About the Dietetic Internship
Overview of the Program
The Dietetic Internship is housed within the Department of Nutrition & Food systems and the College of Health. It is a graduate level practicum program, incorporating supervised practice with graduate coursework. Completion of the program requires 24 hours of graduate credit. No graduate degree is awarded at the completion of the DI; however, 18 hours will be credited toward the Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems and program graduates are eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.
Sixteen interns are enrolled in the program from June through May. Interns are admitted either during the pre-selection process (see Dietetic Internship Application) or through computer matching. Interns attend classes during the summer semester and begin supervised practice activities in the fall semester. Each intern is assigned to a primary supervised practice facility in Jackson, the Hattiesburg area, or along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
All interns are required to participate in a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice while enrolled in the dietetic internship. Interns place in supervised practice facilities for 32 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters (33 weeks). Rotations during the internship include: orientation general clinical, renal, nutrition support, long-term care, WIC, child nutrition programs, general foodservice management, staff experience, food bank, and a 2-week special interest rotation at the end of the internship. In addition, interns gain other experiences through a variety of experiences and activities, including: Health Promotion & Education intervention, Diabetes Camp, Recruiting, Community Health Activities, Journal Club, Menu Planning, Professional Development, and Leadership Activities.The Dietetic Internship Program at The University of Southern Mississippi is currently granted full accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312/899-4876.
- Aramark Food Services (Eagle Dining)
- Baptist Health Systems
- Forrest General Hospital
- Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System
- G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center
- Memorial Hospital of Gulfport
- Mississippi State Hospital
- Ocean Spring Hospital/Singing River Hospital
- University of Mississippi Medical Center
- South Central Regional Medical Center
- Southeastern Diabetes Education Services, Inc.
- St. Dominic Hospital
Health Promotion & Education Intervention
Program Concentration: Health Promotion and Education
This concentration area was chosen as a way to meet the new mission of the dietetic internship at The University of Southern Mississippi, through the provision of “integrates graduate level education and research with supervised practice activities to prepare entry-level dietitians that work to improve the health of individuals, families and communities.” In addition to helping the program to achieve its mission statement, the concentration area draws on the strengths of the department, whose research focus is on community based nutrition interventions.
These competencies have a strong focus on health promotion and education of diverse populations across the lifespan. In addition, these rotations compliment the competencies outlined for accredited dietetic internships and will enhance the intern’s knowledge and skills working in a variety of settings and improve research skills.
Health Promotion and Education Concentration Competencies:
HPE 1. Conduct a needs assessment with a select population
HPE 2. Develop and implement a health promotion program
HPE 3. Evaluate a health promotion program
HPE 4. Develop and evaluate reports, budgets, and plans of work to document program effectiveness
HPE 5. Consult with organizations regarding food access for target populations
HPE 6. Evaluate the operation of health promotion programs in the areas of policies and procedures, staffing, scheduling,and recruitment/screening of volunteers/clients.
HPE 7. Develops and delivers nutrition presentations to client/consumer audiences on various topics related to client/consumer needs
HPE 8. Ensure cultural relevancy and appropriateness of nutrition education
HPE 9. Assess educational needs and provide nutrition counseling based on individual needs, knowledge, medical needs, and socioeconomic status
Interns successfully completing the internship will be eligible to take the registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Successful completion of the internship and the registration examination meet the requirements to be a Registered Dietitian (RD). In addition, the interns will be eligible for provisional licensure.