Admittance into the VSU DI Program does not guarantee that a Verification Statement will be issued at program completion. The Verification Statement is the eligibility document that allows dietetic interns to apply to take the Registered Dietitian examination. To receive the Verification Statement at the end of the VSU DI, the intern must meet all program requirements, including proof of graduate degree, which is expected to be completed at the same time as the DI or within 12 months of beginning the DI. Each intern who successfully completes all VSU DI requirements is eligible to take the national examination to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). As entry-level practitioners, graduates of the VSU DI provide quality nutrition services to clients and show sensitivity and responsiveness to the community.
The following components must be satisfactorily completed to receive the Verification Statement, which qualifies the Dietetic Intern to take the Registration Examination:
- A score of 3 or better on all rotations and planned experiences.
- A score of 3, or 80%, or better on all class assignments.
- Score 80% or higher on the final examination.
- A grade of B or higher in all graduate courses.
- Completion of graduate degree within 12 months of beginning the internship.
Whenever possible rotation assignments are made based on the interns residence and areas of interest. Travel times can, however, range from 5 to over 90 minutes depending on site availability. Rotations are scheduled within approximately a 70 mile radius of Petersburg/Richmond. When assigned to a distant site, interns may choose to arrange temporary housing close to their assigned site, or commute for the duration of the rotation. Interns are responsible for all expenses associated with travel and or temporary housing arrangements.
Pre-rotation Assignments (Study Guides)
Dietetic interns are required to complete a series of comprehensive study guides prior to beginning the internship program. The purpose of the study guides is to help interns thoroughly review the basic nutrition knowledge that they have learned from their undergraduate course-works. Interns in the past have found these assignments beneficial and necessary in preparing for the rotations.
The Program Director will be corresponding with interns in regard to the completion schedule of all materials. All assignments must be satisfactorily completed proceeding the orientation session.
Numerous projects are designed to enrich the multifaceted experience of the internship as well as to sharpen interns’ analytical, computer, organizational, leadership and presentation skills. These projects should be completed throughout the program and include case study reviews and presentations, seminar presentations on special nutrition topics, reviews of peer reviewed publications and designing educational media (e.g. pamphlets, newsletters, bulletin board displays, nutrition education booths, radio/TV presentations, publications). These assignments must be completed by established guidelines.
Dietetic interns will be given a post-orientation examination, study guides post-tests, and a final examination. The post-orientation examination is given on the last day of the orientation week. Interns are encouraged to review their undergraduate materials in reference to basic nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, biochemistry, foodservice systems management, community nutrition, nutrition counseling and topics discussed during the orientation week. Study guide post-tests are given throughout the internship program and the content are based on the study guide materials. A final examination, which aims at preparing interns for the national registration examination, is given at the end of the internship program.
Interns must score a minimum of 80% on all examinations. Interns who receive a score of less than 80% will be required to do remedial study and retake the exam. If the score is unsatisfactory after the 2nd opportunity, the intern is required to take the exam until they receive a successful score at a cost of $25 for each re-take.
Professional Meeting Participation
Interns are required to attend the Greater Richmond Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (local), Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (state), and other professional meetings as assigned by the Program Director.
Interns are required to participate in nutrition education activities planned for the community and fund raising events.