1,000

Insurance: auto, medical

$1,500

AND student membership (required)

$58

Total other expenses and costs

$17,550

Estimated Program total

$26,610

The internship will provide free parking, meal vouchers ($400), registration fee to the Jean Inman Review course ($385) and registration fee for the Connecticut State Academy spring meeting ($65)

Financial aid is not available.

Janet D. Hiser, MOE, RD, CD/N, Dietetic Internship Director
Danbury Hospital
Food and Nutrition Department
24 Hospital Avenue
Danbury CT, 06810
Telephone: 203-739-7216
Fax: 203-739-7619