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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA San Diego Healthcare System

Program Admission Requirements:

After matching with the program, the following admission requirements must be met before the beginning of the program.
  • Documentation of full COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • Proof of physical exam documenting satisfactory condition to meet the requirements of the program.
  • Documentation of recent TB test.
  • Immunization records that document immunity to Hepatitis B, MMR (measles, mumps & rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diptheria & pertussis), varicella (chicken pox), and Meningococcal.
  • After the start of the program, the flu vaccine is required no later than November 30. (It will be available free-of-charge through VASDHS Occupational Health.)

Program Completion:

  • Successfully complete at least 1,000 hours of supervised practice.
  • Successfully complete the required Core and Medical Nutrition Therapy in Inpatient and Outpatient Settings concentration competencies. (No rotation waivers for previous work experience will be granted.)
  • Successfully complete all supervised practice rotations.
  • Successfully complete all projects, as assigned.
  • Achieve a rating of 4 (Performs at Entry Level) on the Clinical Staff Relief evaluation.

Visiting VA San Diego Dietetic Internship Program

We offer an annual open house in December and January to coincide with students' winter break. To be more accessible, we are only offering a virtual open house. If you are interested in visiting the facility, you may contact the Dietetic Internship Director to discuss her availability to schedule a brief meeting with you. 

2023-2024 VA San Diego Virtual Open House 

  • What:
    • Learn more about the VA San Diego Dietetic Internship Program.
    • Find out if the VA San Diego Dietetic Internship will accommodate your future goals.
    • Learn what former and current interns have to say about the program.
    • Learn what it is like being an intern at VA San Diego.
    • Meet our preceptors and current interns.
    • Get tips and pointers from the Internship Director on completing and submitting your DICAS application.         
  • When:
    The upcoming virtual 
    Open House is scheduled for Friday, December 15, 2023 and January 12, 2024, from 10am-12pm (PST). Please RSVP HERE the day before each open house session to receive link to login. For quesions, contact Internship Director, Amanda Hibshman, MDA, RDN

You can view PowerPoint Slides from the 2024-2025 Open House HERE.

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

The steps to becoming an RDN include the following: 
  • Beginning in 2024, eligibility requirements to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist require a Master’s degree and a verification statement from one of the following types of ACEND-accredited programs: Dietetic Internship (DI), an Individualized Supervised Practice program (ISPP), a Coordinated Program (CP) or Graduate Program (GP), all of which provide the required 1000 hours of supervised practice.
    • Dietetic Internships require a DPD verification statement from an ACEND-accredited DPD program for admission. Most DIs require completion of a Master’s degree prior to admission, although some allow the Master’s to be in progress as long as it will be completed by the end of the DI.  The VASDHS DI meets the requirements of this step.
    • ISPPs have two audiences: individuals with a doctoral degree who want to complete 1000 hours of supervised practice to become and RDN or graduates of DPD program who did not match with a DI program. Refer to the ACEND program directory to identify these programs.
    • CPs may be at the undergraduate or graduate level and meet both DPD supervised practice requirements.
    • GPs may require a DPD verification statement or may simply have prerequisite course requirements for admission. These programs include a graduate degree and 1000 hours of supervised practice.
  • Pass the Registration Examination for Registered Dietitians, a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Upon graduation from the VASDHS DI, you will be eligible to sit for this examination.
  • Obtaining licensure or certification, if the state in which you will be working requires licensure or certification. At this time, if you work for the VA after graduation, you do not need to seek additional state licensure or certification unless you wish to do so. California does not have licensure for RDs. If, after completing the program, you will be moving to a state with RD licensure, you will need to contact that state's board of licensure for information regarding their licensing requirements. More information about state licensure and certification is available at this link: State Licensure.
  • Participate in ongoing continuing educationto maintain your RDN credential and to stay-up-to-date on the latest research, recommendations, and best practices. 

More information on becoming an RDN can be found in the links below:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) - Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Commission on Dietetics Registration - RD Examination Eligibility Requirements