Dietetic Internship Program

Mentored Alumni Program


Mentored Alumni Program

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:


2. Introducing ... CDR

CDR page that every new RD should know:  click here. This page includes info to pay fees online, state licensure, the PDP, CEUs, code of ethics, etc.  Most of these topics are described in MORE detail below

3.  State Licensure Info

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: 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. 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

  • Step-By Step directions to set you your LEARNING PLAN (setp #3)
  • Step-by-step directions to enter into your ACTIVITY LOG (step #4)

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). 


  • 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 

  CPEUs for sale:

--features a new online leadership institute training (self-paced)

--can search for upcoming distance learning programs, self-study modules, and taped webinars

--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:

  • Job Postings
  • Interactive Salary Tool 
  • Marketing and Branding tools
  • Sample resumes and cover letter templates
  • many more resources!

  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. Suggested new RD quick-links (some site may require A.N.D. membership log-in for access):

  • Why should an employer hire an RD?:  click here
  • What is an RD and why different than a "nutritionists":  click here
  • RD = Nutrition Expert:  click here
  • The Academy's Code of Ethics (updated 2010): click here 
  • The Academy's Scope of Practice, Standards of Practice (SOPs) and Standards of Professional Performance (SOPPs): click here 
  • includes links to the Acadamy's official "definition of terms", state licensure resources, practice tips, etc 
  • Academy's Position and Practice Papers:  click here
  • Academy's App Reviews site: click here
  • Academy's video library: click here
  • Academy's brief overview of MNT billable services: click here
  • Academy's Evidence Analysis Library:  click here
  • Academy's Nutrition Care Manual purchase info: click here  
  • Nutrition411: click here:
    • great website for RDs to find career development resources, clinical info, sample forms, pt ed materials (in spanish too), etc  
  • CMS's Decision Memo (11/11) on Intensive Behavioral Management coverage for obesity:  click here
  • Other professional organizations/client handouts:  American Diabetes Assoc, American Heart Assoc, NIH health information, National Kidney Foundation 

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

Two pieces of advice:

  1. 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
  2. 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!


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