The Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN) Dietetic Internship Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The WCHN DI follows all ACEND standards and provides an exemplary variety of supervised practice experiences to prepare graduates for entry-level practice in a variety of disciplines within the field of Nutrition and Dietetics. Upon completion of WCHN’s full-time DI program, graduates obtain a verification statement and are eligible to schedule and write for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination for Registered Dietitian-Nutritionists.
Rotations & Requirements
The WCHN DI is 9.5 month in length, including a minimum of 1200 experiential practice hours. The next program start date is September 8, 2021.
The internship abides by WCHN holidays. Interns have two weeks of break in late December.
|Orientation and classes||2 weeks|
|Clinical Staff Relief||4 weeks|
|Long Term Care||2 weeks|
Food Service Rotation
|Patient Services||1 week|
|Clinical Management||1 week|
|Budget and Finance||1 week|
Community Nutrition Rotation
|Rotation sites vary||6 weeks|
|Research Rotation||2 weeks|
For more detailed information please see the attached Program Handbook
Examples of WCHN Internship Program Sites
|Inpatient Clinical and Food Service Management|
New Milford Hospital
Danbury Hospital- Cardiac Rehab, Oncology Nutrition Services, Center for Weight Loss Surgery, Diabetes Self-Management Education Outpatient Nutrition Services
Norwalk Hospital- Cardiac Rehab, Outpatient Nutrition Services, Center Surgical Weight Loss and Oncology Nutrition Services
New Milford Hospital- Diabetes Self-Management Education and Outpatient Nutrition Services
|Long Term Care|
Jewish Senior Services
Ability Beyond Ability
Danbury Public Schools
Shoprite Waterbury, Milford and Stamford
Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut
Norwalk Community College
During the internship program, the interns must meet all requirements outlined in the Memorandum of Agreement including:
- Payment of all program tuition and fees
- Satisfactory completion of all planned experiences and assignments in each rotation
- Satisfactory evaluations on all rotations
- Interns receive developmental and performance feedback via:
- Written evaluation for each rotation by the preceptor
- Written evaluation of projects and assignments
Western Connecticut Health Network Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
120 Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Telephone: (315) 899-0040 ext 5400
We are approved to accept 6 interns.
Becoming a Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist
The process of becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutrition (RDN) requires a completed bachelor’s degree (will advance to a master’s degree in 2024) granted by a US regionally accredited college/university or foreign equivalent, completion of an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), completion of an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) and/or Coordinated Program (CP) with a minimum of 1200 supervised practice hours, which will award the student with a verification statement, and successful passage of the national credentialing exam set by the Commission on Dietetics Registration and state certification/licensure as applicable. The WCHN Dietetic Internship fulfills the supervised practice step of the process.
As a Registered Dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration, you are eligible to apply for the Connecticut Dietitian/Nutritionist (CD/N) Certification. Click here for information regarding licensure in other states
Dietetic Internship Open House
You are invited to come to our open house to learn more about our Dietetic Internship program, meet preceptors, administration, and our current interns.
The next Open House is scheduled for Thursday, January 7th from 2-4pm
Program Mission, Goals & Objectives
The mission of the Western Connecticut Health Network Dietetic Internship Program is to adequately prepare entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists in a diverse, multi-disciplinary, and community-based setting, by providing a patient centered, quality supervised practice experience. The program is structured to develop teamwork skills, to improve and enhance the health and well-being of the community, and to understand and utilize technology in healthcare.
Program Goals & Objectives
Goal #1: The program will prepare entry level registered dietitian/nutritionists to function as members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, in the clinical, community or the food service arena.
- 83% of surveyed program graduates will rank the WCHN DI as preparing them “adequately” upon graduation for entry level practice.
- The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%
- 83% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion
- At least 80% of program interns complete the program requirements within 14 months (150% of the program length)
- Of graduates who are employed in the field of dietetics, at least 60% will hold positions in which they serve as part of an “interdisciplinary team.
Goal #2: The program will supply the workforce with competent entry-level registered dietitian/nutritionists
- Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation
- 80% of returned employer surveys, will rank graduates working in the field of dietetics as “adequately prepared” for entry level practice.
- 95% of graduates employed in dietetics who respond to the alumni survey will rate themselves as “adequately prepared” for their first position.
Outcome data available upon request
Program Requirements & Application Process
Candidates interested in the Western Connecticut Health Network Dietetic Internship Program must meet the following requirements.
Deadline: February 15
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
- Original verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics
- 3.0 GPA or higher
- Applicable nutrition courses must have been completed within the past 5 years
- GRE not required
- Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website: cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program at Western Connecticut Health Network are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.
- $50 – Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) (additional applications are $25 each)
- $80 – WCHN application fee
- $55 – D&D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service
1. Complete an online DICAS application and include the following:
- Personal statement
- Declaration of Intent form/Verification statement (obtain from your didactic program director)
- Three letters of reference addressing your qualifications for a supervised practice program
- Official transcript from each college/university attended
2. Mail in WCHN application fee.
A $80 program fee is required to process and review your application. This fee is separate from fees for the DICAS or D&D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service. Check must be postmarked by DICAS deadline.
Make check payable to The WCHN Dietetic Internship and include the supplemental application.
3.Send check to:
Danbury Hospital c/o Diane Jadoonauth
Dietetic Internship Program
Food and Nutrition Dept
24 Hospital Ave
Danbury, CT 06810
4. Register with D&D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service.
You must register with D&D Digital to participate in the nationwide matching service used by most internship programs. This allows you to make priority choices for your internship programs which you apply. There is a $55 computer matching fee through D&D Digital.
Top applicants will be interviewed in early March through Zoom via the internet. The interviews are conducted by the Dietetic Internship Director and a panel of preceptors from the program. The interview will last approximately 15 minutes. The panel will ask general questions regarding your experience and skills. WCHN is an equal opportunity institution with respect to both education and employment
Following acceptance to the Internship program the student will receive:
- A welcome letter with additional information about the program
- A list of pre-program assignments
- A list if requirements including medical and drug testing, background check and medical and auto insurance
Internship Application Fees
DICAS Fee……………………………….…. $50.00
D & D Matching Fee……………………….… $55.00
WCHN Supplemental application fee …….…$80.00
|Estimated Required Tuition and Program Fees|
|Academy Student Membership||$58.00|
|Slip resistant shoes||$30.00|
|Potential Miscellaneous Costs|
|Housing (rent and utilities)||$15,000|
|Insurance (auto, medical)||$1,500|
The internship will provide free parking, meal vouchers ($400), registration fee to the Jean Inman Review course ($385) and registration fee for the Connecticut State Academy Spring meeting ($70).
Financial aid is not available