Dietetic Internship at Northwell Health
The Northwell Health Dietetic Internship Program prepares individuals to transition from student to professional by integrating didactic knowledge of food and nutrition with practical experience in dietetics. This 40-week program focuses on medical nutrition therapy.
One class of 12 interns is admitted annually. Interns are based at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and complete rotations at Northwell Health facilities throughout Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Westchester. The curriculum is based on the 2017 Standards of Education of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Graduates of this program will receive a verification statement that will establish eligibility to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.
The Northwell Health Dietetic Internship is fully accredited by ACEND through 2024. You may visit the ACEND website for more information on accredited dietetics programs.
120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
(800) 877-1600, extension 5400
Applicants interested in our program are encouraged to attend the open house informational session, held once a year in December, at North Shore University Hospital in the Kaufman Conference Center auditorium. Please RSVP by emailing Luz E. Valencia-Penagos at [email protected] or by calling (516) 562-8514.
Our mission statement
In accordance with The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Standards of Professional Practice for Dietetic Professionals and the Standards of Education and in consistency with the Northwell Health mission statement and the vision and values as defined therein:
The Northwell Health Dietetic Internship strives to prepare individuals to transition from student to professional by integrating didactic knowledge of food and nutrition with practical experiences in nutrition and dietetics consistent with the preparation of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. The program will provide the highest quality clinical care; educate the current and future generations of dietetic practitioners; search for new advances in nutrition and food service through the conduct of outcomes-based dietetic research; and promote health education.
Goals & objectives
Program goal 1 – To prepare program graduates to perform effectively as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists in health care and other settings that foster strong clinical nutrition skills with a concentration in high-risk maternity and neonatal nutrition.
- At least 80 percent of program graduates complete program requirements within 15 months (150 percent of the program length).
- Of graduates who seek employment, 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
- 80 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
- The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80 percent.
- At least 80 percent of surveyed employer respondents rank Northwell Health Dietetic Internship graduates as competent entry-level practitioners within 12 months of program completion.
- At least 80 percent of surveyed program graduate respondents indicate being prepared for their present job within 12 months of program completion.
Program goal 2 – To prepare program graduates capable of incorporating knowledge of nutrition and food service into dietetics-based research and to promote health education.
- At least 80 percent of surveyed program graduate respondents identify the training in dietetics-based research obtained during the internship as satisfactory one year post graduation.
- At least 80 percent of surveyed program graduate respondents indicate application of skills obtained during internship in promoting health education one year post graduation.
Program outcomes data is available upon request by contacting Luz E. Valencia-Penagos, MS RD CDN CDE CNSC, Dietetic Internship Program Manager at [email protected]
Application & acceptance requirements
In order to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, students must complete: First, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a United States accredited college or university or college, and all required coursework to receive a verification statement confirming completion of an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics. The second step is to complete supervised practice at an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship Program. Northwell Health Dietetic Internship is an ACEND accredited dietetic internship and students must complete the first step in order to apply and being accepted into the internship. Upon completion of the supervised practice and all the dietetic internship requirements, interns receive a verification statement confirming completion of an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship Program. At this time, candidates are eligible to take the national registration examination set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
Effective in 2022, Northwell Health Dietetic Internship applicants will be required to have a master’s degree from a United States regionally accredited college or university at application. This change is in preparation for the new requirement from the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) to require a completion of a graduate degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutrition (RDN) starting in January 2024.
New York State does not have RDN licensure, certification is available to RDNs but it is not mandatory (information link is provided under State certification). Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) must complete continuing education, 75 credits within 5 years, in order to maintain their credential.
The Northwell Health Dietetic Internship Program online application deadline is February 1. All applications are to be submitted through Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS). The DICAS website lists and provides directions for all general application requirements. DICAS is available to the applicants on December 1, for the Spring Match, until February 15. The online application for Northwell Health Dietetic Internship must be completed by 11:59 pm Central Time on February 1.
The early application deadline allows for qualified applicants to be notified regarding a personal interview by February 15, the date of the national computer matching. Applicants are screened by the admissions committee and are considered without regard to age, sex, race, creed, national origin or physical handicap.
There is an application fee of $50. Please see the fees and expenses section for more information.
A GPA of 3.0 is required. The Northwell Health Dietetic Internship requires the following information be addressed in your DICAS application materials:
- Personal statement – Please address the following points in 1,000 words or less:
- Examples of leadership, time management, teamwork and customer service orientation that have helped prepare you for your career
- Your short-term and long-term goals
- Your strengths and areas needing improvement
- Why you chose the Northwell Health Dietetic Internship
- Any other information that you feel would assist the committee in making the decision to admit you to the internship program
- Recommendations – Three recommendations are required, two of which should be from college instructors in the applicant's major field of study. If you have already graduated and are working, the references can be from your employer and/or supervisor(s).
Applicants must participate in computer matching through D&D Digital Systems. The code #185 must be listed when selecting the Northwell Health Dietetic Internship. Please note that the Northwell Health internship participates in spring matching only. The deadline to register for computer matching is February 1. Apply online at dnddigital.com or contact D&D Digital Systems at (515) 292-0490.
Applicants must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a United States regionally accredited college or university and coursework accredited by the ACEND. International students must have the academic degree validated as equivalent to a bachelor's or master's degree conferred by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university and coursework accredited by the ACEND.
Effective in 2022, applicants will be required to have a master’s degree from a United States regionally accredited college or university. International students must have the academic degree validated as equivalent to a master's degree conferred by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university. This is in preparation for the new requirement from the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) to require a completion of a graduate degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutrition (RDN) starting in January 2024.
Upon acceptance into the program, interns will be asked to provide the below for registration and enrollment into the Northwell Health Dietetic Internship:
- Completed official verification statement – The verification statement must bear the original signature of the official didactic program director with the date in month, day and year format for both the program completion date and the signature date by August 15.
- Proof of medical insurance – Interns must provide evidence of medical insurance. Please bring in your medical insurance card along with front and back copies.
- Professional liability insurance – Interns must obtain professional liability insurance for a minimum of $1 million each incident/occurrence and $5 million aggregate. Coverage should be effective by August 15. A copy of the Memorandum of Insurance is required. You may contact Mercer Consumer, a service of Mercer Health & Benefits Administration, LLC, an agency recommended by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, at (800) 503-9230 or proliability.com any time from 8am to 5pm CST, Monday through Friday.
- Physical examination and immunization – All interns will be scheduled for a physical examination by Employee Health Services. Immunization records will be reviewed and any required immunizations will be provided.
- Screening for tuberculosis – Quantiferon Gold-TB blood test or Mantoux tuberculin test (PPD skin test) – Interns must have this done by your primary physician or Employee Health Services after August 1. A copy of the test results should be submitted by August 25.
- Drug testing, criminal background checks, and verification of student identity—This is facility-specific and will be conducted as required. The facility will coordinate and cover any costs incurred.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics student membership – Interns must maintain your student membership status during the internship. Please bring in a copy of your student membership card or proof of current membership.
- Long Island Dietetic Association (LIDA) student membership – Interns must become a member of, or renew your membership for, LIDA prior to starting the internship. Please request verification of membership and bring a copy with you.
- Resume – Please email an updated copy of your resume prior to orientation. It will be sent to your preceptors throughout the internship.
The above documents are required prior to the internship orientation.
Program curriculum & schedule
The program requires a minimum of 1,455 hours of supervised practice. The intern may need to dedicate more hours to complete assignments. The program allows for 11 holidays:
- Thanksgiving and Black Friday
- December 25 through January 1
- Martin Luther King Day
- Washington's Birthday
- Memorial Day
In addition, interns have up to four days of scheduled time off. Additional time lost to illness, absence or emergency leave must be rescheduled with the program manager.
The Northwell Health Dietetic Internship provides a comprehensive clinical supervised practice where interns experience progression of nutrition skills from a community to a quaternary hospital, work together with a well-structured healthcare team to contribute to the best possible outcomes for patients, and develop communication skills by interacting with diverse cultural populations at different stages of their life span. The program offers a concentration in high-risk pregnancy and neonatal ICU nutrition, providing graduates with unique skills as entry-level registered dietitians.
All interns must attend seminar days scheduled throughout the internship. Talks on various clinical, food service management, and community dietetics topics are presented by field- experienced speakers.
The program is 40 weeks long (37.5 hours per week) and begins the last week of August. The typical schedule breakdown is as follows:
|Clinical - Medical nutrition therapy|
|Food service management|
|Institutional food service||5|
|Food service skills||1|
|Hunger relief organization||1|
|Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and community service||1|
|Total number of weeks||40|
During the medical nutrition therapy portion of the curriculum, emphasis is placed on nutritional assessment and the relationship between the pathophysiology of disease to nutrition principles.
- Interns work one-on-one with registered dietitians in all aspects of patient care at various hospitals within Northwell Health.
- Acute care rotations include, but are not limited to, general medicine, cardiology, surgery, neurology, orthopedics, maternity, oncology, adult and pediatric intensive care, bariatrics, psychiatry and nephrology.
- The clinical schedule will include staff relief experience, during which the intern will work under the direction of the registered dietitian. This experience is meant to give the intern an opportunity to experience day-to-day responsibilities in a controlled setting. The intern will not routinely replace the hours of paid employees.
- Long-term care sites include experiences at rehabilitation and nursing homes.
- Outpatient sites include various specialty areas. Interest areas are taken into consideration during placement.
The food service management rotation includes emphasis on institutional food management, financial management, completion of a business plan, purchasing, food production, food delivery systems, personnel management, computer applications to food service and nutrition analysis.
The community nutrition curriculum covers the life span and includes the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and hunger relief organizations.
Interns are expected to meet the following requirements in order to obtain the verification statement at the end of the program. The verification statement is required in order to take the registration examination to become a registered dietitian.
- Completion of all rotations, modules, assignments, case studies and presentations as evidenced by satisfactory evaluations by preceptors and program manager
- Completion of Clinical I, Clinical II and Clinical III exams with a minimum score of 85 percent
- Self-evaluation with the help of the preceptor after each section of the internship (clinical, food service and community)
- Participation in a final evaluation process in order to receive your verification statement
- Ethical performance in accordance with the values of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by following the standards of Professional Practice (2008) and The American Dietetic Association Code of Ethics (2009)
- Demonstrated interest in providing the highest quality of nutrition care and service excellence
Dietetic internship graduates receive a verification statement of supervised practice completion, which is required for eligibility to take the registration exam for dietitian-nutritionists. Registration exam requirements are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Graduates must pass the exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). New York state certification can be obtained after becoming an RDN by applying to the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, Dietetics and Nutrition Unit. Click here for more information on certification requirements.
Fees & expenses
The below fees cover application and enrollment costs:
Application fee – Bank check, personal check or money order in the amount of $50 payable to Nutrition and Dining Services, NSUH. Credit cards are not accepted. Please include the following with your payment:
- Applicant name
- Email address
- Telephone number
- DICAS ID number
- DPD program completed/in progress at (name of school)
Send your payment to:
North Shore University Hospital
Nutrition and Dining Service Department
300 Community Drive
Manhasset, NY 11030
Attn: Luz E. Valencia-Penagos, Program Manager
- D&D Digital Systems, Inc. fee for national computer matching – $55
- DICAS fee—$45 for one internship program; $20 for each additional program.
- Northwell Health Dietetic Internship enrollment fee—Bank check, personal check or money order in the amount of $12,000 payable to: Nutrition and Dining Services, NSUH. Credit cards are not accepted.
- Payment options:
- Option 1: Two payments of $6,000 each, with the first payment due in July and the second payment due in August.
- Option 2: One payment of $12,000 due in August.
- Withdrawal and refund of fees:
- 100 percent before June 1
- 75 percent before September 1
- 50 percent before October 31
- No refunds thereafter
- Payment options:
Interns are responsible for housing, books, liability insurance, memberships and travel expenses. The following are estimated prices. Prospective interns are encouraged to do further price searching.
- Housing – Interns will be responsible for securing housing in the immediate area. Rent for a studio apartment ranges from $1,200 to $1,800 per month. Rent for a one bedroom apartment ranges from $1,800 to $2,400 per month.
- Professional liability insurance – Interns are required to obtain professional liability insurance at their own expense (typically less than $45) for a minimum of $1 million for each incident and $5 million aggregate.
- Membership fees
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Fee: $58
- Long Island Dietetic Association Student Fee: $20
- Books – Estimated price $100
- "Medical Terminology: A Short Course” by Davi-Ellen Chabner (Latest edition)
- Leadership book assigned during summer orientation
- Travel expenses – Interns are responsible for their own transportation, including public transportation costs and/ or personal vehicle expenses.
- Northwell Health is a large health system. Interns are based at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and complete rotations at Northwell Health facilities throughout Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Westchester.
- Prior to the start of the internship, there will be three meeting days at North Shore University Hospital:
- Mentoring day—One Sunday in May
- Summer orientation—Two weekdays in July
After the completion of the dietetic internship, the following expenses are estimated:
- Examination fee to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN): $200
- Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) maintenance fee: $60 (billed after successfully passing the RDN examination)
- New York state certification as a dietitian-nutritionist (CDN) – $294
Loan deferment is available as the internship is full-time status. Financial aid is not available. We encourage you to look for scholarship opportunities, including those from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For eligibility and application information, visit eatright.org.