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Dietetic Internship

Theresa O'Reilly, MS, RDN
Henderson Hall 146A

Phone: (973) 290-4126

Supervised Practice

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Supervised practice is divided into five areas: Clinical Dietetics, Departmental Management, Community Nutrition, Professional Development and the Entrepreneurial Nutrition Practice (ENP) concentration or Community and Public Health Nutrition (CPHN) concentration. The schedule is planned on a rotational basis. Students will participate in an orientation and simulated practice experience prior to the clinical rotation.

Clinical dietetics includes 440 hours of intensive training in a variety of medical surgical specialties, nutrition support, critical care, outpatient and extended care environments. Seven weeks of clinical training is completed at either Morristown Medical Center or Overlook Medical Center. Additional hours will be completed at out-patient and extended care facilities. These facilities are located throughout the state.

Departmental Management is completed in a healthcare facility and on campus with Campus Kitchen at the Saint Elizabeth University over a six-week period.

During the Community Nutrition rotation, students experience a variety of settings including child nutrition programs, community outreach and maternal health. An 80-hour culminating practice experience, evidence analysis investigation project, participation in the New Jersey Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Annual Meeting and/or other professional meeting as well as training in Motivational Interviewing and professional use of social media are part of the Professional Development Rotation.

The ENP Concentration includes 120 hours in Nutrition Education and Counseling at the University’s Center for Nutrition, on other campuses and/or in corporate wellness or employee wellness settings. The Retail/Supermarket unit consists of 80 hours and rounds out the 200 hours in the concentration. The CPHN Concentration is completed with 160 hours in 3 units, Federal Food and Nutrition Programs (through Summer Child Nutrition Programs), Public Health Nutrition Education and Programming (through SNAP Ed) and with a unit, Farm to Fork completed at a variety of settings.

See complete list of practice hours and rotations

Schedule and Practice Sites

During the first year, students take coursework on-line and do not need to relocate. The ENP concentration completes the program over two academic years with one course in the summer between these years. The CPHN concentration completes the coursework full-time starting in the spring semester, takes one course in the summer, completes coursework the following fall and completes supervised practice from January through August. During Supervised Practice, the practice hours are completed 32-40 hours a week in a rotational basis. Supervised practice will be scheduled on a rotational basis.

Seven weeks of clinical training are completed at one of two medical centers as outlined above. Clinical faculty preceptors employed by the University are responsible for providing and overseeing on-site at Morristown Medical Center or Overlook Medical Center. This is supplemented with simulated work on campus using the simulation labs and case studies.

Each student will complete a clinical unit in extended care at either a long-term care center, rehabilitation center, psychiatric or developmental center. Students will also complete a clinical experience in an outpatient setting, such as diabetes, dialysis or clinic. These sites are primarily located in northern and central New Jersey. Every effort is made to place students within a reasonable commute to the student’s residence, except for the seven clinical weeks as described above.

For Community Nutrition, non-profit agencies and corporations provide additional practice opportunities. Experiences will be supervised by Saint Elizabeth University faculty, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists and other qualified food and nutrition or health professionals employed by the sites.

The faculty/staff of the University are responsible for all contractual and insurance arrangements and placements, except for Community Nutrition Education unit. Students are responsible for identifying a community practice site and assisting faculty/staff with the contractual agreement and complete these during FN677 Program Design and Management in Community Nutrition. Some practice hours for the CPHN concentration are completed during FN626 Intro to Public Health (nutrition). Students are responsible for their own travel and communicating with sites for workplace details (time/ place to report, ID badge needs, etc.).

Most students are placed closer to their residence for the departmental management rotation, approximately four days a week for six weeks. One day a week is completed on campus with a food recovery program, Campus Kitchen at SEU.

A final entry-level practice experience is completed at a site of the interns choosing. Other professional and community activities are included at various locations and on campus.

The SEU Combined MS/DI is not accredited to provide supervised practice in a distance format.

Most of the hours are completed during a typical weekday, but weekend hours are common in the community rotations. Students receive prior notice to those hours.