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 and the Combined YNHH Internship/Masters Degree Program in affiliation with the Graduate School at the University of New Haven (UNH).
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 January 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 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 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 state licensure requirements. 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.
- 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 dietitians nutritionists is at least 80%.
- At least 80% of employers will rate program graduates’ preparation for entry level practice as meets expectations or better.
- At least 80% of graduates will rate their preparation for entry level practice as meets expectations or better.
- Of graduates who seek employment, at least 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
- At least 80% of interns will complete program requirements within 1.5 years (150% 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.
- At least 80% of program graduates will rate their competence in nutrition support as meets expectations or better.
- At least 80% 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.
In addition to the supervised practice experience, you have the opportunity to enroll in the University of New Haven's Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration or Master in Public Health. If you select this track, you may take two three-credit graduate level courses, one during the fall trimester and a second during the spring trimester.
Learn more about the University of New Haven's Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration or Master in Public Health.
Classes are held in the evenings. Once you successfully complete the internship, you can continue on in the UNH program to earn your master's degree. If you choose to complete your degree at another institution, you will need to see if the credits are transferable to their program.
If you already have a master's degree, you can elect to earn a certificate in an area related to dietetics through UNH.
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/or completing your master's degree and successfully passing the registration exam.
The internship is a 50-week program that begins in the week following Labor Day in September and ends in the fourth week of August. It is divided into rotations of one to five 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, but the YNHH program is also flexible enough to allow interns the opportunity to explore professional interests outside of the medical center.
Interns are typically scheduled for both supervised practice experiences and class days. Class days may consist of special lectures, presentations or field trips to association meetings, seminars, workshops, legislative conferences, or master's level courses. Lecture topics range from graduate level nutrition courses at UNH to nutrition support, labor relations and resume preparation.
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 five days to be used as personal and sick days.
Classes are held on weekends or evenings at UNH. Once you successfully complete the internship, you can continue on in the UNH program to earn your graduate degree. If you choose to complete your degree at another institution, you will need to see if the credits are transferable to their program.
Interns experience a wide variety of practicums providing a strong general foundation with a clinical emphasis as outlined below:
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:
- Critical care
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 25 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.
In management rotations, interns develop skills in all facets of food and nutrition, service management and administration, from front line supervisor to department director.
- 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.
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.
Special Interest Rotations
Interns will have the opportunity to initiate a rotation with an RD in a setting of their own choice.
This can include but is not limited to:
- Long-term care
- School food service
- Cooperative extension services
- Assisted living centers
- Elderly feeding programs
- Food industry
- Public health
- Cardiac rehabilitation
- Private practice
- Local and sustainable food systems
Only interns who successfully demonstrate completion of ACEND Core Competencies for Dietitians by passing program rotations to date are eligible.
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.
All financial aid is handled through the University of New Haven. If you qualify, you must enroll in either their master's or certificate program. Financial aid is not available if you choose just to do the Dietetic Internship. Existing student loans may be deferred while you are in the internship program.
See the estimated costs.
Admission Requirements and Application Process
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% 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.
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. 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. The selection committee carefully considers all portions of your application in making their decision. However, we do 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 elect to enroll in the University of New Haven's Graduate Programs, you will apply directly to their program as admissions to the internship and graduate program are separate. We are able to forward your DICAS recommendations to UNH's Admissions office.
Learn more about the University of New Haven's Graduate Program in Healthcare Administration or Master in Public Health.
Note — You must apply to both programs. Given that the internship is limited to 12 students, being accepted into the Graduate Program at the University of New Haven does not guarantee an internship appointment.
- 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.
- Interns must complete all Program Requirements in order to be eligible to graduate.
- Completion of the minimum required number of hours for the program.
- 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 as determined by Internship Faculty.
- Financial obligations to the program paid in full.
- 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 then process paperwork to be sent to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
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.
- Failure to complete program requirements within eighteen (18) months of the program start (150% 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 3 years, the internship has a 100% pass within 1 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 our virtual open house on November 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm ET. E-mail the program director to obtain 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.