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Dietetic Internship Program

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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

Bay Pines
Dietetic Internship Program Overview

The Paul M. Russo Dietetic Internship at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (BPVAHCS) is located in Bay Pines, Florida. The internship program concentration is Medical Nutrition Therapy and offers diverse learning experiences which will prepare you for a variety of positions in the field of nutrition and dietetics. 

The Paul M. Russo Dietetic Internship is affiliated with the University of South Florida (USF) and offers an integrated MPH degree from USF with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics. The MPH in Nutrition and Dietetics is an online program occurring concurrently with supervised practice. Dietetic interns will begin the MPH in fall semester (August) with the 47 week supervised practice portion beginning the second August in the program. Dietetic interns will be eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists after completion of the 24 month program. The internship is integrated with 42 hours of graduate credit, culminating in a MPH, concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics the following summer semester. 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 6 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 oncology as well as food service administration and management. These rotations are supplemented with experiences in the community working with various populations and diverse cultures.

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

Special Notice: The Paul M. Russo Dietetic Internship will host two virtual open houses this fall. Please join us virtually at noon (Eastern Time) on Thursday October 10, 2024 or Thursday December 5, 2024. RSVP to at least one week prior to the open house to receive a meeting link. 

The Paul M. Russo 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