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Dietetic Internship

The Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH) Dietetic Internship Program was founded in 1958 by past Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President Doris Johnson, PhD, RD. We are excited to offer two internship tracks:

  • The YNHH Clinical Emphasis Dietetic Internship for applicants who will have completed a Master’s degree and didactic program in dietetics before beginning the internship; and
  • The YNHH Internship with concurrent Entry-Level Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition Program in affiliation with the Rutgers School of Health Professions (Rutgers SHP) for up to five interns. For more information, please visit Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with our Clinical Nutrition Masters Program (rutgers.edu). Those accepted into this track will complete the Rutgers curriculum with the exception of the Clerkships/Supervised Experiential Learning (SEL). The supervised practice experience will be completed via the YNHH internship. The Rutgers SHP MS program is online with one day of virtual live, synchronous classes per week and  up to three, 3-day workshops on the Rutgers SHP Newark campus in March, June and December. This track is an excellent option for students interested in clinical nutrition to complete a Master’s degree as required by CDR in a clinical degree program at a highly regarded university with a proven track record of educating strong nutrition professionals, along with supervised practice training at a world-renowned academic medical center in 16 months.

In addition, the internship participates in a pre-select option for up to three students in the Master of Science in Human Nutrition DPD Plus Partner Dietetic Internship track at Drexel University. For more information, please visit the Master of Science in Human Nutrition program at Drexel University. Please find more information at Admission Requirements and Application and Application instructions.

Please note, full COVID vaccination as defined by Yale New Haven Hospital is required to be a dietetic intern at Yale New Haven Hospital. Currently, this is defined by 2 doses and then a booster dose at 6 months after second dose of an mRNA vaccine. The internship will comply with any updates to hospital vaccination policies. Interns will be required to provide proof of full vaccination by the first week of August prior to the September program start date. 

Goals and Objectives

Both internship tracks provide an intense graduate level experience for students who have earned at least a bachelor's degree. The internship also requires completion of a didactic program in the field of food and nutrition accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Typically this is done as your undergraduate major.

The practice-based YNHH internship program provides future professionals with real world experience at one of the best teaching hospitals in the country.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before midnight Central Time, Dec. 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program at Yale New Haven Hospital are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Learn more about Dietetics Licensure Statutes and Information by State (eatrightpro.org). All U.S. states and territories with licensure and certification laws accept the RDN credential for state licensure and certification purposes. In Connecticut, graduates must obtain certification. Learn more about educational pathways to become a RDN.

The internship's mission is to train competent, well-rounded entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists to ensure the viability of the dietetics profession as the recognized leaders and experts in food and nutrition.

The Yale New Haven Hospital Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation by ACEND of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Drive, Chicago, IL 60606, 312-899-0040, ext. 5400.

The goals and objectives are:

Program Goal 1: To prepare program graduates to become competent entry-level dietitians.

Objectives:

  1. 80 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion
  2. 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 dietitians nutritionists is at least 80%.
  3. At least 80 percent of employers will rate program graduates’ preparation for entry level practice as meets expectations or better.
  4. At least 80 percent of graduates will rate their preparation for entry level practice as meets expectations or better.
  5. Of graduates who seek employment, at least 70 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  6. At least 80 percent of interns will complete program requirements within 13.5 months (150 percent of the program length).

Program Goal 2: To prepare program graduates to become competent in initiating, monitoring, evaluating, and transitioning enteral and parenteral nutrition support regimens.

Objectives:

  1. At least 80 percent of program graduates will rate their competence in nutrition support as meets expectations or better.
  2. At least 80 percent of employers will rate program graduates’ competence in nutrition support as meets expectations or better.

Yale New Haven Hospital has been the primary teaching institution for Yale School of Medicine since 1826. As a dietetic intern at Yale New Haven Hospital, you will find yourself in a learning environment where new opportunities are plentiful. The majority of your rotations take place in the hospital, providing a consistent learning environment and the opportunity to perceive how each section of the Department of Food and Nutritional Services works to provide quality services. 

Overview and Schedule

Twelve appointments for the new class are made in April of each year. Because this internship is a practice-based training program, not only does it prepare you to successfully meet the ACEND Competency Statements for entry-level dietitian nutritionists, it also provides you with the coping skills to successfully meet personal and professional challenges in the real world of today.

Upon graduation, you can expect to have a competitive advantage in obtaining employment in dietetics and successfully passing the registration exam.

The internship is a nine month program that begins the first Monday following New Year’s Day in January and ending in the following September. Those interns accepted into the Rutgers SHP/Internship track will begin graduate classes in the fall semester prior to starting the internship. The first fall semester will be full-time coursework for those in the Rutgers SHP program. Subsequent semesters will consist of one virtual, live, synchronous Rutgers class day/week along with 4 days/week of internship training. Those in the Rutgers program will finish their MS coursework in the December, following internship completion in September. The full length of the MS program is 16 months, which includes the nine months of internship experience.

The internship is divided into rotations of one to four weeks. View an example of a rotation schedule. For many interns, the program provides a much-needed transition from the academic world into the working world. You will receive hands on training as well as written and/or oral assignments that relate to your experiences. This provides you with the opportunity to apply nutrition concepts into everyday practice.

After completing each rotation, you will give and receive feedback on progress made. Feedback proves useful to both interns and the internship. The structure of the program enables you to learn much about your abilities as well as your interests. The hospital and university offer a wide variety of opportunities in dietetics.

Interns are typically scheduled for both supervised practice experiences and some seminar class days.  Interns in both tracks will attend these seminars and they are not for graduate credit. Seminar class days may consist of special lectures, presentations or field trips to association meetings, seminars, workshops or legislative conferences.

The majority of weeks you will work Monday through Friday. Similar to other healthcare institutions, Yale New Haven Hospital provides food and nutrition services 365 days per year. Therefore, like the management, professional and technical staffs, you will be required to work some weekends and holidays with days off during the week. Two weeks of vacation are given, with one week falling during the winter holiday period and the other week typically in the early summer. In addition, you will also have a total of three days to be used as personal and sick days. 

Curriculum

Interns experience a wide variety of practicums providing a strong general foundation with a clinical emphasis as outlined below:

Clinical

Clinical rotations feature a one-on-one learning environment in which you will train with a registered dietitian in his/her area of expertise.

As an intern you will:

  • Develop the necessary skills to recognize specific disease states and conditions throughout the life cycle
  • Screen and evaluate patients for nutrition risk
  • Assess specific nutrition needs
  • Diagnose nutrition problems
  • Provide recommendations for nutrition interventions
  • Apply appropriate medical nutrition therapies
  • Monitor and evaluate effectiveness of interventions
  • Disseminate accurate nutrition information to patients, families and members of the healthcare team

Clinical rotations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cardiology
  • Critical care
  • Medicine
  • Maternity
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics/Newborn
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery
  • Transplant

As part of your clinical experience, you will develop a working knowledge of how to adapt medical nutrition therapy to patients' preferences and actual food. You will be introduced to numerous disease states and diagnoses and investigate principles of medical and surgical treatment in order to fully comprehend how medical nutrition therapy and the Nutrition Care Process impacts patient care.

The YNHH dietetic internship provides a program concentration in enteral and parenteral nutrition support. During your 24 weeks of inpatient adult and pediatric clinical nutrition rotations, you will enhance and advance your enteral and parenteral nutrition support skills through rotation experiences and assignments. Competence in enteral and parenteral nutrition support allows our program graduates an advantage as entry level practitioners working in clinical settings and positions them to be the healthcare team's recognized expert in nutrition support.

Management

In management rotations, interns develop skills in all facets of food and nutrition, service management and administration, from front line supervisor to department director.

You will:

  • Conduct financial analyses
  • Monitor patient satisfaction and performance improvement
  • Become proficient in purchasing and taking inventory
  • Attend department and hospital leadership meetings
  • Conduct audits
  • Modify recipes
  • Develop menus
  • Get involved in research planning and protocols
  • Experience quantity food preparation

Management rotations occur in numerous environments that may include the diet office, the patient tray lines, hospital retail units, department administration, the National Institute of Health-Funded Yale Center for Clinical Investigation Hospital Research Unit that includes a metabolic kitchen, and our state of the art Newborn ICU Milk Room.

Community

By completing outpatient nutrition rotations, interns learn to recognize and meet the demand for nutrition education for the community, clients and healthcare professionals.

You will gain experience in disseminating nutrition information for health promotion, disease prevention and disease treatment.

Your community experience includes a rotation in the outpatient nutrition clinic, medical oncology and radiation therapy and a variety of other outpatient clinics where you will develop nutrition counseling skills and experience with the Nutrition Care Process as well as an awareness of the reimbursement challenges in dietetics and health care today.

Participating in community health fairs, conducting group classes, responding to consumer phone calls and creating nutrition education materials are also components of your community experience. As part of the community rotations, you may be involved in various specialty clinics such as pediatric cystic fibrosis, genetics, gastroenterology, nephrology and WIC.

You may also get a glimpse of private practice through various entrepreneurial experiences in the surrounding areas. 

Costs and Financial Aid

Interns are responsible for the costs of tuition, books, health insurance, supplies needed for assignments, field trips, room, board, parking and travel expenses. Due to the intensity of the internship program, outside employment is not encouraged as an additional source of income.

As a hospital-based program, the internship is not able to offer financial aid. Interns concurrently enrolled in Rutgers SHP MS program may apply for financial aid. Existing student loans may be deferred while you are in the internship program.

See the estimated costs.

YNHH internship does not offer any stipend. We are committed to making excellent supervised practice training affordable by keeping our program fee as low as possible.

Admission Requirements and Application Process

Application instructions

A student who demonstrates maturity and an eagerness to learn and who can adapt to the rapidly paced environment of a world-class, progressive teaching hospital will thrive in our program.

Admission to the program is extremely competitive. Nationwide, the match rate is approximately 65 percent for applicants applying to internships. Minimally, you will need to have completed an ACEND Accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics and have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Applicants who have completed an ACEND Accredited Didactic Program (DPD) in Dietetics and have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university will apply to the dietetic internship/Rutgers MS degree track. Students who will have completed a DPD and Master’s degree by the start of the internship program may apply to the internship track. 

The average GPA for incoming interns is 3.4 with a 3.6 average in major courses. However, GPAs have ranged from 3.0 - 4.0. A strong science foundation as reflected by a GPA of 3.0 or higher has been helpful to interns in our program. For those applying to the Rutgers SHP MS program, please see Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with our Clinical Nutrition Masters Program (rutgers.edu) for admission criteria related to GPA. You will need to meet this criteria if applying to the MS/Internship track.

Letters of recommendation, as well as life and work experience, are considered equally important selection factors in determining who will most likely succeed in our program.

It is not a requirement that you have work experience in dietetics, nor is there any recency of education requirement. Rutgers SHP requirements regarding recency of education are followed to those applying for the MS/Internship track. The prerequisite or DPD nutrition courses must be completed no more than 5 years prior to your application and the DPD or perquisite science courses must be completed no more than 10 years prior to your application per Rutgers policy. 

The internship selection committee carefully considers all portions of your application in making their decision. We like to know about any other paid work experience as life/professional skills can transfer to dietetics supervised practice programs. For more information on improving your chances at matching an internship, visit this page at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

If you will not enter the internship with a MS degree, you will apply separately to the Rutgers School of Health Professions MS in Clinical Nutrition for Aspiring Dietitians, as well as to the internship via DICAS. Applicants to the Rutgers MS/dietetic internship track will be listed for matching via D&D Digital as determined by the Joint Program Oversight Committee comprised of Rutgers and YNHH faculty. 

Further details are available at Dietetic Internship | Application Instructions (ynhh.org). 

Pre-Select Option: Beginning with the Spring 2022 Match Cycle, this internship will participate in a pre-select option. Three of the 12 openings will be reserved for students who are in the process of completing the Master of Science in Human Nutrition DPD Plus Partner Dietetic Internship track at Drexel University. The pre-select option does not require participation in the DICAS centralized application process. Students completing the Master of Science in Human Nutrition DPD Plus Partner Dietetic Internship track at Drexel University, will complete and submit an internal application, as instructed by their Drexel DPD Director. The Internship Selection Committee will rank applicants and submit the ranking to the Drexel DPD Director by a designated date in mid-January. For more information, please visit the Drexel University program and our application instructions.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of the Dietetic Internship is contingent upon achievement of the required
    competencies, which are outlined by the Accreditation Council for Education of
    Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  2. Interns must complete all Program Requirements in order to be eligible to graduate.

    This includes:
    1. Completion of the minimum required number of hours for the program.
    2. Satisfactory completion of all rotations and achievement of entry level competency in all rotations as assessed by performance and written assignments, by scoring a minimum of 80% on performance appraisal forms and scoring rubrics as determined by Internship Faculty.
    3. Financial obligations to the program paid in full.

  3. YNHH Internship track: Interns who have already completed a Master’s degree and successfully complete YNHH DI graduation requirements will be issued ACEND Verification Statements (see below).

  4. YNHH Internship/Rutgers SHP MS track: Interns who successfully complete YNHH DI graduation requirements and are still in process of completing the MS program at Rutgers will receive their DI ACEND Verification statement upon completion of MS degree as demonstrated by final official transcript with date degree conferred. Per Rutgers, the MSCN degree will be conferred when a student has completed the requirements for the degree, typically after sixteen (16) months of full-time study at Rutgers SHP. It is the responsibility of the students to satisfy all requirements for their degree(s).

  5. When all the above requirements are met, the Internship Director will provide six (6) signed originals of the Verification Statement to the intern and place one signed original in the intern's file. This documentation is necessary to verify completion of the Dietetic Internship and establish eligibility to take the CDR credentialing exam for registered dietitian nutritionists. The Program Director will complete required documentation for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for each candidate once they have completed the dietetic internship and a Master's degree.

    Note: Many states have licensure or certification for dietitians. It is the intern's responsibility to know what the regulations are in the state where s/he will practice. Before graduation, interns will check their states' licensure regulations to assure that they are in compliance upon accepting positions in that state.

  6. Failure to complete program requirements within 13.5 months of the program start (150 percent of planned completion) will lead to termination in the program unless a specific alternative plan is agreed upon between the intern and the Program Director.

Outcomes and Intern Success

Traditionally, interns graduating from the Yale New Haven Hospital Dietetic Internship have been well prepared for various careers in dietetics.

By the end of the program you will demonstrate your skills by functioning in place of a staff member on one or more clinical, community, or management services.

Over the past three years, the internship has a 100 percent pass within one year of first attempt on the Registration Exam for Dietitians.

In the past three years, all graduates seeking employment after program completion have found jobs within six months. Program graduates are prepared for, and accept, positions with competitive salaries in health care, business and industry, academia, government agencies and the media.

Program outcomes data are available upon request to the program director.

Tours / About New Haven

Scheduling a visit

Though not required, prospective interns can visit the hospital. Generally, group tours are given with a current dietetic intern, who will give you the opportunity to learn first-hand about the internship experience. Every effort will be made to be flexible, but, times and days depend upon our current interns' schedules. To schedule a tour, please contact the program director by e-mail.

Due to COVID-19, hospital restrictions on visitors may preclude individual or group tours. You may attend one of our virtual open house sessions:

  • Nov. 9, 2022 at 12:30 pm ET (DSPP fair)
  • Nov. 10, 2022 at 11:30 am ET (DSPP fair)
  • Jan. 4, 2023 at 3 pm ET  

E-mail the program director to obtain the Zoom link. You may also email specific questions not addressed on our website. 

Life in New Haven

Yale New Haven Hospital is located in New Haven, Conn., considered the "Gateway to New England." This culturally diverse city is situated between Boston and New York.

New Haven is home to Yale University, numerous fine restaurants, museums and theaters. UNH is located less than three miles from YNHH. Interns can get there by taking the YNHH/West Haven VA Shuttle buses.

For more information on New Haven and all it has to offer, visit the City of New Haven site.

Bringing a Car

It is recommended that interns have their own transportation, but it is not required. Parking can be limited and expensive.