Minneapolis VA Healthcare System - Dietetic Internship Program
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Dietetic Internship Program


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Minneapolis VA Healthcare System

Program Overview

MVAHCS Dietetic Internship Program Mission, Goals, and Outcome Measures: The internship program provides 1680 hours (September - June) of rotation in clinical dietetics, food service management and community nutrition. Approximately 1500 hours of supervised practice, 64 hours of didactic classes and 96hours of vacation/federal holidays make up the internship year. The professional staff of the MVAHCS Nutrition and Food Service Department administers the program. Registered Dietitians participate in curriculum development in their specialty areas, the development of evaluation procedures and forms and will be the preceptors of interns. Staff physicians, nurses, Nurse practitioners, clinical specialists, therapists and pharmacistsand other providers of various specialties and services provide advice and information that can be incorporated in to the training experience. Staff of affiliate facilities will be preceptors for those rotations they supervise and assist in curriculum development of those rotations. No credit is given for assessment of prior learning.


The curriculum is based on the 2017 Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards for entry level dietitians; the mission, philosophy, goals and objectives of the program and requisite skills and knowledge necessary for entry level dietetic practice.

The curriculum is divided into three major areas: clinical, food service systems management and community and related areas.

  1. Clinical Experience
    The clinical experience is divided to include rotations to give the interns broad based, in-depth experiences in clinical care. In addition to general clinical rotation, interns will rotate through specialty areas, which include renal, diabetes, nutrition support, surgery, Ambulatory Care clinics, geriatric, polytrauma/rehab/SCI and psychiatry for the concentration in MNT. As the intern progresses in the program, more responsibility and increased patient assignments and learning experiences will be planned. During staff relief, interns will be expected to assume full responsibility for the area assigned.
  2. Food Service System Management
    The food service system management experiences are planned to give the intern experience in a variety of food service and management situations. In depth experience involving food service production, staff training, quality assurance and financial management are incorporated into four rotations. Field trips offer opportunity for comparison of different food service systems.
  3. Community and Other Areas
    The community nutrition rotation is planned to give the intern experiences in applying the principles of nutrition to various groups of people in the community environment. Rotations will include experiences with various community programs such as community agencies, retail stores, area schools, WIC clinics, teen clinics and an eating disorder center.

The curriculum of the MVAHCS dietetic internship includes learning opportunities for interns to develop personal and professional attitudes and values relevant to dietetic practice. These learning opportunities are demonstrated through the following encounters: seminars and discussion, role modeling by program practitioners, interns working with dietary supervisors, dietitians in a variety of settings and specialty roles, supervised practice with students and practitioners of related disciplines, and attendance at professional meetings.

The supervised practice component of the curriculum shall include experiences with other disciplines including physicians, nurses, social worker, clerks, pharmacists, librarians, occupational therapists, speech therapists, volunteers, etc.

Some unique qualities of our internship include:

  • Preceptors:  We have a dedicated staff of highly qualified dietitians and a teaching environment that promotes education and evidenced based practice. Our small class size of 8 means that you will get specialized, individualized attention. In most 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 all areas of medicine, surgery and specialty care. These rotations are supplemented with experiences in the community such as WIC, Eating Disorders, School Food service, Public health clinics and more.
  • Jobs: We will assist you in finding employment in the government or private sector. With more than 100 VA Medical Centers across the country, you will have increased opportunities to work for the VA.
  • Stipend: Interns in our program receive a stipend, which is paid throughout the course of the internship.

Please take all this information into consideration when you are making your decision on how to rank your program choices. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the Internship Director at 612-467-2566.

Internship Graduation Requirements
2019 Graduation day with Kori

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) establishes requirements for eligibility to take the entry-level registration examination for dietitians. Current requirements include academic preparation (minimum of a baccalaureate degree; completion of an ACEND accredited didactic program in Dietetics), completion of an ACEND accredited supervised practice program and confirmation of academic and practice requirements by verification. Verification of academic and didactic requirements is necessary for entry in the MVAHCS Dietetic Internship. Completion of the internship allows the student to meet the second requirment of CDR (completion of an ACEND accredited supervised practice program). Graduates of the internship are eligible to take the Registration Exam for Dietitians once successful completion of the program is reached. Attainment of the RDN credential also establishes eligibility for certification and/or licensure at the state level.

Internship program completion includes:

  • Intern completes 42 weeks of practical experience and class/lectures.
  • Intern completes all assignments and projects by established guidelines.
  • Satisfactorily completes the requirements for each rotation.
  • Minimum passing grade on post tests, case studies and performance evaluations is 80%.
  • Completes staff relief experience with an overall satisfactory performance rating based on established criteria.
  • Attends all workshops and seminars scheduled during the year.

Dietetic interns will be eligible for the Registration Examination for dietitians after receiving a verification statement of successful completion of the internship from the program director.  Eligible candidates are submitted through REPS (Registration Eligibility Processing System) to CDR within one week of graduation.  Intern graduates are responsible for submitting their demographic information online prior to graduation.  Candidates will receive authorization to take the exam shortly thereafter. 


The Minneapolis VA Health Care System Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

120 South Riverside Plaze, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone: 312-899-5400
Fax:  312-899-4817