Dietetic Internship Program
VA Caribbean Healthcare System (San Juan) Dietetic Internship Program
Upon completion of the VA San Juan DIP program, the student will have gained the following:
- Expertise in clinical nutrition which includes the assessment, care planning, implementation, and evaluation of patients' nutritional needs.
- Experience working with a complete interdisciplinary team within both inpatient and outpatient or ambulatory settings.
- Expertise in translating research into evidence-based practice.
- Functional skills required to manage food service and perform as an effective administrator, clinician, educator, and consultant.
- Opportunities to explore nutrition research, practice-based research, and quality improvement studies.
- Over 1,000 hours of supervised practice experience, providing ample opportunity for hands-on learning.
- Experience working with a diverse population, including veterans and their families from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Immersion in populations that speak both languages, English and Spanish, which will enhance the student's proficiency in bilingual communication and cultural competency.
Why Choose VA Caribbean Healthcare System?
Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist- Dietetic Internship Option
- Complete a bachelor’s degree and receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). The DPD provides all the prerequisite and core dietetic courses needed for preparation for the supervised practice portion of the RDN.
- Complete an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI). The supervised practice experiences portion is completed during the dietetic internship. A DI program provides diverse experiences in clinical, administrative, or community settings. These experiences provide hands-on work experience, teamwork, post-internship work opportunities, and more.
- Effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration. This can be completed before applying to a DI, or by applying to a Combined Dietetic Internship/ Master's Degree Program.
- After successful completion of a dietetic internship and graduate program, you must then take and pass the national Registration Examination for the RDN credential, which is administered by the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR).
- Puerto Rico's Board Examiners approved that only the students from the University of Puerto Rico's DPD who passed the RDN Certification Examination and presented the evidence to Puerto Rico's Board Examiners are exempt from taking the local Nutritionist and Dietitians Licensure exam to work in Puerto Rico.
*To explore other options to become an RDN, please visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
Requirements for Program Completion:
- Complete the scheduled weeks and supervised practice hours
- Complete all supervised practice rotations
- Complete all projects, tests, case studies, and assignments
- Complete staff relief experience
This program learning experiences qualifies the individual as an entry-level dietitian.
- Upon successful completion of the internship, the Dietetic Internship Director will provide to the dietetic intern with a copy of the Verification Statement and the individual is eligible for membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Graduates are eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians.
- In order to work either as a Dietitian and Nutritionist in Puerto Rico, the intern must present evidence of RDN registration to the Puerto Rico’s Board Examiners to be exempt from taking the local Nutritionist and Dietitians Licensure Exam. However, Puerto Rico state license in not required to work at VA Facility.
- After completing accredited dietetic internship at VA Medical Center, the dietetic interns are eligible for a dietitian position grade GS-7 within the VA System.
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.
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606 -6995
Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400