Checklist for Selecting Preceptors/Practice Site Facilities

When selecting a Preceptor or a Practice Site Facility, please take note of the following:

Preceptor: An expert or specialist who provides practical experience and training to a dietetic intern.  Examples of experts or specialists include but not limited to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (Preferred), Registered Nurses (RN), Social Workers, School Personnel, Cooperative Extension Personnel, and/or Foodservice Directors.

Practice Site Facility: An organization or business that provides the opportunity for an intern to complete the required supervised practice such as (but not limited to) a hospital, long-term care facility, hospital-like foodservice department, public school facility or public health agency.


Medical Nutrition Therapy Rotations (640 Hours)

Facilities (including in-patient and out-patient care; long-term care, acute care; dialysis and renal care; nutrigenomics) which provide supervised practice for medical nutrition therapy rotations should meet, at a minimum, the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 50 bed inpatient census
  • Accredited by the appropriate agency such as JCAHO, DNV, or the state
  • Have at least two full-time Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionists on staff
  • Provide medical nutrition therapy for a variety of areas including diabetes care, cardiovascular disease care, renal disease care, intensive care unit, wound care, obesity and weight management-related conditions, cancer, gastrointestinal disease, burn care, nutritional support care, pediatric care, transplant care and geriatric care

Foodservice Management Rotations (168 Hours)

Facilities (including industrial foodservice operations such as hospital, college, school foodservice operation, or prison/detention center facility) which provide supervised practice for foodservice management rotations should meet, at a minimum, the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 50 bed inpatient census
  • One Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (preferred) or Foodservice Director/Coordinator with professional experience on staff
  • Provide a variety of types of diets such as (but not limited to) carbohydrate controlled, dysphagia, cardiac, renal
  • Be able to provide opportunities to learn about procurement and production process (assessing inventory, ordering, deliveries/receiving, storage, production sheets, food production)
  • Be able to provide opportunities to learn/experience food service management skills such as tray line supervision, scheduling, food safety, cleanliness, in-service presentations and cashier duties
  • The Food Service Management facility may be the same as the MNT facility.

Community Rotations (176 Hours)

Facilities (including various social service agencies, WIC, Office for the Aging, Cooperative Extension, Child Nutrition Services such as the USDA National School Lunch and Breakfast program, Summer Foodservice Feeding program, Public Health Department, Food banks/pantries and Wellness Programs) which provide supervised practice for community nutrition rotations should meet, at a minimum, the following criteria:

  • Ability to provide dietetic intern(s) opportunity to comprehend key nutrition guidelines in a community-based supervised practice environment
  • Provide hands-on experience including such activities as conducting community nutrition assessments, providing counseling and education, and/or conducting wellness promotion activities.
  • Provide opportunities to develop skills in evaluating and applying government program guidelines and policies to understand the role of public policy in the regulation of community nutrition programs.
  • Note: The community rotation preceptor may not always be an RDN and may include other professionals for preceptors: consider RNs, Social Workers, and/or other experts or specialists.

School Nutrition Education Rotations (200 Hours)

Facilities (including elementary, middle or high schools, State Cooperative Extension services and/or public health departments) which provide supervised practice for nutrition education rotations should meet, at a minimum, the following criteria:

  • Ability to provide opportunities to gain advanced experience and skills in tailoring prescribed curricular materials that focus on nutrition in the pre-K through 12 grade environment
  • Participate/Gain understanding in grantsmanship process and key elements in writing and managing a funded program