Diatetic Internships

Why Choose Ingalls?

Ingalls provides an experience that allows a student to learn in an environment that has the sophistication of a big city hospital and the personalized care of a community hospital. In this unique setting, interns work in an atmosphere where a free exchange of ideas and learning is encouraged and at the completion of the program have developed the perspective and skills to be an asset in healthcare organizations and community wellness settings.

The Ingalls Advantage:

  • Outstanding Reputation
  • Intensive Learning
  • Sophisticated Surroundings
  • Personalized Quality Care
  • Teamwork
  • Community Health Promotions

Our MISSION STATEMENT is to provide quality education and practical experience to our Dietetic Interns so that they will become competent registered dietitians dedicated to improving the health of the communities they serve. Ingalls Memorial Hospital Dietetic Internship will prepare graduates to competently perform professional positions in the area of food and nutrition as registered dietitians. The core competencies are in the following areas: Nutrition Therapy, Foodservice Systems, Community, and Business/Entrepreneur. The Medical Dietetics concentration provides additional experience in Nutrition Therapy and Community while the Wellness Nutrition concentration provides additional experience in Community Nutrition. Ingalls Memorial Hospital Dietetic Internship will ensure that dietetic interns follow the standards established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) in regards to education and professional conduct. The internship will prepare graduates to work with culturally diverse groups and serve their communities as highly qualified professionals in the field of dietetics. Upon completion of the program, each intern will be eligible for registration through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Ingalls Memorial Hospital cooperate in the responsibility of training dietitians and does not discriminate against any applicant because of race, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry. The Ingalls Hospital Dietetic Internship protects student civil rights and complies with institutional equal opportunity programs.

  • Criterion for Appointment

    Appointment is based upon academics, references, work experiences and communication skills in descending order of importance. Applicants should have an overall grade point average of 3.0 to apply. Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by an acceptable agency. Application materials will be accepted using the centralized application process. A $35 non-refundable application fee and form to denote specific concentration desired must be mailed to the program by the established deadline. Application materials will not be returned. In accordance with Ingalls standards of employment, the right is retained to withdraw an individual from the program that proves professionally unacceptable.

    Upon entrance into the program, applicants must provide an original transcript confirming a bachelor’s degree or official letter from the Registrar or Dean of the Graduating School or original Foreign Degree Equivalency Report and an original Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification statement.

  • Program Format

    This intense 43 week learning opportunity, which begins the Monday prior to Labor Day, will give the dietetic student practical experience in Clinical Dietetics and Food Service Management as the core. In addition, an option of two concentration tracks are available—Medical Dietetics or Wellness Nutrition. The Ingalls program has a long history of solid preparation for entry level dietitians. The core practical experience will continue to provide competencies in clinical dietetics and food service management. In addition to the core training for all interns, ten weeks of concentrated experience will be completed in the Medical Dietetics option or the Wellness Nutrition option. The Medical Dietetics option includes Advanced Nutrition Support, Out Patient Renal Nutrition, Long Term Care, Diabetes Center, Community, Wellness, and Elective Clinical Relief. The Wellness Nutrition option incorporates community and wellness in various settings including park district, schools, fitness centers, and corporate fitness. The Wellness Nutrition option provides an in-depth opportunity to enhance education skills and program planning.

    Seminars, field trips, conferences and lectures will be included to enhance practical skills and give the student an overall view of dietetics and the role of the dietitian in a multi-disciplinary healthcare setting.

    Although most of the training will be provided at Ingalls for the Medical Dietetics option, three to eight weeks of experience will be provided by affiliation organizations. Approximately 10 weeks will be provided by affiliating organizations in the Wellness Nutrition Option.

    To complete the program, interns must complete all AND requirements and demonstrate competency by completing all learning objectives in a satisfactory manner. Hospital fees and obligations must be paid.

  • Application and Appointment

    Applications must be received by the program coordinator in February for the following fall class. Exact dates and deadlines can be obtained at www.dnddigital.com. The Internship committee will screen all applicants.

    Click here to download the information form now.

    Those selected for consideration will be contacted to arrange an interview. Although a personal interview is preferred, applicants living outside a 300 mile radius may arrange a media conference call. If you are chosen for an interview, you will be notified. If you do not receive notification one week prior to the first interview, you may be notified at a later date if we feel that our pool of candidates is not acceptable.

    Notification of the internship appointment will be received according to the dates established by AND and available on the D&D Digital website. An oral response for all appointments must be received from 10 am - 5 pm Central Standard time on appointment day. A written confirmation must follow within 24 hours.

    Application materials must be sent using the AND centralized application process, DICAS. DICAS can be accessed at https://portal.dicas.org. Application materials will not be returned. Ingalls uses the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Application and Recommendation forms and postmark deadlines. On the DICAS application, include your Personal Interest in the Ingalls program and desired concentration.

    If a student is selected for the program, an official transcript must be sent to the program by June 30th. Any discrepancies between the on-line application and the official transcript will disqualify an applicant. In addition, by the deadline date, Ingalls requires a $35 application fee payable to Ingalls Memorial Hospital, The Ingalls Memorial Hospital Interview Date Selection, and the Concentration desired. This form should be sent to:

    Mary Keith Vaughn, MA, RD, LDN
    Dietetic Internship Director
    Ingalls Memorial Hospital
    One Ingalls Drive
    Harvey, IL 60426-3558

    Selection criteria is based upon communication skills, experiences, reference letters, academic record and information obtained from the interview. If accepted, a physical examination by a physician will be required prior to beginning the internship. All applicants to Dietetic Internships Programs listed in the instruction booklet from D&D Digital Systems must participate in computer matching. Applicants should request this material from an AND, CDR accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics or from D&D Digital Systems. There is no charge for this material. However, there is a charge for computer matching that is due with applicant's prioritized ranking. Refer to D&D Digital web site.

    Address requests to:

    D&D Digital
    304 Main St., Suite 301
    Ames, IA 50010-6148
    515-292-0490 (Phone) 515-663-9427 (Fax)
    Web page is www.dnddigital.com

  • Dietetic Internship FAQs

    What can Ingalls offer an intern?

    Ingalls is a large modern community hospital with many specialized rotations including renal, oncology, gastrointestinal/surgical nutrition, cardiology, enteral, and parenteral nutrition. Because of the breadth of our facility, most of the learning experience can be completed at Ingalls. This allows the intern stability in a physical location to learn in-depth the areas that are being taught.

    The staff has a high level of expertise which is utilized by the medical staff. For instance, diets and enteral feedings are primarily managed by dietitians.

    Our food service system is modern and provides skills necessary to work as qualified managers. Activities in the units will allow you to use your creativity in areas such as recipe development, team development and employee education. ARAMARK Food Services contracts with Ingalls to provide food and nutrition services at Ingalls.

    Ingalls has been recognized as a Center for Excellence in many areas. Our five Centers of Excellence are cardiology, oncology, neurology, orthopedics, and retinal vascular disease. Ingalls is a certified stroke center and has been recognized as a leader in cancer and orthopedics. The US NEWS AND WORLD REPORTS lists Ingalls as one of the BEST hospitals in the country.

    The diversity of people is another selling point of Ingalls. The hospital serves a community of many socio-economic levels and cultural backgrounds, providing learning experiences in the counseling and education of patients and employees in these populations.

    Our affiliations and field experiences also give you an opportunity to see and work in other food service and clinical systems.

    Special practice is a unique opportunity to spend time in an area of dietetics that best meets the goals of the individual intern. Examples include business, international dietetics, public health, or specialized medical nutrition therapy. For interns selecting the Wellness Nutrition option, that selection becomes their Special Practice and Community options.

    How many registered dietitians are at Ingalls?

    Dietitians on staff at Ingalls include: 7 clinical dietitians, 3 administrative dietitians, the dietetic internship director, and 2 dietitians in the diabetes and wellness centers. In addition, interns work under the direction of dietitians at our affiliate healthcare and community sites.

    Clinical dietitians are responsible for patient care including nutrition assessment and education. They are a critical part of the medical team and act as nutritional consultants to the medical staff of Ingalls Hospital. The electronic medical record and the nutrition care process are part of daily clinical activities.

    Administrative dietitians along with food service managers operate the patient and non-patient food services utilizing tools and techniques of one of the largest food service management companies.

    Dietitians in the Diabetes and Wellness centers counsel patients and teach classes. The dietitian in the Diabetes Center is a Certified Diabetes Educator.

    What is a typical week for an intern at Ingalls?

    One day a week is designated as formal class time. This day will consist of seminars, workshops, lectures, and tours at Ingalls and other facilities. Some of these programs will be held with other Chicago area internships.

    Hours each day will vary depending upon the rotation. You will usually be scheduled to work the same hours as your preceptor. A typical schedule in the clinical area would be 8 AM – 4:30 PM. Administrative rotations will vary depending upon the learning experience. You will be working some week-ends during the program—primarily during administrative staff relief. Homework assignments are completed in addition to the time spent in the units.

    Where do interns live during the internship?

    Many interns live with friends or relatives and commute to the hospital. Those interns who need to rent housing in the area usually share apartments. Information on living areas and interns needing roommates will be provided after you have accepted an appointment at Ingalls.

    Are graduates of the program able to pass the CDR Exam and find employment after graduation?

    Ninety-nine percent of all of our graduates have successfully passed the CDR Registration examination and all graduates of our program have found employment in dietetics after graduation. We are very proud of this record.

    Does Ingalls provide graduate credit?

    No, Ingalls does not provide graduate credit.

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy and Food Service Management

    Medical Nutrition Therapy and Food Service Management will be the core program for both concentration tracks. In the clinical dietetics core, interns will learn disease process and lifestyle change in relation to the diet. Interns will acquire this knowledge in a fast-paced medical environment keeping them well informed of the latest medical practices. The intern will progress through various clinical rotations such as cardiology, diabetes, renal nutrition and enteral nutrition. All interns will learn how to accurately assess a patient's nutritional status through data collection, patient interviews, consultation with members of the health care team and completion and follow-up on nutritional care plans. Dietetic interns will also counsel patients and teach nutrition education classes. The clinical rotations end with Staff Relief in which the intern will assume total responsibility as the R.D.

    All interns will further their knowledge and managerial skills in food production, food distribution and cafeteria operations as well as enhance food marketing skills as they progress through the food service management rotations. Management aspects of dietetics are strengthened by experience in finance and management units. Ingalls provides the opportunity to manage a large diverse food service operation, employing over 80 food service workers serving patients and employees, including catering functions. In addition, ARAMARK contracts with Ingalls and this provides interns with an opportunity to gain the latest managerial information from one of the largest healthcare food service contract companies in the United States.

    Core Rotations for All Interns

    Nutrition Therapy Rotations Food Service Management Rotations Other
    Clinical Nutrition Orientation Food Service Orientation Orientation
    Clinical Nutrition I, II, III Food Service Management Seminar
    Coronary Nutrition Guest Service Management Research
    Renal Nutrition Personnel Management Professional Issues
    Surgical Nutrition Management Class
    Gastrointestinal Nutrition Finance Vacation
    Oncology Nutrition Administrative Staff Relief
    Basic Nutrition Support
    Clinical Staff Relief

    Concentration Tracks

    Medical Dietetics
    Option-10 weeks
    Wellness Nutrition
    Option-10 weeks
    Advanced Nutrition Support-3 weeks WELLNESS IN COMMUNITY:
    Out Patient Renal Nutrition-1 week After School Programs
    Diabetes Clinic-1 week School Nutrition
    Long Term Care-1 week Fitness Center
    Community Nutrition-1 week or
    Special Practice-1-2 weeks Corporate Wellness
    Pediatrics-0-1 week
    Elective Relief-1 week

    Special practice rotations allow interns to spend more time in an area of interest or explore an area of particular interest. In the Wellness Nutrition concentration, the Special practice is Wellness Nutrition in the community. For the Medical Dietetics concentration, the intern may select 1 to 2 weeks of Business, Wellness, International Experience, Home Care, Contract Food Service, Community Organization, or other individual interest area.

  • Professional Development

    The professional never stops learning.

    New findings in the field of medicine, new technological advances, new concepts and theories in patient care requires that the health care professional needs to participate in continuing education and research. Ingalls recognizes the importance of both formal and informal educational experiences throughout an internship.

  • Living Expenses

    All expenses including housing, meals and transportation are the responsibility of the intern. Ingalls does not provide a stipend but does provide meal allowance for one meal per day in Ingalls Cafeteria. Ingalls also allows two weeks of pre-scheduled vacation.

    Each intern will receive a list of fellow interns to assist in arrangement for sharing housing expenses. A car is essential.

    (based on current economy)
    Additional Fees
    Malpractice Insurance $24.00
    Lab Coat $25.00
    Books $300.00
    ADA Exam Review Course $200.00
    Professional Seminars $275.00
    Total fees: $824.00
    Ingalls Tuition $10,369.00


    Room & Board (based on 2 people sharing apartment) transportation, medical insurance, physical examination --$11,000.00

  • Accreditation

    The program is fully accredited by
    Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
    Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
    Chicago, IL 60606-6995

    National Recognition by USDE

    ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education. This affirms that ACEND meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition and dietetics education programs.

  • Contact Information

    Mary Vaughn, MA, RD, LDN
    Director of Dietetic Internship
    Ingalls Memorial Hospital
    One Ingalls Drive
    Harvey, IL 60426

    Open House and Tour

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 from 9:30-11:30 AM
    Thursday, January 3, 2013 from 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    Call 708-915-5723 or e-mail mvaughn@ingalls.org to attend the Ingalls Open House.

    Attendance at our Open House is recommended if it is feasible. Attending an Open House may help answer many questions about our program and what makes it unique.

Ingalls Employee Stories