NU regents approve new medical nutrition master’s degree

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents on Jan. 29 approved the creation of a Master of Medical Nutrition (M.M.N.) degree within UNMC’s College of Allied Health Professions (CAHP). The new master’s degree will be initiated in fall 2016.

The new degree will proactively meet impending entry-level practice requirements for registered dieticians (R.D.). Students in UNMC’s current 12-month, post-baccalaureate internship program had expressed keen interest in this change, which will allow them to meet the future standards now, while also attaining the M.M.N. degree.

Already, more than half of registered dieticians nationally have master’s degrees or greater.

“The Master of Medical Nutrition program will provide the breadth and depth of knowledge for advanced clinical decision-making,” said CAHP Dean Kyle Meyer, Ph.D. “Our goal is to ensure graduates are competitively prepared to provide the highest level of care in this increasingly complex field.”

Added medical nutrition program director Glenda Woscyna: “This professional degree program is an exciting endeavor for us. We are very appreciative of the support received from our academic leaders and from the Board of Regents.”

Graduates of UNMC’s current medical nutrition internship program who completed the program from 2011 to 2016 will be offered the opportunity to apply prior coursework and clinical-practice credit toward the M.M.N. if they choose to pursue the degree.

Enhanced preparation through simulation and virtual reality experiences, in conjunction with UNMC’s iEXCEL initiative, and the addition of new clinical partners also should eventually allow UNMC to accommodate more students in the MMN program, thus better meeting workforce needs.

The program aims to extend its reach to include clinical teaching sites across Nebraska.

Dr. Meyer noted that pending national accreditation, the CAHP M.M.N. program will be offered both at the UNMC Omaha campus and at the Health Science Education Complex at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, to help address workforce needs for medical nutrition practitioners throughout the state.

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