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Dietetic Internship Program

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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

Bay Pines

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) Dietetic Internship Program located in Bay Pines, Florida. The internship program concentration is Nutrition Therapy and offers diverse learning experiences which will prepare you for a variety of positions in the field of nutrition and dietetics. The Bay Pines VAHCS Dietetic Internship is integrated with a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of South Florida (USF). The MPH in Nutrition and Dietetics is an on-line program occurring concurrently with supervised practice. Dietetic interns begin the MPH in summer semester (May) with the 42-week supervised practice portion beginning mid-August. Dietetic interns will be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists after completion of the supervised practice portion of the program. The internship is integrated with 42 hours of graduate credit, culminating in a MPH, concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics the following fall semester. Dietetic interns must successfully complete MPH coursework for the first four semesters in the MPH program and maintain good academic standing but are not required to finish the degree to earn a verification statement from the Bay Pines VAHCS Dietetic Internship. Dietetic interns will be eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists after completion of the supervised practice portion of the program. All graduates will also be certified in Public Health (CPH) after successful completion of the Master's program. 

Some unique qualities which may not be immediately apparent when browsing through our website include the following:

Preceptors: We have a very dedicated staff of highly qualified dietitians and a teaching environment that promotes education and evidence-based practice. Our small class size of 8 interns means that you will get specialized and individualized attention from the internship director. With the exception of some of our management and community rotations, only one intern is assigned to a preceptor at a time, allowing for maximum attention to your learning experience.

Curriculum: The program is hospital-based with rotations in general medicine (cardiology, neurology and oncology), surgery, nutrition support, geriatrics, rehabilitative medicine, outpatient counseling, diabetes and renal. These rotations are supplemented with experiences in the community, such as pediatrics, school food service, Extension Service and private practice.

Increased job opportunities: We will assist you in finding employment in the government or in the private sector. With approximately 150 VA Medical Centers across the country, you will have many opportunities to work for the VA.

Stipend: Interns in our program receive a stipend, which is paid throughout the course of the supervised practice portion of the internship.

Please take all of these points into consideration when making your decision of how to rank your program choices. Should you have any questions, or should you wish to schedule an appointment to come and visit the medical center, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sharon Hickman, MPH, RDN, LD/N
Dietetic Internship Director
(727) 398-6661, extension 14449
sharon.hickman@va.gov


The Bay Pines VAHCS Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Telephone:  (800) 877-1600 ext 5400
http://www.eatright.org/ACEND