Locations and Schedules

Apply to one of the following locations

Iowa-based

  • ISU faculty identify the preceptors and arrange placement of students at supervised experiential learning facilities.
  • Students in the Iowa-based location option are required to live in the assigned internship location area regardless of where the student resides at the time of the application. (For example, an applicant who resides in California would be required to move to Pella, Iowa if placed there for supervised practice.)

Nationwide

  • You complete your supervised experiential learning at facilities anywhere in the United States (minimum requirements apply).
  • You identify and contact preceptors and facilities in the area where you live or wish to work.
  • Your application must include commitment letters from preceptors for the first rotation (see instructions in planning your schedule below).

Facility Requirements to plan your rotation schedule

Students complete a minimum of 1000 hours in experiential learning in didactic as well as on-site placements. 900 practice hours are completed in supervised experiential learning at various sites:

  • Food Systems Management (Summer) 250 hours
    • This may be completed at your MNT site, long-term care facility, or a K-12 public school that participates in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs
    • Acute-care facility (like a hospital or a long-term care facility)
  • Community Nutrition Rotations (Fall) 250 hours
    • WIC facility (minimum 48 hours-approximately 2 weeks)
    • Other community nutrition settings such as extension, school nutrition sites, etc. or you could complete entire rotation at the WIC facility
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) (Spring) 400 hours
    • The minimum needs for your supervised practice facility for MNT rotations are:
      • Your facility should be currently accredited by the appropriate agency—such as JCAHO, DNV, or the state.
      • Each facility should be licensed for at least 50-bed inpatient census.
      • Each facility should have at least 2 RDs who provide MNT.
      • Advanced practice rotations may occur in other facilities. These topic areas may include but are not required to include Pediatrics, Renal, Diabetes, Oncology, and Nutrition Support. It is not uncommon to complete most of the MNT rotations in one facility, then spend time at other facilities to complete the advanced topic areas.
      • The MNT facility may be the same as the MGMT facility.

Applicants, please note

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy sites are difficult to secure, so we recommend you contact the potential preceptors early.
  • Commitment letter for first semester supervised experiential learning sites are required with your application, but if you can include commitment letters from preceptors for all three supervised experiential learning sites, it will strengthen your application.
  • Click here for the Rotation Schedule Worksheet

Use the Facility Search to find facilities organized by state. These supervised practice sites have existing affiliation agreements with ISU. Additionally, if you are a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can also search the preceptor database.

Once you have decided which dietitians to contact, call their offices and make an appointment to talk with them. 

  • Even if these individuals are not able to be your preceptors, they may be able to refer you to someone else.
  • The RDNs who have agreed to serve as your preceptors should be able to guide you in approaching hospital administrators and agency directors if needed.

Contact potential preceptors

Start with contacts that you may already have.

  • Have you worked or volunteered in a facility that has one or more RDs? Typically, the people for whom you have worked have a favorable impression of your ability and commitment to succeeding in a graduate supervised practice program. 
  • Have you attended any meetings with RDNs? Network with these individuals in your quest to find qualified RDN preceptors.
  • Have there been RDN guest speakers in any of your classes?

Obtain preceptor commitment letters

Your preceptors must provide you with a commitment letter stating their willingness to precept you and the dates of your rotations with them. These letters provide assurance that appropriate professionals have been identified and are willing to supervise you during your supervised experiential learning. Letters may be in whatever format the preceptor prefers (email, letter, etc.), and PDF copies of the letters must be submitted with your application. Here is an example of what a preceptor commitment letter might look like.

Affiliation agreements

Affiliation agreements will be required between ISU and the practice site/facility before your supervised experiential learning may begin.  

These agreements will be completed between ISU legal counsel and the practice site/facility. ISU cannot guarantee that all affiliation agreements will be successfully negotiated. In the event we are unable to negotiate an affiliation agreement, it will be your responsibility to find another site and preceptor to complete your supervised experiential learning.

Colorado residents – Colorado laws can make it difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach a legal agreement with facilities there. We will still review applications for Colorado, but want you to be aware that alternative plans may need to be made.