Program description

The Oregon State University Dietetic Internship (OSUDI) is one of a few dietetics internships with emphasis on the preparation of practitioners in senior care services. In addition, students can opt for a concentration in community nutrition services.

All interns rotate through rotation sites, with training provided primarily as one-on-one with the preceptors. All core competencies and learning outcomes for Dietetic Internship Programs as specified in the 2012 CADE (now ACEND) Educational Requirements and Standards (ERAS) are met over the series of rotations.

The internship has two concentrations. One concentration, in senior nutrition care, provides interns with additional experience with the geriatric population in a variety of settings. Another concentration in community nutrition is met through rotations at OSU Extension, WIC programs, Oregon Dairy Council, school lunch, and University housing and dining, etc.

Program curriculum/schedule

The internship curriculum covers the required ACEND competencies and learning outcomes consistent with the 2012 ERAS and with the following times:

  • Approximately 9.5 calendar months in supervised practice, didactic courses and staff relief beginning mid September and going through June.
    • Two weeks of vacation over the December holiday,
    • Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving
    • The OSU recognized Memorial Day holiday
  • Didactic hours include
    • Orientation, professional meetings, fdidactic classes 1-2 times per month, additional training/seminars as scheduled.
      • An orientation is included in the internship calendar.
      • Approximately two classes per month (6 hours) from October through May with speakers, Nutrition Graduate Seminars, sharing of experiences, development and implementation of a research project.
      • Projects, derived from competency statements for the supervised practice component of entry-level dietitian education programs, are planned at each rotation.
      • Interns also attend professional meetings such as the Oregon Academy Educational Conference and other appropriate meetings, events, or trade shows.
  • Practice hours include
    • Various scheduled (6-8) rotation sites
      • Staff relief and choice rotations are planned at the end of the internship based on mutually (intern/preceptor) agreeable assignments.
    • Regular homework outside of the internship is a part of the curriculum.

The internship can be completed on a full-time basis in approximately 9.5 months (including planned experiences, orientation, didactic hours, vacation, and staff relief).

The schedule will be developed to have only one intern at a rotation site with minor exceptions where there may be overlap of interns, due to the length of the rotation.

The internship does not offer health insurance for the interns. Interns must provide their own health insurance throughout the internship, and are required to have it during the rotation at some rotation sites.

Program rotation overview

The OSUDI program structure reflects the recognition that entry level Registered Dietitians (RD) require a diverse repertoire of skills to meet future practice needs.
Rotation sites include facilities encompassing long-term health care, Women Infant and Children’s Supplemental Food Program, sanitation and menu planning, school foodservice and community nutrition education programs. In addition, traditional acute care settings round out the program developing intern skill in nutrition care for individuals. Interns gain insights into traditional practice in clinical, community and foodservice services, as well as in innovation and newer practice areas. They gain experience delivering food and/or nutrition services to young and older healthy and ill adults.

The OSUDI rotation sites

An Intern will not rotate through most listed sites. Rotations are located throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley. All interns should expect some commuting. If you plan to move to Oregon for the internship, locating near Salem, OR would be most central for the majority of the rotations.

  • Bethel School District
    Management and production of meals as well as nutrition education programming.
  • Capital Manor Retirement Community
    A continuing care community providing meals and nutritional care to independent and residential care residents. Interns work in food service, clinical and community areas at this site.
  • Corvallis Public Schools
    Management and production of meals as well as nutrition education programming.
  • DaVita Salem Dialysis
    Renal Dialysis Unit.
  • Good Samaritan Regional Medical Centers, (Corvallis, Albany and Lebanon hospitals)
    Clinical and foodservice rotations in small, community-based hospitals.
  • Marion County WIC
    Community maternal and child nutrition services.
  • McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center
    Clinical rotations in small, community-based hospital.
  • Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs
    Statewide agency supporting school lunch in the state of Oregon.
  • Patient Centered Medical Homes (various sites)
    Coordinated care organization providing preventive nutrition services in primary care settings including Metropolitan Pediatrics. Metropolitan Pediatrics is a privately owned Portland Pediatrics group practice with providers serving the greater Portland and Gresham metro area.
  • Providence Benedictine Nursing Center
    Long-term facility, assisted living, skilled rehab. Foodservice and clinical care for long-term individuals.
  • Providence Health
    Clinical in-patient care, acute care facilities in Portland and surrounding areas.
  • Salem Hospital
    Clinical in-patient care, acute-care facility. Ambulatory/outpatient care.
  • Samaritan Albany General Hospital
    Clinical and foodservcie rotations in small, community-based hospital.
  • Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital
    Clinical and foodservcie rotations in small, community-based hospital.
  • Silverton Hospital
    Inpatient and outpatient care in an acute-care facility.
  • Oregon Dairy Council
    Community/public health program.
  • Oregon State Hospital
    Psychiatric hospital.  Rotation primarily focused on foodservice management.
  • OSU Housing and Dining
    Management as well as nutrition education in the dormitory facilities.
  • OSU Extension Services
    Community nutrition and classroom education programs.
  • Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic
    Outpatient clinics providing preventive care, WIC, and primary care services in Portland, Salem, and Woodburn.
  • Veterans Administration Home-Based Primary Care
    Nutrition and home-health services for veterans in Roseburg.

OSUDI program graduate outcomes

Graduates outcomes demonstrate OSUDI's program effectiveness.The program strives for these graduate outcomes:

  • the successful completion of the internship, competencies and didactic class requirements
  • successful completion of the RD exam within 1 year of graduation,
  • intern gainful employment in dietetics within 3 months of graduation
  • intern holding positions of professional or career leadership within 5 years of graduation
  • graduates who pursue employment in long-term care and community nutrition within 3 years of employment
  • intern engagement or service within their profession or communities

Intern completion requirements

Interns are evaluated using a competency based rubric, which documents that each intern has achieved a “proficient” score (of 3 or higher) on all competencies and post-assessments. Site evaluations for interns are kept to ensure that all interns have met this requirement. This must be completed within a maximum of 12 months in order to earn a Verification Statement of completion. The director evaluates intern assessments, completes documents verifying completion and provides an exit interview for each intern. A signed Verification Statement documents completion and is sent in a timely manner to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to register interns for the RD exam.

Interns who do not complete assignments satisfactorily may be asked to extend the internship time until satisfactory completion can be attained and/or to re-do assignments (up to a maximum of 12 months). Interns who are not proficient in specific competencies are told this during preceptor evaluation and the mid-year evaluation and may dictate the need to extend the internship rotation. Specific meetings with the director may be scheduled to ensure interns meet all internship requirements.

The DI director provides each student with the most current Credential Registration Management System (CRMS) Registration Eligibility Application documentation from the (CDR). These forms are also available online at www.cdrnet.org

Information about program evaluations and outcomes, program rules and requirements, Program Support Services, Information Management, Grievance Procedures and Program Assessment for Interns can be found in the OSUDI Student Handbook and the OSU Academic Regulations and Academic Calendar. Interns are expected to conduct themselves according to the Code of Ethics.