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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA St. Louis Health Care System Dietetic Internship


The VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship Program provides well-rounded, individualized, hands-on experiences in clinical settings, administration, food service management, and community dietetics while taking an in-depth look at health promotion, disease treatment, and disease prevention. Our program challenges interns to expand on their personal beliefs and biases, which can impact patient care.

Interns learn how to reduce risk for chronic disease through health promotion and to help those with chronic disease/illness better self-manage while developing MNT clinical expertise, effective communication skills, and professional excellence. Interns explore how dietitians contribute to improving the health of citizens by understanding the social determinants of health which lead to health disparities and inequities. There are opportunities to become more culturally competent, provide advocacy across the profession, utilize evidence-based research, and appreciate the value of life-long education.

As you explore our program website, you will discover that our internship program offers many exciting and unique learning experiences with highly skilled registered dietitian preceptors as well as a variety of other health care professionals at the VA St. Louis Health Care System.


The VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship offers two tracks

The VA St. Louis Dietetic Internship Program has established a partnership with The University of Alabama to provide interns with the opportunity to enroll in a fully online, 30 credit-hour Master of Science program in Human Nutrition. The program is creatively designed to provide foundation knowledge before starting coursework, integrate class assignments with experiences in the internship, and assure advanced knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics. The VA dietetic internship director works directly with university faculty to align assignments and activities, allowing students to complete the internship and master's degree in less than two years (21 months). All courses are offered fully online, and out of state fees are waived. Financial aid is available to cover course tuition and living expenses for students who qualify. The graduate program can accept up to 12 hours of graduate coursework as transfer credit that may be applied to the degree.

Track One will combine the VA supervised practice/dietetic internship with the University of Alabama for the 21-month online Master's degree in Human Nutrition, consisting of 4-5 semesters with a minimum of 30 credit hours. For the first year (2-3 semesters), students complete 18 hours of graduate coursework online, taking 6-9 credit hours per semester. Students may work full time during the first year of graduate classes, if desired. For the second year (final two semesters), students will move to St. Louis, Missouri where they continue with the online coursework (6 hours each semester) and complete the 10 months of supervised practice at the VA St. Louis Health Care System. A stipend is paid during the second year while in supervised practice at the VA.

Keep in mind some tech skills and equipment are needed to participate in this online degree program.  System requirements include a modern Mac or PC and high-speed internet connection.  Your computer must also have a compatible browser (https://uaonline.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044409893-Browser-Requirementsfor-Blackboard), PDF viewer, speakers, or headphones, microphone, and productivity software such as Office.  Taking an online course requires a general computer literacy.  Students are expected to be able to use Crimson email, Blackboard, web browsers, and general word processing programs prior to enrolling in an online course.  

Track Two is for students who already have a Master's degree. They will complete the supervised practice portion only at the St. Louis VA and receive the stipend.

Both tracks will receive a verification statement from the internship program and, along with their Master's degree, be eligible to take the registration exam for dietitians upon graduation.

 


Accreditation

The program is currently granted continued accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

ACEND can be contacted by:

Email: ACEND@eatright.org
Phone: 800/877-1600 ext. 5400
Website: https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend

Mail:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995


Virtual Open House Event

Our 2-hour program includes a detailed presentation along with a Q&A session with the current interns. RSVP by December 15th to: angela.franklin@va.gov 

Date: December 22, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. CST

Location: An online Teams link will be sent to those who RSVP by December 15th.

Agenda:
9 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.            Welcome Attendees
9:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.     Presentation and Q&A
10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.   Q&A with current interns

In addition to our Open House Event, the Internship Director is available to answer specific questions via phone and email.

Email: Angela.Franklin@va.gov
Phone:
314-652-4100 ext. 64594