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Nutrition and Dietetics

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Information for Nutrition and Dietetics Preceptors

Next Preceptor Training Meeting – Thursday, Oct. 24 at 4 p.m.

How can I help to eliminate the internship shortage and become a preceptor?

On occasion, students may contact you to see if you are willing to precept them. If so, ask for the name of the program and information about the program's expectations. Whether you are a new or well-established preceptor, you should go through preceptor training provided by the program to make sure that you can fulfill the specific requirements of the program such as:

  • Teaching and modeling knowledge, skills, professional values, and behaviors needed for students to successfully complete practitioner competencies
  • Instilling the need in interns or students for patient advocacy, lifelong learning, evidence-based practice and giving back to the profession
  • Supervising the practice abilities of the intern or student on a regular basis
  • Evaluating the intern or student, providing feedback for improvement and documenting her/his progress
  • Providing feedback to the program on the effectiveness of the education experience for continuous quality improvement
  • Notifying the program if you become unable to precept interns or students
  • Demonstrating no bias or conflict of interest in the education of interns or students
  • Upholding the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Code of Ethics 

Dietitian Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of jobs for registered dietitians and nutritionists will increase by 9 percent between 2008 and 2018; however, we believe that even more RDs will be needed, because of the on-going U.S. health crisis. Avoidable diseases and conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are on the rise, but can be avoided if we have enough RDs who are willing and able to deliver the message and provide care in the communities where it is most needed.

  • Data from CDR's workforce 2011 demand study workgroup indicate that there is only one RD or DTR for every 3,610 individuals in the U.S. population.
  • Data about other professions from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010 indicate that for each RD or DTR, there are 33 nurses, 3 pharmacists and 1 physician assistant.

So, if we don't have enough RDs to deal with the demand in all areas of practice, we will be left behind as other practitioners with far less education in nutrition and MNT step in to meet the needs of this country.

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