Bay Pines VA Healthcare System - Dietetic Internship Program
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Dietetic Internship Program


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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

Bay Pines
Dietetic Internship Program Overview

The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (BPVAHCS) Dietetic Internship Program is 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. 

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.

For the upcoming spring match (2020) our program will offer two different tracks:
1. The integrated Master of Public Health (MPH) track. Coursework begins fall semester (August 2020) and is 24 months in length. Supervised practice will start the following August (2021).
2. The Non-Degree Dietetic Internship track starts in August (2020) and is 11 months in length (47 weeks).

The BPVAHCS will accept 6 interns for each program track (12 total) for the spring 2020 match only. The non-degree internship track will ONLY be offered for 2020 as the program transitions into a Master's required program.
Thereafter (spring 2021 match forward), the BPVAHCS will only offer a MPH program track. The supervised practice curriculum for both tracks is the same. All Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) requirements must be met prior to each track's respective start date.

Interns who successfully complete the non-degree internship track will be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists after program completion.

University of South Florida (USF) MPH Program with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics MPH track
The BPVAHCS Dietetic Internship is affiliated with USF and offers an integrated MPH degree from USF. 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 examfor 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 certifed in Public Health (CPH) after successful completion of the Master's program.
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 BPVAHCS Dietetic Internship will host an open house on Friday January 10, 2020 at 1 pm (EST) at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center. Additionally, we will host a virtual open house on Thursday January 23, 2020 at 11 am (EST). Both program tracks will be discussed. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP for the open house by Monday January 6, 2020 and for the virtual open house by Monday January 20, 2020 to

The BPVAHCS 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