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Dietetic Internship Program

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Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital

 Dietetic Interns in lab coats


Join us for one of our open houses: 
Virtual - Friday, November 10th, 2023 at 10am CST 
Virtual - December 1st, 2023 at 10am CST
On-site - Friday, January 5th, 2024 at 2pm CST *talk with panel of current interns*

RSVP here:


Why should your graduate students consider our Chicago area VA Internship?

  • Our interns are paid $22,200 while in our program.
  • There is no tuition fees.
  • Our program has a 90 year rich history of offering a Medical Nutrition Therapy focus.
  • Over 70% of our rotations occur at our VA facility with highly trained preceptors. All rotations are planned – interns are not expected to find their own preceptors.
  • Rotations include exposure in spinal cord injury, oncology, cardiology, surgery, critical care, renal, transplant among many others.

About Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital

Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, located 12 miles west of downtown Chicago on a 147-acre campus, offers primary, extended and specialty care to veteran patients in the Chicagoland area. We are the largest VA in the state of Illinois, where more than a million veterans live. Specialized clinical programs at Hines VA include Blind Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury, Neurosurgery, Radiation Therapy and Cardiovascular Surgery just to name a few.

Hines currently operates 483 inpatient hospital beds and six community based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) in Kankakee, Oak Lawn, Aurora, LaSalle, Hoffman Estates, and Joliet. Hines represents virtually the entire spectrum of VA healthcare and clinical programs.

The internship curriculum at Hines VA Hospital has provided interns with academic excellence in a clinical setting for over 75 years. The first class of dietetic interns to graduate from Hines VA Hospital was in 1944. In addition to the core competencies required in the curriculum of all practice programs, Hines offers a Medical Nutrition Therapy concentration. Our program prepares entry-level dietitians through an integrated approach that reinforces and builds upon the required Dietetics academic preparation. Ten interns will be admitted to the program on a yearly basis. The Hines Dietetic Internship is a 42 week program, with each intern progressing through various Clinical, Food Service Systems Management, and Community Nutrition unit rotations. Unit rotations build upon one another and are designed to develop an appreciation for the interrelationship between the various areas of practice in nutrition and dietetics.

Please note: Effective September 2021, Hines VA Dietetic Interns will be required to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the VA with health, societal, and economic impacts on Veterans, staff, family members, and communities. In addition, transmission of circulating viral variants raises public health concerns that hospitalization rates will rise, along with serious or fatal outcomes for those that contract COVID-19.

Program Director's Message

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). In order 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 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program at Edward Hines Jr. VA hospital are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

Hines Dietetic Internship will require a Master's degree to apply to the program for the 2023-2024 internship year.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.

The Edward Hines Jr. VA Dietetic Internship Program is currently granted continued Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
800/877-1600, ext. 5400
Fax: 312/899-4817