Preparing Dietitians to Meet Current Demand

Improve the Nation's Nutrition and Health
Research Year: 
2005
Issue: 

The demand for registered, credentialed dietitians has increased in the United States, largely because the public is more interested now in general nutrition, disease prevention, and the health of the aging. According to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Dietetic Association, "employment of dietitians is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2005," at competitive salaries. Registered dietitians work in health care facilities, sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs, food and nutrition-related businesses and industries, private practice, community and public health settings, at universities and medical centers, and in research.

Description of Action: 

The Department of Nutritional Sciences offers a Didactic Program in Dietetics which is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education. To earn an RD credential, students undertake the bachelor's degree program of study in dietetics, complete an approved, supervised internship program at a healthcare facility, community agency, or a food service corporation, and pass a national examination.

Impact: 

Students completing the UA's dietetics coursework maintained a 96 percent placement rate for internship programs in 2005, compared with the national average of 70 percent. This experience gives them the skills and abilities they need to pass the national registered dietitian (RD) exam. As of the year 2005, UA dietetics graduates are yielding a 96 percent pass rate.

Internship director comments:

"One of the most outstanding interns I've had in 21 years."

"UA graduates have been consistently mature, dependable, flexible and a pleasure to work with."

Alumni comments: "I took the RD exam this morning and I passed! I'm an RD! I can't thank you enough for all the support and encouragement you gave me throughout my education at the UA. It definitely helped me get where I am today."

"You will be well-prepared for this internship by going to the UA. I felt that I was stronger in certain areas than some of the other interns in the program, including one girl who already had her Ph.D."

"...all the dietitians said they felt that when they went to their internships they were a step ahead of all the other interns as far as knowledge and experience, because of going through the program at the UA. I totally feel the same way."

Funding Agencies: 

The University of Arizona; UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Conact Name: 
Wanda Howell
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

Shantz Bldg, Room 309, PO Box 210038

The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

Telephone: (520) 621-1619, FAX: (520) 621-9446