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Dietitian reviewing food options with patient in a hospital setting.

Program overview

Program length: 8 months
Class size: 3 students (6 students a year)
Location: Jacksonville, Florida

This internship prepares graduates to deliver complete nutrition services as registered dietitians. Students will learn how to contribute to the health and well-being of all people by providing the best care in many settings. This internship prepares students to work in hospitals, clinics, public health agencies, and food service management.

Graduation and certification

After successfully completing your 1,320 supervised practice hours, you receive a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences and a verification statement that allows you to take the professional registration exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Since 2011, 100% of Jacksonville's graduates have passed CDR's national examination on their first attempt.

Licensure

RDNs are required to be licensed in some states. Refer to state licensure requirements found on CDR's website. The state of Florida requires licensure for dietitians/nutritionists and nutrition counselors in Florida.

Application process

Classes begin in January and July each year, with a maximum of three interns in each class. The classes are computer matched in November and April for the January and July classes, respectively.

Applicants for the internship are selected based on grades, work and volunteer experiences, leadership qualities, and representation of personal qualities and skills in a personal letter.

Prerequisites

To be eligible to apply for the internship, you must have: 

  • A bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited college or university, with a major in nutrition, food science, or dietetics that meets Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) requirements. 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).
  • A verification statement completed by the program director.
  • A minimum GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for each: DPD Science, DPD Professional, and total GPA.

Non-U.S. citizen applicants

Admission to Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences is open to U.S. workers in the four categories below. Therefore, visa sponsorship is not available.

  1. U.S. citizens
  2. U.S. nationals
  3. Lawful permanent residents
  4. Asylees and refugees

Applicants whose primary language is not English must submit results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based test (TOEFL iBT). Scores from the speaking portion of the exam are given particular consideration in admission decisions. Learn more about the exam and register online at the Educational Testing Service.

The Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences code for the TOEFL iBT is 5784.

Educational transcripts from schools outside the U.S. must be translated (if they are not already in English) and evaluated for U.S. equivalence by an accredited credential evaluation service company prior to submission. Please refer to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for a list of qualified companies. The applicant pays for the examination and credential-evaluation services.

How to apply

The internship participates in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS). The fee to use DICAS is $40 for the first application submitted and $20 for each additional application. If you have questions, email DICASinfo@DICAS.org.

1. Online application. The online application must be completed by 11:59 p.m. Central time on the dates assigned by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

When completing the application form, applicants must include the name and contact information (specifically an email address) for each reference. This will trigger an email message requesting completion of a reference form. The form will be completed online. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.

Applicants who apply to internships using DICAS are asked to complete a personal statement (1,000-word limit). Questions to be addressed in the personal statement include:

  • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
  • What experiences have helped to prepare you for your career?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?

2. Submit your transcripts. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent postmarked by the assigned deadline to:

DICAS — Transcript Department
PO Box 9118
Watertown, MA 02471

3. Match registration. Applicants must also register online for computer matching at D&D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service and select dietetic internship priority choices by 11:59 p.m. Central time on the assigned deadline. There is a $50 computer matching fee.

Acceptance

Candidates selected must contact the program director in writing via email or fax within 24 hours of the notification day.

Upon acceptance into the internship and graduation from your college or university, submit these items to the program director:

  • Official final college or university transcript that shows your graduation date
  • Original verification statement of Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) completion

Tuition and financial aid

Program tuition is $266 per credit. There are 30 credits in the program. The estimated tuition for the full program is $7,980.

Total estimated cost of attendance

Total estimated cost of attendance

  • $8,230 — tuition and fees
  • $130 (plus variable costs outlined in list above) — other expenses
  • $8,360 — total estimated cost of attendance*

*Program tuition rates, fees and related expenses are subject to change. These estimated expenses represent a good faith effort to disclose true costs of attendance.

Other mandatory expenses

  • $250 — activity fee
  • $25 — lab coats
  • $50 (annually) — student membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • $35-$55 — drug testing
  • Personal automobile liability insurance
  • Personal health insurance
  • Costs for elective week, if outside the Jacksonville area

Estimated cost of living (Jacksonville, Florida)

  • $1,000 a month — rent and utilities (two-bedroom apartment)
  • $250 a month — personal expenses
  • $220 a month — food
  • $110 a month — transportation

It is necessary to have an insured vehicle at all times throughout the internship. At more than 800 square miles, Jacksonville, Florida, is geographically the largest city in the U.S. Rotations occur throughout the Jacksonville area and surrounding counties.

Students are responsible for their own living accommodations and transportation. These expenses are not paid to the school, but are considered for purposes of processing financial aid, where applicable.

While strongly discouraged, you may hold outside employment during the internship if it does not conflict with your program responsibilities.

Financial aid

Financial aid is available for the internship. Mayo Clinic staff members are available to provide letters to lending institutions to help defer payments of student loans. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Registrar for information about financial aid.

Curriculum

Learning experiences and rotations

The Dietetic Internship prepares you for professional practice in hospitals, clinics, public health agencies, and food service management.

The program does not accept credit from previous coursework or supervised practice.

Learning experiences

During the program, learning experiences allow you to:

  • Assess the nutritional status of patients with complex medical conditions and plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate medical nutrition therapy plans
  • Manage normal nutritional needs of individuals across the life span
  • Integrate pathophysiology into medical nutrition therapy recommendations
  • Provide nutrition education to patients, staff, and the public for healthy lifestyle changes
  • Participate in patient care rounds, functioning as a member of a multidisciplinary health care team
  • Supervise the production of food that meets specified criteria for nutrients, cost, and patient acceptance
  • Apply principles of management and systems to food and nutrition facilities
  • Prepare and analyze quality, financial, and productivity data
  • Participate in managing human resources essential to food and nutrition service operation
  • Manage safety, security, and sanitation issues related to food and nutrition facilities
  • Develop, conduct, supervise and evaluate a community-based program
  • Provide nutritional care in community-based settings
  • Participate in research activities

Rotations

The internship incorporates food service, clinical and community experiences throughout northern Florida. You may rotate to other facilities for experiences in:

  • Community and inner-city hospital
  • Long-term care facility
  • Dialysis clinic
  • Patient food service (traditional and room service)
  • School food service
  • Public health-based programs
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics
  • Homeless shelter
  • Pediatric specialty clinics
  • Community wellness

The program has a clinical emphasis and includes:

  • 18 weeks of clinical experiences
  • 7 weeks of foodservice experiences
  • 5 weeks of community experiences
  • 1 week of management experiences
  • 1 week of elective
  • 1 week of vacation
  • 1 week of research

Our interns also present nutrition programs to community audiences, which increases their skills in public speaking and working with community groups.

Outcomes/technical standards

The Dietetic Internship Program is committed to diversity and educating students who will make the population of health care professionals a true representation of our diverse community.

The following technical standards are not intended to deter any candidate for whom reasonable accommodation will allow the fulfillment of the curriculum. Program applicants and admitted students with disabilities are confidentially reviewed to determine whether there are any reasonable accommodations that would permit the individual to satisfy the program standards. The following technical standards are required of all students enrolled in the Dietetic Internship Program.

Theme
Essential functions
Example of required activities (not all inclusive)
Observation

Candidates must be able to observe demonstration and participate in hands-on learning in the classroom and clinical settings. Candidates must be able to acquire information from written documents and computer systems.

  • Recognize and assess patient changes in mood, activity, cognition, verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Be able to review EMR.
Communication

Candidates must be able to communicate effectively, sensitively, and efficiently with patients, families, health care professional, and faculty. Candidates must be able to acquire the patient’s medical history in a timely manner, interpret non-verbal information, and establish rapport with patients. Candidates are also required to record information accurately and clearly; and communicate efficiently in English with other health care professionals.

  • Communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, students, staff, faculty, and all members of the healthcare team during all learning experiences.
  • Interact with healthcare faculty, patients, and family in person and via the telephone.
Motor skill and mobility

Candidates must have sufficient motor functions that they are able to execute movements required to provide general care and treatment to patients in all health care settings within a specified amount of time.

  • Full range of motion allowing for gross movements, such as bending and lifting up to 10 pounds.
  • Fine motor skills, steady hand function and hand-eye coordination.
Interpersonal behavior and social skills

Candidates must exhibit the emotional stability required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, which includes, but is not limited to, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of responsibilities associated with the care of patients. Candidates are expected to exhibit integrity, honesty, professionalism, compassion, and display a spirit of cooperation and teamwork.

  • Tolerate physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients.
  • Express compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation when working with patients, staff, and faculty.
  • Manage apprehensive patients with a range of moods and behaviors in a tactful, culturally sensitive, congenial, personal matter so as not to alienate or antagonize them.
  • Accept feedback and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.
  • Show genuine empathy, interest, and professionalism while interacting with patients.
Cognitive and intellectual

Candidates must be able to assimilate detailed and complex information presented in both didactic and clinical coursework. Candidates are expected to possess the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and transmit information. Candidate must also command the ability to think critically, and possess problem-solving and organizational skills.

  • Ability to learn through a variety of methods including, but not limited to, classroom instruction, small group, problem-based learning groups, team and collaborative activities, individual study, preparation and presentation of reports simulations, and through the use of technology.
  • Ability to organize time and manage multi-faceted demands and schedules.
Computer and technological skills

Candidate must be able to utilize electronic technology in didactic and clinical environment.

  • Demonstrate basic computer functions such as data entry, printing and ability to function in multiple screens simultaneously.
  • Ability to learn how to use the EMR.
Problem solving

Candidates must think critically, and demonstrate problem-solving and organizational skills necessary in providing quality patient care.

  • Effectively troubleshoot/adapt when necessary.
  • Understand additional resources available, where to locate them and how to use them.
Ethics

Candidates must adhere to Mayo Clinic's mission, vision, and value statements regarding patient care.

  • Recognize the importance of performing duties in accordance with policies and standard operating procedures.
  • Accept the expectation of maintaining patient confidentiality, both from a legal standpoint and a humanitarian perspective.
  • Understand the Patient Bill of Rights and perform care in a manner that exhibits respect, dignity, and empathy for the patient and family members.

Dietetic internship schedule

For the majority of the internship, your hours are Monday through Friday, with occasional weekends. Hours vary by rotation.

DateIntern AIntern BIntern C

Week 1

Program Orientation

Program Orientation

Program Orientation

Week 2

Food Service

Food Service

Food Service

Week 3

Food Service

Food Service

Food Service

Week 4

Food Service

Food Service

Food Service

Week 5

Food Service

Food Service

Food Service

Week 6

Food Service

Food Service

Food Service

Week 7

Food Service

Food Service

Food Service

Week 8

Clinical Orientation I

Clinical Orientation I

Clinical Orientation I

Week 9

Hepatology

Oncology

Medical Surgery/Cardiac

Week 10

Hepatology

Oncology

Medical Surgery/Cardiac

Week 11

Medical Surgery/Cardiac

Hepatology

Oncology

Week 12

Medical Surgery/Cardiac

Hepatology

Oncology

Week 13

Oncology

Medical Surgery/Cardiac

Hepatology

Week 14

Oncology

Medical Surgery/Cardiac

Hepatology

Week 15

Clinical Orientation II

Clinical Orientation II

Clinical Orientation II

Week 16

NST**

Research

Mayo Clinic Outpatient

Week 17

CCS/NST***

NST**

Mayo Clinic Outpatient

Week 18

Mayo Clinic Outpatient

CCS/NST***

NST**

Week 19

Bariatric

Mayo Clinic Outpatient

CCS/NST***

Week 20

Mayo Clinic Outpatient

Supervised Work Experience

Dialysis

Nemours

Week 21

Vacation

Vacation

Vacation

Week 22

Supervised Work Experience

Nutrition Journal Club

Mayo Clinic Outpatient

Nutrition Director

Week 23

Baptist Pediatrics

Bariatric

Research

Week 24

Nemours

Nutrition Director

OP Solid Organ

Week 25

Research

Elective

Bariatric

Week 26

Elective

Malnutrition Clinic

Dialysis

Nutrition Journal Club

Week 27

Malnutrition Clinic

Supervised Work Experience

Nutrition Journal Club

Baptist Pediatrics

Week 28

Nutrition Director

Bariatric

Supervised Work Experience

Elective

Week 29

Dialysis

Nemours

Community Food Bank

Week 30

Op Solid Organ

Community Foodbank

Supervised Work Experience

Week 31

Supervised Work Experience

Dialysis

OP Solid Organ

Malnutrition Clinic

Week 32

Community Food Bank

Baptist Pediatrics

Supervised Work Experience

Week 33

Community projects

Community projects

Community projects

Week 34

Supervised Work Experience

Supervised Work Experience

Supervised Work Experience

 

Graduation

Graduation

Graduation

**Nutrition Support Team
***Critical Care Service/Nutrition Support Team

Facilities

Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, is a comprehensive medical facility providing advanced programs in education and research that support the highest quality patient care. Campus activity is conducted in the Mayo Clinic Hospital and the interconnected Davis, Mayo and Cannaday buildings.

The ambulatory facilities provide clinical services ranging from primary to specialty care and advanced procedures. Mayo Clinic Hospital provides comprehensive inpatient services, including surgical and medical intensive care units, specialized solid-organ transplant units, and advanced cardiac and neurosurgery facilities. 

Faculty

The Dietetic Internship is coordinated and taught by the medical and dietetic staff of Mayo Clinic and dietetic professionals in the community. They are chosen for their commitment to teaching, as well as their clinical practice and research. Many have published and lectured extensively and are highly regarded in their fields.

Angela Vizzini, MS, RDN, LD/N, CNSC
Program Director

Angela Vizzini joined the Mayo Clinic Nutrition Department in 2005 and serves as Director of Nutrition and the Dietetic Internship. Ms. Vizzini received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in clinical dietetics and nutrition and her Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is an assistant professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and maintains her Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) credential. She specializes in nutrition support for critical care.

Her research interests and professional writing focus on iatrogenic underfeeding in critically ill patients and predicting energy expenditure in neurocritical care patients. She is a member of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition’s Parenteral Nutrition Safety Committee.

Mireille Hamdan, DCN, RDN, LD/N, CNSC

Mireille Hamdan joined the Mayo Clinic Nutrition Department in 2015. She received her Doctor of Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers School of Health Professions. She is an instructor in Nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and maintains her Certified Nutrition Support Clinician credentials. Dr. Hamdan is the clinical nutrition manager and oversees the Home Parenteral Nutrition Program. 

She has a wide experience in nutrition support including parenteral nutrition management and critical care. Dr. Hamdan serves on the Educational Development Committee in the American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN). She has a great passion for education, research, and quality improvement projects.

Grading and evaluation

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences uses these evaluative tools:

  • Written examination
  • Demonstration of skills
  • Self-assessment exercises
  • Faculty reviews

Mayo Clinic's system of evaluation provides students and faculty with a comprehensive look at individual performance. This allows faculty and administrative staff to direct students who are experiencing academic difficulty to the appropriate support resources, including tutoring programs and counseling opportunities.

Accreditation

The Dietetic Internship at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Accreditation information

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Phone: 800-877-1600, ext. 5400 (toll-free) or 312-899-0040, ext. 5400

See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Mission, program goals, and objectives

The mission of the Dietetic Internship at Mayo Clinic in Florida, is to prepare entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who can inspire hope and contribute to the health and well-being of all people by providing the best care in a variety of settings.

Goal 1: Prepare competent, diverse graduates who are able to practice nutrition in a variety of settings.

Objective

  • Of graduates who seek employment, 85% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or a related field within 12 months of graduation.
  • 90% of graduates will score overall satisfactory scores on competencies exhibited during employment on one-year post-graduate surveys.

Goal 2: Graduates will be entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who continually develop skills to meet the needs of patients, clients, and the community.

Objective

  • At least 80% of program students complete program or degree requirements within nine months (150% of the program length).
  • 80% 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%.
  • 90% of graduates will score overall satisfactory scores on competencies utilized in their dietetic practice at one year post graduation.

Program outcomes data is available upon request.

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