Dietetic Internship - Nutrition

Bastyr University’s dietetic internship (DI) is a 10-month program that provides interns with a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised work experience in the areas of clinical nutrition, community nutrition and food service management.  The DI includes concentrations in:

  • integrative medicine (a specialty area of Bastyr University)
  • environmentally conscious, whole-foods nutrition (a specialty area of the Department of Nutrition)

Each intern receives a schedule that is customized to their career goals and interests.  About 60% of rotation weeks are “core rotations” that provide the broad set of experiences necessary for success as an entry-level dietitian nutritionist (RDN).  The remaining 40% of rotation weeks are dedicated to rotations that develop the specific career goals and interests of the intern.  Our extensive portfolio of local, regional and national rotation sites allows interns to focus on inpatient or outpatient clinical work, private practice, community work, or food service career paths. Specialty rotations in Seattle’s nationally respected medical centers allow interns to train for career paths in oncology, pediatrics, organ transplant and eating disorders. Our partnerships with Division 1 universities and professional sports teams creates unparalleled opportunities to practice sports nutrition.  Interns also can request a broad and varied rotation schedule if they are unsure about their career path. Upon program completion, interns are eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s registration examination for dietitians.

Length of Program: 10 months.
Campus: Kenmore, Washington

Summary

The Bastyr University DI is based on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) 2017 Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Internship Programs and is designed to meet performance requirements for entry-level dietitian nutritionists. The program includes didactic coursework, enrichment projects and supervised practice experience. 

Internship Mission

The Bastyr University DI educates future leaders in the dietetic profession by preparing entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who will integrate whole foods, environmental nutrition and integrative medicine perspectives into their nutrition practice.

Internship Program Philosophy

The Bastyr University DI will effectively deliver an internship that meets the accreditation standards of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics while supporting the mission of the Department of Nutrition & Exercise Science.

Program Goals and Objectives*

  1. The Bastyr University DI prepares competent, entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.
    • At least 80% of interns successfully complete the requirements of the Bastyr University Dietetic Internship within 13 months’ time of program start (150% of 38-week program).
    • 100% of program graduates take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (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%.
    • Of internship graduates who seek employment, at least 85% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of program completion.
    • At least 90% of internship graduates who apply to graduate school/higher education are accepted.
    • Internship graduate employer survey respondents choose the highest rating indicating satisfaction with graduates’ preparedness on at least 90% of entry-level competencies.
  2.  
    • At least 90% of internship graduate survey respondents will choose the highest rating indicating entry-level employment preparedness in areas related to whole foods, environmental nutrition practices, and integrative medicine perspectives.
    • In the annual internship graduate employer surveys, respondents will choose the highest rating indicating employment preparedness on at least 85% of professional competencies related specifically to whole foods, environmental nutrition practices, and integrative medicine perspectives.

Accreditation Status

The Bastyr University DI has been accredited by ACEND since 1996 and its current accreditation term ends 6/30/2027. To reach ACEND:
120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995.
Phone: (800) 877-1600, ext. 5400
E-mail: ACEND@eatright.org
Web site: http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/acend

Bastyr University is accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Program outcomes data, evaluated annually using an average of annual data from the previous three years, is available upon request to the program director.

The Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Credential

To meet the eligibility requirements needed to take the CDR registration examination for RDNs, an individual must complete the following steps:
1.    Complete required didactic coursework (i.e., academic training)
2.    Complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a US regionally-accredited college or university
3.    Complete required supervised practice (i.e., work and skills training)

Bastyr’s DI program is intended to provide the necessary experiences needed to meet the supervised practice requirement (#3 above).  To be eligible for this DI, by the start of the internship, applicants must prove they have completed the other two requirements listed above (#1 and #2) with:

  • A verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Program (DPD) or Foreign Dietitian Education program (FDE) 
  • An official transcript showing a minimum bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics or an equivalent program granted by a U.S. regionally-accredited college/university or foreign equivalent

Effective January 1, 2024, the CDR will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to sit for the registration exam.  Interns with a terminal bachelor’s degree 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, to be eligible for the registration exam. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website (please link to https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/program-directors/program-directors-faqs/2024-graduate-degree-requirement).  Bastyr’s DI will accept bachelor’s degree-prepared applicants through the spring match of 2022.  Starting in Spring 2023, all applicants must possess a minimum of a master’s degree to be considered for admission to the DI.

Upon successful completion of this DI, the director will enter the following information into the CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS):

  • DPD Verification Statement
  • Proof of bachelor’s or master’s degree (as described above)
  • DI Verification Statement

Then, the individual is eligible to take the registration examination for RDNs.  Upon passing that exam, the individual is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and may practice in one of many entry-level positions in a wide range of career settings. Maintaining the RDN credential requires ongoing professional development.

Each state in which an RDN practices will have its own scope of practice and requirements for obtaining certification or licensure. In the state of Washington, RDNs apply to become Certified Dietitians (CDs) with the Washington State Department of Health. Requirements for this certification include having the RDN credential, holding a degree in nutrition, and completing an approved HIV-training course. Information and an application packet for certification in the State of Washington can be found here. 
 

 

Curriculum

The DI is a full-time program spanning a minimum of 39 weeks including three weeks of vacation time. Key components of the curriculum include:

  • 3 weeks of program orientation or graduation
  • 33 weeks of supervised practice at rotation sites
  • a minimum of 1200 supervised practice hours
  • 15 credits of graduate work, a portion of which can be applied toward a master’s degree in nutrition at Bastyr University or transferred into other graduate programs
  • Weekly seminar-style classes in fall and winter quarters to complete didactic coursework and enrichment projects

Most interns require additional work time during evenings and weekends to compete projects, prepare for rotations, and study for the registration examination.

Supervised Practice

Through supervised practice at rotation sites, interns gain experience in the practice of clinical dietetics, community nutrition and food service systems and management. Interns develop insight into the special nutritional needs of populations by rotating through a variety of sites which may include hospitals, outpatient clinics, community agencies, and food service facilities.

The rotations are designed to give interns the opportunity to work with individuals from all stages of life and with varying health conditions. The core rotations that comprise 60% of internship rotation weeks include:

  • In-patient clinical: 10 weeks
  • Food Service Administration: 5 weeks
  • Bastyr Center for Natural Health: 1-2 weeks
  • Community Nutrition at WIC: 3 weeks
  • Outpatient Clinics: 2-3 weeks
  • Long Term Care or Renal Care: 3 weeks

About 40% of rotation weeks are devoted to rotations that allow each intern to explore work environments that relate to their own individual career goals. Example rotations that interns can request include:

  • Community work: hunger agencies, policy and advocacy work, non-profit management
  • Sports nutrition: working with athletes from professional- and college-level teams
  • Eating disorder treatment: in both residential and outpatient settings
  • Specialty clinical work: pediatrics, oncology, organ transplant, diabetes, and bariatric/weight loss, underserved populations
  • Private practice: client-oriented and entrepreneurship-focused sites
  • Enrichment rotation: an opportunity for interns to locate their own rotation site and practice self-directed learning and professional development skills

Except for the enrichment rotation, the DI director is responsible for locating all rotation sites and preceptors and organizing the intern’s rotation schedule.

Program Schedule

The DI follows the quarter system academic calendar of Bastyr University.  The DI officially begins with the university Convocation ceremony and the first day of the academic year in September.  The program ends on the last day of finals week of spring quarter, which typically is in mid- to late-June. The program suspends for two weeks during winter break (late December) and offers one week of vacation in the spring. Contact the program director for exact dates for a particular program year. Depending on the rotation, interns may also have vacation days on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and Memorial Day.

Program Completion Requirements

The dietetic internship program has adopted the competency-based system of grading used at Bastyr University. Program completion requirements include:

  • Achievement of a competence (AC grade) in all internship graduate classes
  • Achievement of competence in all rotation activities and in overall work performance as evaluated by preceptors
  • Achievement of competence (AC grade) in all major assigned projects and activities as evaluated by the DI director
  • Achievement of a minimum score of 75% on the final exit exam

Rotation preceptors provide evaluations to interns at the end of each rotation. Each intern will meet with the DI director at the end of each academic quarter to assess progress in the program and address any individual learning or performance improvement needs.

Additional Program Information/Internship Handbook

Interns accepted into the program will receive the Bastyr University Dietetic Internship Handbook which outlines all major program policies and procedures. Interns in the program will have access to an e-learning portal where all relevant program information and tools are available to them.

Application and Admissions

PREREQUISITES

As described above, to be eligible for this internship, prior to the start of the program, applicants must obtain:

  • a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Program (DPD) or Foreign Dietitian Education program (FDE)
  • an official transcript showing a minimum bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics or an equivalent program granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college/university or foreign equivalent

For applicants from foreign institutions, documentation must be provided that their academic degree has been validated as equivalent to the bachelor's or master's degree conferred by a US regionally-accredited college or university. Applicants from foreign institutions should visit the ACEND site for more information including links to independent foreign degree evaluation agencies.

PRE-SELECT ADMISSIONS

Up to six of the 12 spots in the DI are available to qualified current students or graduates of Bastyr University’s master’s degree DPD program.  The remaining positions are filled through computer matching.  Key dates for pre-select admissions include:

  • Applications due to DICAS: Wednesday January 5th, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST
  • Interviews scheduled: Tuesday 1/12/22 to Sunday 1/16/22
  • Notification of decisions: Wednesday 1/19/22 by 5:00 PM PST
  • Applicant acceptance of offers by email or phone: Friday 1/21/22 by 5:00 PM PST

The names of matched interns will be submitted to D&D Digital and will be removed from the computer matching process (i.e., they are ineligible to participate). If an applicant does not confirm acceptance of an offer by the deadline, they forfeit the offer and their position may be filled by another pre-select or computer matching applicant.  Applicants not selected in the pre-select admissions may re-apply to Bastyr’s DI in the computer matching process for the open positions. The university application fee of $75 is waived for pre-select applicants.

COMPUTER MATCHING ADMISSIONS

The DI participates in the spring computer matching application process. Applicants must submit their application materials through Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) by 11:59 pm Central Time on February 15, 2022, the deadline established by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Application fees are $50 for the first application and $25 for each additional application. All portions of the DICAS application are expected to be completed for the applicant to be considered for the program. 

In addition, applicants must complete a short admissions application (demographics, contact information) and pay a $75 university application fee. Click here to fill out the Bastyr University application. This supplemental application is also due no later than February 15, 2022, 11:59 pm Central Time.  Current and prior Bastyr students do not need to complete this application or pay the university application fee.

 

Computer matching applicants must register and enter their priority choices online on the D&D Digital website (http://www.dnddigital.com/) by the February 15, 2022 at 11:59 pm Central Time deadline. At the time of registration, a $55 registration fee via credit card is required. Applicants who have registered for the match by February, 15, 2022 can reorder their internship priority rankings up to 11:59 pm Central Time on March 28, 2022.

Applicant matching results will be posted on D&D Digital’s website (http://www.dnddigital.com/) beginning at 6:00 pm Central Time, Sunday, April 3, 2022. Matched applicants must contact the DI Program by 6:00 pm PST on Monday, April 4, 2022 to confirm acceptance of the match.

APPLICANT CHARACTERISTICS

The program accepts a maximum of 12 interns from the approximately 60-100 applications received.  Applications are reviewed during an initial screening phase and those meeting minimum standards pass through to the interview phase.  Both screening and interview phase ratings are combined to form the final list of candidates that are ranked in the computer matching process.

Applicants who are ranked by the selection committee typically have these characteristics:

  • Strong academic background: Candidates must possess a strong background in the arts and sciences related to nutrition and dietetics. Using a 4.0 scale, a GPA of 3.0 or higher is required for acceptance into the program.
  • Volunteer or paid work experience: Due to the fast-paced nature of rotations, interns who have extensive work experience tend to be more successful in the program. Applicants obtain points for work in nutrition related settings: 1) clinical nutrition such as hospitals or long-term care facilities, 2) commercial food service facilities such as restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or residential facilities, 3) community agencies such as food banks, farms, or health fairs. Work experience that is not in nutrition settings but demonstrates “soft skills,” management, or leadership development also is valued.
  • Personal statements: Statements that demonstrate and emphasize alignment with our program concentrations in integrative medicine, whole foods nutrition, and environmental nutrition are desirable.
  • Recommendations: Letters that emphasize academic, work, and people skills are valued. We request two letters from academic settings and one from a work or volunteer setting.  Strictly personal letters (i.e., family friend, clergy, policymaker) are not considered.
  • Extra points are assigned for evidence of leadership roles in the university or community and activities that enhance intercultural awareness.

 

Tuition and Financial Aid

EXPENSES

  • Application
    • DICAS fees: $50 for first application and $25 for each additional application
    • D&D Digital computer matching fee: $55
    • Non-refundable university application fee: $75
  • Tuition: $13,170
    • $878/credit for 15 graduate credits
    • Billed in three installments of $4,390 the first day of each quarter
  • Onboarding costs:
    • Immunizations - $0-400
    • Food handler’s permit - $10
    • CPR/AED Course – $65
    • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership –
    • Verified Credentials Background Check – $55-$80
    • Washington State Policy Background Check – $11
    • Clinical Placements Northwest Onboarding Program - $50
  • Transportation costs to rotation sites:  approximately $1000
  • Books, supplies, permits and miscellaneous fees*: $0-$800
  • Additional conference fees and membership fees*: $0-$300
  • Living expenses (room, board, food): $1500 per month x 10 months = $15,000

*These fees are most often related to unique rotation site onboarding requirements that may include additional immunizations, drug testing, conferences, and/or trainings. 

FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Because the Bastyr University Dietetic Internship is not a degree program, interns are not eligible for the typical financial-aid programs available to university students. Interns are encouraged to apply for a variety of scholarships available at federal, state and local levels, including The Academy Foundation Scholarships and others. Interns are generally eligible for student loan deferment and the program director will complete any required forms to support this deferment process.

Bastyr University offers its own scholarship programs which interns are notified about upon acceptance into the program.  In the past six years, on average, 65% of interns that applied for a scholarship received one and the average award was nearly $5000 per intern.

Getting more information

VISITING CAMPUS

If you would like to visit campus and gain a better understanding of our DI and Bastyr University in general, you are welcome to schedule a visit. Contact Admissions at admissions@bastyr.edu for more information on visiting campus. Contact Cynthia Bartok at cbartok@bastyr.edu to set up an appointment.  In fairness to all applicants, note that visiting campus will not increase the chance of being admitted to the internship.

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSES

Our 90-minute virtual open houses are a great opportunity to learn more about the program and its admissions processes.  Open houses are staffed by the DI Director, Cynthia Bartok, a representative from admissions, and current and past dietetic interns.  The open house starts with a 30-minute presentation that provides the basic information you need to know to determine if the program is a good match for your goals and interests.  Afterwards, attendees meet in small groups with the DI Director, admissions, and interns to have questions answered. 

Open house dates for our Spring 2022 match include:

  • Saturday 10/23/21 at 10 AM
  • Wednesday 11/17/21 at 5 PM
  • Wednesday 12/8/21 at 5 PM
  • Sunday 12/19/21 at 2 PM
  • Wednesday 1/12/22 at 5 PM
  • Saturday 2/12/22 at 10 AM

Note that all times are in Pacific Standard Time (PST).  Contact Cynthia Bartok at cbartok@bastyr.edu to obtain the Zoom link for the open house(s) that work for your schedule.

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