Dietetic Internship Program
VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System
Thank you for your interest in the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System Dietetic Internship (VA ECHCS DI) in Aurora, Colorado! The 42-week internship program is made up of supervised practice hours and alternate practice experiences in clinical dietetics, food service management and community nutrition along with tours, field trips and vacation / federal holidays. The Mission of the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System (ECHCS) Dietetic Internship (DI) Program is to develop entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who can assume roles in the dietetics field and commit to evidence-based practice to improve the health outcomes of our nation’s growing diverse Veteran and civilian population. Upon successful completion of the program requirements, a VA Certification of Program Completion and the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Verification Statement will be awarded. Because the VA is a federal agency, you must be a US citizen to apply for and participate in our dietetic internship program. Effective October 7, 2021, all VA Health Professions Trainees, including dietetic interns, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
The University of Alabama MS/DI Combined Track option: 18 months in length
The internship has established a partnership with The University of Alabama (UA) to provide interns with the opportunity to enroll in a fully online, 30 credit-hour Master of Science program in Human Nutrition that can be completed in less than two years. The MS/DI Combined Track option is creatively designed to provide foundational knowledge before starting coursework, integrate class assignments with experiences in the internship, and assure advanced knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Internship Directors work directly with university faculty to align assignments and activities. All courses are offered fully online, and out of state fees are waived. You can learn more about the program here: Human Nutrition, MS | University of Alabama (ua.edu). For more information, contact the Human Nutrition program director, Dr. Tiffany Hylton, RDN, LD, at email@example.com.
Graduate School Application Due Dates
To give the UA graduate program adequate time to process graduate applications, the following deadlines are needed to assure that timely admission information is provided for DI program application review.
| Graduate School
| Graduate School
The following provides an overview of required curriculum for the MS program.
| Summer 1
| Fall 1
| Spring 1
| Summer 2
| Fall 2
| Clinical Rotations
| Clinical Rotations
POPH 522 Biostatistics
NHM 509 Research Methods
NHM 573 Advanced Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism
NHM 572 Metabolism of Energy Nutrients
NHM 566 Advanced Clinical Nutrition
NHM 567 Nutrition Support of the Critically Ill
NHM 585 Clinical Nutrition Management*
NHM 587 Integrated Food Systems Management
NHM 588 Advanced Food Service Systems Management*
NHM 597 MS Capstone Course
*Integrated with Supervised Practice – interns will need to be in rotations to take these courses (bolded in options above)
Dietetic Internship Only Track: 10 months in length
Applicants applying to the internship only track must have a master's degree prior to admission to the VA ECHCS DI Program. Degree confirmation and submission of transcripts must occur prior to the program start date.
The VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System Dietetic Internship Program has been granted candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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Current Credentialing Process to Become a Registered Dietitian
- Complete a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
- Completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program. The Dietetic Internship must provide at least 1000 hours of supervised practice experiences to meet the Competencies/Learning Outcomes defined for entry-level practice as a registered dietitian.
- Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR's website at www.cdrnet.org.* Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship at VA ECHCS are eligible to take the CDR credentialing exam to become a RDN.
- Obtain state licensure if required. Licensure is not required in the state of Colorado.
- Complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
Successful completion of the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System Dietetic Internship Program provides the intern with a verification statement issued by ACEND which allows the intern to take the National Registration Exam. Upon successful completion of the exam, the intern is officially designated as a Registered Dietitian.
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). To be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor's degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12pm midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree.
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