Curriculum for Medical Nutrition Education

Dietetic Internship Program
The UNMC Dietetic Internship Program curriculum is approximately 75% supervised practice and 25% didactic, including portfolio projects. Mondays are primarily class and project days. Community and management projects associated with coursework extend throughout the fall and spring semesters.  

Supervised Practice Rotations Calendar* 

Orientation/evaluation: approximately 1 week
Nutrition Therapy: approximately 26 weeks plus an additional >3 weeks staff experience
Management: approximately 3-4 weeks including some course-related projects
Community-Consulting: approximately 4-5 weeks including some course-related projects
Research: approximately 4 weeks including some course-related projects
Vacation: 3 weeks plus 5 holidays**
TOTAL: 45 calendar weeks (mid-August to late June)
*Rotations scheduled primarily Tuesdays-Fridays; supervised practice experiences include a portion of the project/portfolio work associated with graduate and professional coursework.
**Labor Day; Thanksgiving (Th-F); Martin Luther King Day; Memorial Day

This schedule may vary as new educational opportunities become available.
Click here to see a sample dietetic intern rotation calendar. 

Start Date: August 19, 2014

Supervised Practice Experiences 

student learningNutrition Therapy:  The nutrition therapy experiences comprise well over half of the total supervised practice component of the internship. Students work under the supervision of Registered Dietitians who are Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapists (LMNT) in Nebraska. Nutrition therapy focused rotations include adult and pediatric general and specialty services in both inpatient and outpatient settings at The Nebraska Medical Center. Rotations are typically 2-weeks in length and include the following areas of service: 

  • Level 1 – Cardiology; Inpatient Diabetes; Medicine-Surgery
  • Level 2 – Family Medicine & Outpatient Diabetes; Neurology; Renal Disease-Kidney Transplant; Inpatient and Outpatient Pediatric Services (Pediatric areas include Newborn Intensive Care, Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Oncology)
  • Level 3 – Critical Care Medicine/Trauma; Intensive Care/Burn & Wound; Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant, Liver-Small Bowel Disease & Transplant 
  • Level 4 – Clinical Staff Experience (area of practice determined by student preference combined with skill development needs for entry-level practice)

Management:  The Nebraska Medical Center provides quality food service for its patient population, including a room service focus for inpatients. In addition, a large retail and catering operation are provided to meet the varied needs of students, faculty and staff. Dietetic interns complete a 2-week rotation focusing on patient food service early during the dietetic internship program. This rotation includes experiences related to purchasing, production, service, safety and sanitation, and human resource management (staffing/scheduling/training). Later, students complete a variety of projects and experiences for a clinical management course that relate to varied aspects of clinical nutrition and food service systems management.  Learning experiences emphasize patient foodservice and clinical nutrition services while also including exposure to retail and catering operations. Management and performance improvement principles are also incorporated into independent projects and selected off campus experiences relating to long-term care and community nutrition services.

student teaching about nutritionCommunity Nutrition: Home care, long-term care, rural health nutrition, community service, and consulting dietetics experiences include observation and skill development opportunities in a variety of settings that may include: 

  • Child Care Centers/Public or Private Schools
  • HyVee Food Stores 
  • Employee Wellness Programs
  • Home Health Care 
  • Long-term Care Settings
  • Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program Clinics

 [Additional self-scheduled activities are included to complete portfolio requirements for the advanced community nutrition coursework associated with the UNMC Dietetic Internship Program.] 

Graduate and Professional Coursework:  The UNMC Dietetic Internship Program curriculum includes fifteen (15) semester credit hours of graduate level coursework and five (5) semester hours of professional level coursework. Students must successfully complete all courses to meet requirements for completion of the dietetic internship program.

class of students

All courses contribute to competencies specified for the dietetic internship program and required for program accreditation. The fifteen (15) hours of graduate coursework credit earned during the dietetic internship program can be applied toward the Master of Science degree requirements.
Graduate level courses include*:
MNED 875: Research Methods in Medical Nutrition I (3 cr)
MNED 877: Medical Nutrition & Diagnosis Related Nutrition Care (3 cr)
MNED 975: Research Methods in Medical Nutrition II (3 cr)
MNED 977: Medical Nutrition & The Nutrition Care Process (3 cr)
NUED 956: Community Nutrition (3 cr)

During the dietetic internship program, students will complete two Professional level courses that contribute to the competency based curriculum. Professional level courses include:
MNED 773: Clinical Nutrition Management (2 cr)
MNED 779: Nutrition Therapy Practicum (3 cr)

*Courses/course requirements subject to change in order to meet competency/graduate program requirements