Dietetic Internship Program
Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System - Program Introduction
Thank you for your interest in the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System Dietetic Internship Program. are currently designated as a candidacy program with accreditation granted from the Accreditation Council for Education and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Our program length is 52 weeks combined with a Professional Science Master’s Degree at the University of Arizona (UA). Upon successful program completion, graduates are eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Beginning January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a graduate degree in order to take the exam.
Interns complete a total of 30 credit hours at UA over the course of 4 semesters (summer, fall, spring, summer) through a 100% online curriculum. The degree granted is a Professional Science Masters in Applied Nutrition – Health and Wellness Emphasis. Enrolling in the UA Graduate College is a requirement for our program. Interns complete the supervised practice rotations at SAVAHCS concurrently with the graduate school courses from UA. SAVAHCS rotations provide approximately 1,200 hours of rotations in clinical nutrition, food service management and public health. For the class starting in the fall of 2023, we plan to accept 2-4 interns, but gradually our program will grow to classes of 6 interns.
SAVAHCS opened its doors in 1928 as Veteran’s Hospital #51, later evolving into the Tucson VA Medical Center. Today, SAVAHCS includes a wide variety of services for Veterans as a teaching facility with 295 authorized inpatient beds (critical, acute and rehab levels of care), and outpatient care for over 171,000 Veterans in eight counties. SAVAHCS employs over 2,900 staff and has over 67 academic affiliations training multiple health care disciplines. Annually SAVAHCS treats over 8,700 inpatients, performs over 5,100 surgeries, and completes over 730,000 outpatient appointments. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual care options have increased over 800%. The main hospital includes critical care, acute care, inpatient psychiatry, a community living center housing rehab, palliative and hospice care, the Southwest Blind Rehabilitation Center, and an extended mental health rehabilitation residential program. Outpatient care includes primary and specialty care clinics, hemodialysis, home based primary care (HBPC), a Health Promotion Disease Prevention (HPDP) program, mental health, and the MOVE! weight management program.
Please read through our entire webpage to learn more about our program. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at Jennifer.Bowers@va.gov.
Jennifer M. Bowers, PhD, RD, EBP-C
Dietetic Internship Director
Nutrition & Food Service
Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System
3601 S. 6th Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85721