Policies & Procedures for Interns

The University's Dietetic Internship Program fee is $7,500, effective January 1, 2019. The fee must be paid prior to the beginning of the internship through MyNevada.

All interns admitted to the program must register and pay tuition for 3 credits of NUTR 727 through Extended Studies.

Dawna Snyder
Academic Credit Options Program Officer
Extended Studies
UCAN MS 048
Reno, NV 89557
Email: dawnas@unr.edu

Registration is administered through MyNevada. The link to register for this class will be provided to the individuals accepted into the program.

Summary of tuition and fees

  • A $60 fee to apply to the University through Extended Studies for enrollment in NUTR 727.
  • Enrollment as a graduate student for 3 credits of nutrition practice (NUTR 727). Tuition is currently $274.75 per credit, and a $27 Technology Fee is applied to all accounts.  Tuition and fees are subject to change.
  • Fees for the Dietetic Internship Program are $7,500 for 1,200 practice hours.

Withdrawal and refund of tuition and fees

The Internship Program fee and tuition for NUTR 727 are non-refundable regardless of the reason for withdrawing from the program.

Financial Aid

University Dietetic Interns are enrolled for only 3 credits of NUTR 727 through Extended Studies. Thus, interns are ineligible to receive student financial aid through the University. Student loans are to cover the entire amount of program cost, or $8,351.25. The Sally Mae Collegiate Loans is a financial aid option that interns may consider. Interns may contact the University's Financial Aid office at 775-784-4666 or 877-666-0014 for further financial aid information.

Assessing Prior Learning or Competence

The Internship Program does not have a policy for assessing prior learning and/or competencies.

Transportation and Housing

Interns assume responsibility to provide their own transportation to all rotation sites. Reliable transportation is necessary for the entire internship. If driving a personal vehicle, all interns are expected to have a current driver's license and to carry automobile insurance.

Buses, taxis and, in some cases, shuttles may be available as backup transportation to some internship sites.

The program will provide air travel to orientation in Reno, to Diabetes Camp and to designated learning activities that may require air travel (e.g. The Nevada State Association Annual Meeting).

However, the program is not liable for any intern travel resulting in accidents, injury or mortality. Thus, it is required that interns provide proof of car insurance and medical insurance prior to the start of the internship.

Interns must find suitable housing. The internship director will help to provide the intern with suggestions but will not assume the responsibility of finding housing for the intern.

Insurance

  • All interns admitted to the program must submit proof of health insurance.
  • All interns admitted to the program are required to provide their own liability insurance. Liability insurance can be obtained from agencies such as Seabury and Smith, 877-687-0845, for a reasonable fee. There are other agencies that also supply this type of insurance. Proof of insurance must be presented on internship orientation day.

Health Issues/Certifications to be Completed Prior to the Start of the Internship

The following are at intern's expense:

  • The completion a physical exam must be documented within 3 months of starting the internship.
  • Completion and documentation of the following immunizations PRIOR to the start of the internship
    • Tuberculosis: Two-step TB skin test (TST) within 3 months of starting the internship OR Chest radiograph for intern with proof of past positive TST
    • Rubella: documented receipt of one vaccination after 1st birthday, serology or born before 1957;
    • Rubeola: documented receipt of two vaccinations on or after first birthday, serology or born before 1957
    • Chicken pox: history or documented receipt of vaccination
    • Hepatitis B: vaccines, titer, or statement or refusal Tetanus and diphtheria: inoculation within 10 Years Flu Vaccine (as applicable to season)
  • Basic Life Support Training

Background Checks on Accepted Interns

  • A criminal background check (on behalf of training facilities) will be conducted through PreCheck. The program pays for the background check.
  • Two-card fingerprinting is at the Intern's expense.
  • A ten-panel drug screen through Quest Diagnostics is paid for by the program.

Disability Statement

The Department of Nutrition and the University of Nevada, Reno Dietetic Internship Program support equal access for students with disabilities. If you have needs to be addressed, please contact the program director and/or preceptor as soon as possible to assure that appropriate accommodations can be made.

Special Support Resources

Interns have access to the online University library system where they can accomplish literature review through search products such as MEDLINE. The Nutrition Care Manual will be available to all interns through WebCampus, a  University website. Interns will have access to facility resources as determined by the specific training facility.

Protection of Privacy of Information

The privacy of interns is respected relative to anything of a confidential personal nature, either written or stated, by faculty, staff and site preceptors. Intern files are regarded as confidential and are accessible only by the intern, program director and University personnel associated with the internship program. After graduation, interns will be required to sign a form agreeing to allow the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ASCEND) access to their official transcripts in the case of a random audit by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Minimum Wage Ruling

Throughout the internship, the minimum wage ruling is in effect. Translation: Interns are not employees of the sites and are therefore not entitled reimbursement for their work or training site's financial benefits. Interns are also not entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship or an individual rotation.

Expectations

Interns will review their didactic program materials related to clinical, food service/management and community nutrition before starting the internship. The preceptors focus on providing practical application of your knowledge and do not conduct tutoring or extensive review sessions. The internship will be more productive if you come to the experience with a solid didactic knowledge base.

It is necessary that you have access to a standard diet therapy text, a medical dictionary and a manual of lab and diagnostic tests in a hard-copy or internet-based format. In addition, it is recommended that you have access to books on topics such as basic chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology and counseling techniques.

Interns will review and adhere to the policy and procedures pertinent to each training facility. The intern will adhere to the facility policy regarding telephone and cell phone usage.

The preceptors expect interns to exhibit a strong work ethic, professional integrity and proficient, high-quality work. The preceptors at your training facility act as your supervisor and have the authority to determine the components of your daily activities.

Communication is imperative at all levels during your rotations. It is expected that you will communicate any concerns or confusion regarding your rotation expectations to the preceptor. If problems arise in any rotation, please address your concerns with your preceptor first. If an unsatisfactory resolution is not achieved, you must communicate with the program director as soon as possible. The program will work with all parties involved to facilitate a resolution.

You are expected to prepare a portfolio of work done during your internship. It is to be submitted to the internship director or a designated preceptor at the end of the internship for review. You will receive a 3-inch binder for this purpose. This portfolio will include your daily activities, all written work or projects completed during the internship and copies of each preceptor evaluation that summarizes your level of performance regarding achievement of the competencies specific by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Policy on Replacement of Employees

Supervised practice is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace facility employees. The defined supervised practice experiences foster the attainment of 2017 ACEND Core Competencies. All preceptors will adhere to the rotation schedules and learning activities as provided by the program director.

Professional Code of Conduct

Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics

All program interns are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the standards of conduct put forward by the Academy in the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Dietetics.

Time Off

A leave of absence (LOA) may be granted during the internship if life events such as death, bereavement, illness, accidents and other emergencies occur. Additional time will be required to achieve the hours necessary to complete the internship.

There is no vacation allowance during the internship program. Personal leave is NOT ALLOWED during the internship unless related to the reason stated above. For a reasons not included in the list outlined, you must discuss this with the program director and preceptor immediately.

Interns will be required to make up hours missed due to absences such as illness.

The holiday schedules of the training facility will be observed by the intern. Schedule changes for religious reasons can be made if arranged in advance with the internship director and preceptor.

PLEASE NOTIFY YOUR PRECEPTOR/and the PROGRAM IF YOU PLAN TO LEAVE your assigned Las Vegas or Reno area. This communication is imperative for your personal safety.

Confidentiality of Medical Records

A medical record or chart is a legal document that can be used as evidence in a court of law. Chart documentation must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the facility.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards will be followed at all times. Patient information is confidential! All information that you are exposed to about a patient/family in a facility is CONFIDENTIAL. Failure to observe HIPAA regulations can result in dismissal from the program. DO NOT DISCUSS patients in public areas or with friends or family members!

Personal Appearance and Dress Code

All interns are expected to adhere to good grooming practices and professional dressing attire practices throughout the internship. It is expected that all interns abide by the personal appearance and dress code guidelines set forth by the various training facilities. It is the intern’s responsibility to clarify dress codes prior to starting at a new facility. The following are the guidelines set for by the University Dietetic Internship Program.

Hair should be neatly trimmed, clean and of a conservative nature. Beards and mustaches will be neatly trimmed and of moderate length. Fingernails must be clean and trimmed. Nail polish, if worn, should not be cracked or chipped. In some rotations, it may be necessary to restrain your hair and avoid jewelry, nail polish and artificial nails. This is common in food service rotations. Check the policy and procedures of the training facility.

Business casual is appropriate attire. Assure that all clothing is clean, neat and fits appropriately. Review the dress code for the training facility.

Facility internship name badge must be worn and be visible at all times during the workday.

Do not apply cologne or perfume. Patients may not tolerate the smell of perfume and/or may have an allergy to a perfume.

Visibility of body part piercings other the ear lobes is prohibited.

If a facility requires a lab coat, it should be clean, unwrinkled and worn over professional business attire.

Interns must set an example adhere to all site policies and procedures regarding personal appearance and dress code. Because interns rotate to various facilities during the rotation, confirm the dress code and protocols prior to arriving at each site.

Scheduling

The internship director will coordinate with each training facility to create a 30-week training schedule outline for each intern. The preceptor(s) will define the specific rotation schedule within each facility in consultation with the internship director.

A copy of the schedule will be provided to the intern and primary preceptor in the training facility. The intern is responsible for contacting their assigned preceptor prior to starting their rotation at a new training facility. Interns should expect to be at the training site for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Internship assignments will be completed outside of the 40 hours at the facility. Weekend and evening hours may be required to complete assignments pertinent to competencies.

Program Completion

Interns are expected to complete the program within the prescribed 30 weeks or within 150 percent of this timeframe (45 weeks). If the intern experiences complications that impact program completion or adherence to the scheduled program, the intern must contact the internship director. The internship director will work with the intern and preceptors to revise the schedule as necessary to facilitate completion of the program.

Injury or Illness while in a Facility for Supervised Practice

In the case of an injury, illness or other emergency, interns will have access to on-site health care in most cases. Cost of such treatment may vary from facility to facility, but the intern will assume financial responsibility of costs incurred for treatment. Due to the nature of our affiliation agreements, interns do not qualify for worker’s compensation due to injuries received on facility premises. If you have an emergency need for transportation or other problem while at the site, please contact your supervisor at the training site.

Paperwork and Assignments

Interns are responsible for completion of all paperwork and assignments in the assigned specified timeframe.

Professional Membership and Activities

Interns are strongly encouraged to be student members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The cost is $58. The program director encourages interns to participate in events sponsored by Northern Nevada Dietetic Association (NNDA) and Southern Nevada Dietetic Association (SNDA) when possible. Interns will attend professional meetings, conferences, grand rounds and Continuing Education (CE) events when possible as part of their professional development competencies.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is against University and Dietetic Internship Program policy.

Academic dishonesty is defined as: cheating, plagiarism or otherwise obtaining grades under false pretenses. It includes submitting the language, ideas, thoughts or work of another as one’s own; or assisting in the act of plagiarism by allowing one’s work to be used in this fashion.

Disciplinary procedures for incidents of academic dishonesty may involve both academic action and administrative action for behavior against the campus regulations for student conduct. The procedures involve the determination by the faculty member or preceptor pursuing concerns over alleged cheating or plagiarism as to whether administrative action is warranted, in addition to making a determination as to any academic consequence.

Academic action may include:

  • Terminating the intern from the program;
  • Failing the intern for the rotation in which the plagiarism takes place;
  • Requiring the intern to retake the rotation or resubmit the assignment.

For more information on University academic standards and guidelines

Evaluation of Interns

  • Interns are evaluated regularly and frequently during their seven-month experience. The evaluation process is linked with the ACEND-specified competencies considered essential for an entry-level dietitian.
  • Informal evaluations takes place between the interns and preceptor(s) on a regular basis. This provides an environment conducive to constructive criticism and immediate feedback. This interaction is designed to facilitate the learning process and attainment of core competencies.
  • Preceptors will complete and review the rotation formal evaluations with each intern at the end of the food service, clinical and community rotations. Preceptors will complete all evaluations online through SurveyMonkey. The link is provided by the Internship Program and will be emailed directly to all lead preceptors. The Site Preceptors will complete assessments in a timeframe that assures interns receive constructive feedback on performance indicators.
  • After the preceptor has completed a formal evaluation, the evaluation is reviewed and discussed with the intern. The intern will keep a COPY of all evaluations in his or her professional portfolio. Copies of all evaluations will be sent to the internship director at the end of the internship and remain part of the permanent file.
  • All interns will be asked to provide an evaluation of rotations, preceptors, facilities and programs on SurveyMonkey at the end of each rotation. These evaluations will be reviewed by the Internship Program and serve as indicators to help modify the program if needed. The information will be utilized to assess and make program modifications as deemed necessary.
  • All interns are required to pass all competencies with a rating of a three or better on rotation assessments in order to successfully complete the internship program.
  • If performance is unsatisfactory at any point in the internship, the preceptor will contact the internship director and the policy under “Failure of Rotations of Termination From the Program” will be followed. Unsatisfactory performance in any rotation may require redirective action and, if uncorrected, may lead to termination from the program. If an intern exhibits a substandard performance for a rotation, the preceptor, intern and internship director will meet to discuss corrective action and steps necessary to repeat the rotation. Every effort will be made to help assure success in the program.

Failure of Rotations of Termination From the Program

Reassignment for failed rotations will be determined by the preceptor and internship director. To pass a rotation, you must have received an evaluation of satisfactory or higher (3) on at least 80 percent of that rotation’s competencies. If competencies are not met, the preceptor and internship director will review the intern’s challenges and provide appropriate assistance and intervention necessary to help the intern succeed in the rotation and internship. The program does not have a formal tutoring program. However, if the student does need tutoring support, the internship director will put the intern in contact with University Academic Success Services:

If an intern participates in unethical or unprofessional behavior (Refer to Code of Ethics), the rotation will not be passed even if the intern has successfully completed all of the required competencies.

Failure of two rotations (after reassignment) during the 30-week program constitutes grounds for dismissal from the program.

Insufficient 1,200 documented hours of supervised practice.

Discipline or Termination from the Program

Disciplinary action may involve suspension for a period of time determined by the director in consultation with the preceptor and the human resources department of the facility involved with the given offense. Suspension length will be commensurate with the offense.

Termination from the program may occur due to the following:

  • Non-payment of tuition.
  • Substandard performance resulting in the failing of two rotations.
  • Repeated absenteeism or tardiness.
  • It is the intern’s responsibility to notify the director of any time away from facilities. Failure to notify the director in a timely fashion may result in termination.
  • Unprofessional or unethical conduct or violating the policies of the internship as set forth in this document or the intern’s signed contract.
  • Failure to pass drug screen or background check.
  • Breach of policy and procedure by intern that would result in termination of employee working in the training facility in which offense takes place.
  • Failure to comply with HIPAA regulations.
  • Plagiarism.

Intern Complaints/Grievance Procedure

All interns have a right to file a grievance or grievances following internship program procedures. The intern is encouraged to address any conflicts proactively and professionally with the preceptor or facility prior to involving the internship director and filing a formal grievance.

If satisfactory resolution of an issue does not occur, the intern (or preceptor) should contact the director as soon as possible. All interns who have issues or concerns that cannot be resolved about the program should write a formal letter of complaint to the director. The intern, director and preceptor, institution or facility will work to resolve the issue. It is important to recognize that we all work as a team and establishing a positive, cordial and professional relationship is very important in helping to avoid major issues that lead to major grievances.

If, after discussing the grievance with the preceptors and the director in a productive manner, the issue remains unresolved, the intern may discuss the issue with the Chair of the University's Department of Nutrition.

If the complaint cannot be resolved, the intern may submit a written formal complaint to ACEND, but this is action is requested to occur only after all resolution options have been exhausted.

All complaints and grievances will be kept on file by the director along with resolution outcome for a period of five years.

Any complaints on file may be reviewed by ACEND during on-site evaluations.

Grievance for removal from the program must be submitted in writing to the director within 90 days of dismissal from the program.

Verification Statements

The program will issue a minimum of three verification statements to all interns who have successfully completed the 1,200 documented hours of supervised practice, passed all rotations by meeting competencies evidenced by evaluation forms and submitted a completed portfolio for review with copies of all preceptor evaluations to the internship director. Upon successful completion of the dietetic internship, the director will provide the graduating intern three copies of their Verification Statement. Two original signed copies of the verification statements will be kept in the intern’s file at the University indefinitely.

Approximately two weeks prior to the completion of the program, all interns will receive a Student Exit Packet by mail from the director. The intern must complete the required paperwork, reading instruction very carefully, and return the required documentation to the internship director. The director will submit the required documentation for Credentialing Registration Management System (CRMS) Online Registration Eligibility Application Class and supportive documentation for Computer-Based Testing to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Once this information is verified and accepted by the CDR, interns will receive confirmation of their eligibility to take the registered dietitian (RD) examination from CDR within seven business days via email. The candidate should receive the Registration Examination Application and Handbook for Candidates from Pearson VUE of Bloomington, Minnesota within ten business days of this confirmation from CDR.  Should you have any questions regarding the eligibility or examination process, you may contact Rebecca Beavers, MPP 800-877-1600, EXT 4781.