For Students

For Students

Learn more about careers in Dietetics HERE.

Each RDN has at minimum a four year undergraduate bachelor of science followed by a post undergraduate internship, cooperative program or combined masters degree program including both an intern experience with concentrated nutrition studies. Following training, all dietitians are required to pass a national registration exam from the national Commission on Dietetic Registration. To remain registered, dietitians must complete and report continuing education of no less than 75 hours of CEUs every five years. The requirement of both the base of education combined with continuing education helps keep dietitians up to date on the latest sound science and progressing in their ability to help consumers improve their health.

Don’t be fooled by people calling themselves “certified nutritionists,” as anyone can make this claim with no training whatsoever. Buyer beware.

In Nebraska, there is an additional level of designation that registered dietitians may hold, called a Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist or LMNT. These dietitians specifically work with people regarding a nutritional approach to their medical issues, such as diabetes, kidney failure, or high cholesterol. These LMNT dietitians are required to complete 30 hours of LMNT designated continuing education about therapeutic nutrition every two years to ensure an up-to-date, sound, research supported approach to their work with you.

What does an LMNT do? 

A Medical Nutrition Therapist is trained in and applies the nutrition care process of:

  1. Assessment of the patient’s nutritional status  
  2. Diagnosis including determining nutrient needs for enteral and parenteral nutrition
  3. Intervention or treatment
  4. Monitor and Evaluate the patient’s response to the treatment plan

For more information about Dietetic Internship programs and where to apply, click HERE. 

There are currently two programs offered in Nebraska through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. 

A LMNT license is obtained upon completion of an accredited dietetic internship program and the registration exam. To apply, the Application for Licensure must be completed and submitted to:

Licensure Unit
Medical Nutrition Therapy
P.O. Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68506-4986

The following can be found at the Nebraska Health and Human Services System web page, Click HERE for:

  • LMNT requirements
  • LMNT application
  • Approval forms and information for LMNT hours

Maintaining the license requires a minimum of 30 approved (LMNT) continuing hours of education (CEU’s) every 2 years. These 30 hours can be applied towards the 75 continuing hours of education required every 5 years for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).

Attending dietetic conferences are a great way to network with other dietitians and earn approved LMNT CEU’s. Conferences include the NAND annual conference and the Food and Nutrition Conference Expo.

Your student membership in NAND is complimentary if you are a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! You receive two memberships for the price of one. If you haven’t joined the Academy, now is the time! Click HERE to register online. Be sure to mark Nebraska as your state affiliate.

The Nebraska Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NAND) is an affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). 

Another way to network with other Dietetic professionals is to join a Dietetic Practice Group or Member Interest Group.

Dietetic Practice Groups are professional-interest groups, made up of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics members, who wish to connect with other members within their areas of interest and/or practice. Specialized practice groups enable members to improve their job performance, gain insight into specialized areas of food and nutrition and network with colleagues.

Member Interest Groups are groups of Academy members who have a common interest. Unlike dietetic practice groups or affiliates, member interest groups focus on areas other than the practice of dietetics or geographic location. As divisions of the national organization, MIGs reflect the many characteristics of the Academy’s membership and the public it serves.

  • Network with Registered Dietitians, Dietetic Interns and students across the U.S. and in your region.
  • Gain access to current scientific research
  • Understand the Academy’s position on controversial topics
  • Access Listserv to view current job openings

Nebraska Dietetic Internship Programs are competitive. Each year the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) accepts around eight interns and the University of Nebraska Medical Center accepts six interns. As a result, both internship programs can be very selective so it is important for you to know how to develop yourself throughout your undergraduate career to set you apart from other candidates.

GPA. UNL and UNMC rank GPA as their top selection criteria. UNMC requires that applicants have a GPA between a 3.0 and 4.0. In the last 5 years, the average GPA of accepted applicants ranged from 3.65 to 3.85. You also must earn a B or higher in all DPD courses. Focus on your grades and take your time. If you need to take lighter loads to get good grades there is no shame in taking an extra semester.

Work & Volunteer Experience. Internships want to see that you have experience in the field and can manage extracurricular involvement with academics. The three areas of dietetics are: clinical, community and foodservice. If you’re not sure what area you’re interested in try to gain experience in all three areas. Most internships are heavily focused in clinical dietetics so internships want to see that you have worked or volunteered in a clinical setting or with patients to ensure that your are comfortable with this type of work. Examples of work and volunteer experiences in each area are provided.

Clinical

  • Dietary aide
  • Tray line
  • Volunteer with Dining Services at Bryan Health
  • Nursing Homes

Community

  • Wellness Centers
  • Personal Trainer
  • Group Fitness Instructor
  • Bean Team
  • Sports Nutrition Intern
  • Corporate Wellness Health Coach
  • Schools
  • Nutrition Communications
  • Managing social media platforms (i.e. blogs, instagram)
  • Catholic Social Services Friend’s of Refugees Volunteer
  • Matt Talbot Kitchen Adult Cooking Classes
  • Food Net Volunteer
  • Mission Trips

FoodService

  • Restaurants
  • Dining Halls
  • Schools
  • Catering

School

  • Research (UCARE)
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Recreation Center Member Services
  • Campus Recreation Health and Wellness Volunteer
  • Nebraska Health and Resource Institute Mentor

Personal Statement. A personal narrative demonstrating your communication skills as well as your personal and professional attributes. Your personal statement highlights your goals and direction in dietetics and what you’ve learned and gained from your work and volunteer experiences.

References. As you go through college, network and form meaningful relationships with your professors and registered dietitians. The goal is to have people who can speak to your attributes and your potential as a future registered dietitian.

GRE. Both Dietetic Internship programs through UNL and UNMC are paired with graduate programs. You will need to take the GRE and report your scores. There is not a minimum requirement for scores.