Messiah College Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway
To earn the registered dietition nutritionist (RDN) credential, an individual must complete a three-step process:
1) Complete a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited college or university and obtain verification that the course work required to begin a supervised practice program has been completed from an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). (The Messiah College Nutrition and Dietetics major curriculum is approved by ACEND as a DPD and enables students to complete this step.)
2) Complete a supervised practice experience offered by an ACEND-accredited program. These programs include master's level coordinated programs, dietetic internships, and individualized supervised practice pathway (ISPP) programs. Accredited supervised practice programs are offered by health care facilities, community agencies, food service corporations, or educational institutions, and are 9-12 months in length, including a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice. (Note: some colleges offer an undergraduate "Coordinated Program", which combines steps 1 and 2. Messiah does not offer this type of program.)
3) Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
The Messiah College ISPP is a supervised practice option for individuals who have completed step one of the RDN credentialing process and participated in the national dietetic internship match process, but were not matched. In 2014-15, Messiah College has ACEND approval to offer an ISPP to a maximum of 6 ISPP positions. The Messiah College ISPP is a full-time, post-baccalaureate certificate program which fulfills step two of the RDN credentialing process. It requires both a minimum of 1253 supervised practice hours and the completion of a variety of activities designed to stimulate and assess the development of the competencies for successful dietetics practice. With the exception of a one week experience planned by the intern, the supervised practice sites will be selected by Messiah College and will be located in central Pennsylvania. ISPP interns will be required to live within about one hour of York, Pennsylvania. In addition to the supervised practice hours, interns will be expected to complete online learning activities related to their experiences, including projects and reports. These will be managed and submitted using the Messiah College online learning management system. Interns must be familiar with basic word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and have a laptop or desktop computer which meets the program requirements, as well as an internet connection and a printer/scanner. The experience hours and additional learning activities are organized into 6 graduate courses offered through the fall and spring semester, as well as one week in January.
After successful completion of the ISPP, an individual is eligible to take the national dietetics registration exam, and successful completion of the registration exam earns an individual the RDN credential. In recent years, many states have enacted licensure requirements for individuals who wish to practice nutrition care. State licensure standards typically require the RDN credential. In Pennsylvania, the RDN credential is required to obtain a state license, though licensure is voluntary. In order to maintain the RDN credential, individuals must regularly evaluate their professional knowledge, skills and needs, and document participation in 75 hours of appropriate continuing education every 5 years.
For additional information on dietetics education, contact ACEND at: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995; Phone: 312-899-0040 Ext. 5400; firstname.lastname@example.org or www.eatright.org.
For additional information abut the Messiah College ISPP, including the mission, goals and outcome objectives, cost, courses, and application requirements, please consult the Messiah College ISPP Handbook. For application materials, please contact the Messiah College Didactic Program in Dietetics Director, Kay Wit: KWitt@messiah.edu.