Navigate your Professional Development using our M.A.P.!
Education doesn't end once you graduate from this internship! As a service to our honored alumni, we invite you to use our Mentored Alumni Program to find resources to meet your short and long-term career goals.
What is Professional Development? According to the Academy's Center for Professional Development , it is "lifelong learning to increase knowledge and cultivate skills through multi-disciplinary learning opportunities, enhanced technology and high-quality programming".
1. CDR and the RD Exam
Before you take this exam, you are considered "Registration Eligible" and should write this out behind your name (NEVER write "RDE"). Below lists several resources to prepare and take the RD exam:
Note: SAVE AND PRINT EVERY CORRESPONDENCE FROM ACT and CDR AND BRING TO TESTING CENTER ALONG WITH PICTURE ID. NAME ON ID MUST MATCH NAMES ON ALL CDR and ACT DOCUMENTS TO TAKE THE TEST!
2. CDR for the newly credentialed RD
Click here for brief orientation about CDR that every new RD should know--such as how to pay fees online, state licensure, the PDP, CEUs, code of ethics, etc. Most of these topics are described in MORE detail below:
3. CDR and State Licensure
Most states enacted laws which regulate the practice of dietetics. To obtain/maintain state licensure, each state board will require an application and a fee (no additional exam). All will require CPEUs, but usually align with CDRs's requirements. Depending on state, must renew every 1 or 2 years.
As soon as you know which state you will be working, contact your local or state dietetic association for guidance as to how and when you should apply for state licencurse. Every state is different! Georgia, for example, requires a "conditional" license even as a "registration eligible" status. South Carolina will only accept your licensure application AFTER you become an RD first. Thus, it is important that you contact the state regulatory agency prior to obtaining employment or practicing dietetics to understand their process. For a list of state regulatory agencies, please refer to this website: http://cdrnet.org/state-licensure for links to state agency and legislation information.
Of note, CDR's Online Credential Verification System is useful to show employers your status with CDR (in case employer needs proof of your RD credential and you don't carry your card with you).
4. CDR and the Professional Development Portfolio
You must also learn about your Professional Development Porfolio, a process you MUST maintain for RD status. These videos help explain the PDP process, but all new RDs will be sent a binder in the mail that will walk you through the process. Several examples of how to set up your DPD by type of practice/venue at the PDP link above.
Your PDP is fully managed online. Access it at any time and enter CPEU activites, edit/update your learnign plan, etc via CDR's main website, then click on "log in" at top of the page.
5. Continuing Professional Education
RDs need 75 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) every 5 years documented in your PDP (1 year = 6/1-5/31). Traditional ways to gain CPEs include the attendance to a guest lecture or conference, watching a webinar, or attending a journal club. Non-traditional ways have become popular because they meet unique learning needs for each RD and can be more convenient in terms of scheduling and costs. They can range from:
professional leadership, such as holding an office at a district, state, or national professional association
research, such as publishing/presenting a peer-reviewed manuscript
"sponsored independent learning" by establishing a learning contract to train under an expert mentor,
completion of quizzes of professional readings from peer-reviewed, dietetics-related articles such as from JAND
experiential skill development, such as proven training/certificate of completion in culinary skills, physical assessment, or computer/technology
aquiring an advance practice "certified specialist" credential (i.e. CSSD, CDE, etc) or skill-building trainings (adult wt management training certification).
Below are links to search for continuing education credits offered either via this internship or from professional organizations:
Annual membership to local dietetic assocications often provide speaker series CEUs at no cost (once you paid the local dietetic association membership fee)
If you become a preceptor for MUSC, you will be sent email notices of upcoming CPEs, such as watching intern case studies live or remotely
If you become a preceptor for ANY DI, go to CDR's "Assess and Learn" and obtain 8 CEUS for an online preceptor training module here, log in, and select "dietetics preceptor training program".
The Academy's Dietetic Practice Group listings--many offer free CEUs to member.
- JAND's free journal article quiz of the month (free to AND members; CPEUS managed by CDR)--found in "my CDR" account page; click on "journal article quiz" to select from recent (past 1 year). There are a limited number you can earn each year via this s
2. CPEUs for sale:
Attending state and national nutrition meetings (SCAND, FNCE, etc)
The Academy's Center for Professional Development site
--features a new online leadership institute training (self-paced)
--can search for upcoming distance learning programs, self-study modules, and taped webinars
CDR's CPE listing site:
CPE database search
self-study modules--HAVE for peds and adult wt management--VERY CHEAP CPEUs (~$3.50 per unit)
Certification Training modules (in-person attendance)--Have for peds and adult wt management
"Assess and Learn" modules (also where you will find 8 free CEUs for preceptor training mentioned above)
-- in topics such as geriatrics, diabetes, sports nutrition, celiac, etc.
6. Career Tools
Need to develop or refine your CV? Running out of options to search for job openings? Want more experience in interviewing strategies--on either end of the table? Below are some useful links to help cultivate your HR skills.
Per the Academy: click here (must login first) to find the following:
Additional Per Kelley:
Suggested Nutrition and Dietetics Suggested Job Listing Websites: click here
RESUME tips and DI examples: click here
CURRICULUM VITAE example: click here
COVER LETTER tips and examples: click here
INTERVIEWING tips and sample questions: click here
Convince your employer hire an RD! click here for this justification document
Description of web-based portfolio builders: click here
7. Advance Practice Certification
After at least 1 or 2 years of experience in one practice area, consider the following options below (among other options). These board-certified credentials DO warrant letters behind your name. In order to obtain these, you must typically document 1000+ hours and pass an additional board exam. Many require the exam to be taken every 5 years thereafter. Notice that MUSC mentors are availabe for each listed credential to assist in the preparation.
CDR-certifications (click here to learn of about each certifications listed below):
8. Join our Facebook Group
Search "Medical University South Carolina Dietetic Internship" and join our group page. Network with current and graduate interns. They may be living or working down the road from you!
9. Stay Current
The M.A.P. committee members often find information and/or tools that we feel could be useful to you and to encourage LIFE-L. Some of these postings may seem random, but we feel they are important enough to share.
10. Guidelines for Credential Placement
Click here for CDR's recommendation of how to properly order you credentials based on highest degree earned, national/state licensure, and advance practice acronym.
11. Final Advice
If there are two final suggestions this internship hopes to instill in each intern graduate , they are:
Actively participate in your local or state dietetics association. Strive to be an officer or a committee member within 5 years of being an RD
- Become a preceptor. Reach out to local DI or DPD programs to offer to teach a lecture, precept a supervised practice experience, or mentor over an assignment/project! By providing this much needed service, you can earn CEUs, add to your resume/CV, and feel good about teaching our future. Plus, interns force you to stay current and promote lifelong learning!