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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist work with clients to improve health

Professional Practice Concentration

NSU is excited to announce the recent status change to Candidacy for Accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®).   Don't miss the next cohort starting in May 2020.  Limited seats are available.

Future Education Model for Nutrition & Dietetics Practice

What You'll Study

The demand is great for wellness and preventive services, which include nutrition, in almost all areas of health care practice. The Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutrition Professional Practice Concentration prepares students who wish to enter the field of nutrition and dietetics practice as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. 

The graduate nutrition program brings together students from varied backgrounds to emphasize collaborative interprofessional practice. Students take a standard 15-credit-hour core in the fundamentals of human nutrition. Students can customize their programs with selected concentrations or take a variety of electives. The program engages online learners through synchronous meetings and self-directed activities in a flexible learning environment. All students are also required to complete a 6-credit-hour special project focused on an original individual or community-based research project. 

As part of the M.S. in Nutrition degree, the professional practice concentration (MS-RDN) will be the only track by which students may become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. Additional required coursework beyond the standard degree program is provided to meet both professional competencies and experiential learning requirements of the ACEND Future Education Model (FEM). This will be a hybrid format offering a mixture of online courses and regular onsite meetings for the students in this concentration. Experiential learning will be arranged locally within the local tri-county areas to maximize the faculty oversight and involvement in meeting the FEM program standards. This curriculum also qualifies candidates to meet the guidelines for licensure in the State of Florida upon successful completion.

For More Information, please contact:                                                                    
Program Director  Stephanie N. Petrosky, M.H.A., RDN, LDN, FAND
spetrosky@nova.edu
(954) 262-1597

Nutrition and Dietetics Profession

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the accrediting agency for educational programs to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Accreditation is necessary to assure that the education and training received by students meet quality assurance standards and to ensure that students from an accredited program have been taught the same foundational knowledge requirements. See the ACEND website for more details on this process.

Also, many states regulate the practice of nutrition and dietetics profession. It is important that you know the requirements and implications of your future practice. 

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Credential

The professional practice of nutrition and dietetics applies the science of food and nutrition to the health and well-being of individuals and groups. Dietitians are the health professionals who translate the science and art of nutrition and food into the practice of caring for the health and well-being of people. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is a food and nutrition expert who has met minimum academic and professional requirements, and who have passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians, which is administered by The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Program Mission

The mission of the professional practice concentration (RDN) is to provide innovative education and training to effectively prepare competent, entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who collaboratively lead nutrition practice to enhance human health and quality of life in the communities they serve.

Program Goals

  • Prepare practitioners who can deliver quality nutritional care that is based on academic standards for entry-level dietitians and current research
  • Prepare graduates who champion service to the community and profession through active roles in leadership and interprofessional practice

Program Objectives

  • Once admitted into the professional practice concentration, at least 80% of students complete program/degree requirements within 36 months or 3 years (150% of the program length).
  • 80% of graduates seeking positions will find employment in nutrition and dietetics-related field within 12 months of program completion.
  • 80% of employers surveyed will rate the program graduate’s performance and level of graduate’s preparation for an entry-level position and overall performance in the position at 4 or higher (on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 is highest).
  • At least 90% of graduates over a five-year period will take the CDR credentialing exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • At least 80% of graduates over a five-year period will pass the CDR credentialing exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists on the first attempt.
  • At least 90% of program graduates will pass the CDR credentialing exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in the first two years following exit from the program.
  • 70% of program graduates will report involvement in their communities and or profession, as evidenced by graduate survey data indicating active engagement in activities such as precepting students, professional associations, and other volunteer activities.
  • 80% of graduates surveyed will self-rate their level of preparation to lead within community or professional organizations at 4 or higher (on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 is highest).
  • 80% of graduates surveyed will self-rate their level of preparation to participate in interprofessional teams and community organizations at 4 or higher (on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 is highest).

Program outcomes are available upon request.

Nova Southeastern University's Master of Science in Nutrition, Professional Practice Concentration is approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) as a Candidacy program and may enroll students. As one of the first U.S. programs selected to demonstrate new education and training standards for the Future Education Model in Graduate Programs, students enrolled in the approved course of study will be considered graduates of an accredited program upon successful completion and will be candidates who meet registration eligibility criteria of the Commission on Dietetic Registration 

Contact information for ACEND:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2109
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Phone: 800-877-1600 X 5400
Fax: 312-899-4817
Email: ACEND@eatright.org
URL: www.eatright.org/acend

Summer Term (8 credits)
NUT 5000 Foundations of Professional Practice in Nutrition and Dietetics
NUT 5120 Nutrition Advocacy and Interprofessional Leadership 
NUT 5200 Nutritional Biochemistry 

Fall (14 credits)
NUT 5025 Nutrition Across the Lifespan 
NUT 5110 Foundations of Community Nutrition 
NUT 5130 Nutrition Counseling
NUT 5131 Counseling and Communications Lab
NUT 6400 Nutrition Assessment and Medical Nutrition Therapy

Winter (14 credits)
NUT 5100 World Culture, Food and Nutrition 
NUT 5170 Management of Food and Nutrition Systems
NUT 6200 Evidence-based Research Outcomes in Nutrition
NUT 8001 Nutrition Practicum I - Community and Population Health

Summer (9 credits)

NUT 6105 Wellness and Healthy Weight
NUT 6150 Culinary Nutrition 
NUT 6151 Applied Culinary Nutrition Lab
NUT 7000 Professional Seminar Fall (15 credits)
NUT 6500 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
NUT 6800 Special Project I
NUT 8000 Comprehensive Exam
NUT 8002 Nutrition Practicum II - Client/Patient Services

Winter (14 credits)
NUT 5075 Introduction Functional Nutrition and Herbal Therapy 
NUT 6801 Special Project II
NUT 8003 Nutrition Practicum III - Leadership/Business/Management

PLEASE NOTE: This program will accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year and only admits a limited amount of candidates for a summer cohort each year (May start date).

The RDN Professional Practice Concentration follows all of the admission criteria of the Master of Science in Nutrition degree program with the following additions (*Unique to this concentration):

Prerequisites to Enter:

  • Anatomy & Physiology with Lab (or an equivalent, approved course) - 4 semester credit hours
  • Biochemistry - 3 semester credit hours
  • General Chemistry with Lab - 4 semester credit hours
  • Organic Chemistry with Lab - 4 semester credit hours
  • General Biology (lab preferred) - 3semester credit hours
  • General Statistics - 3 semester credit hours
  • Human Nutrition - 3 semester credit hours*
  • Microbiology - 3 semester credit hours*

Admission Requirements:

  • bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university
  • official transcripts
  • completed application form
  • nonrefundable application fee of $50
  • one letter of recommendation (professional)
  • undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale (preferred)
  • successful interview*

Please note that prospective candidates for the Professional Practice Concentration (MS-RDN) are admitted only once during the year into a summer cohort. When completing the application form online, candidates must specifically indicate the Professional Practice Concentration from the optional drop-down choices. Deadlines for applying are March 1 each year, which is an earlier deadline compared with the standard graduate nutrition program.

All applicants who meet the minimum criteria will be considered; however, not all applicants will be invited to interview. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow for adequate time to process the application review and to receive supplemental materials.

Upon receipt of the completed application and required materials, the Committee on Admissions will review the applicant's file and make recommendations to the program director. All final decisions on admission are made by the dean of the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine.

All qualified applicants will be evaluated against the admissions requirements. Due to the nature of this professional practice pathway, not all applicants will receive an invitation to interview. 

Candidates who have completed all of the pre-requisite coursework and have a well-rounded application demonstrating a commitment to the profession of dietetics and nutrition will be given preference in the selection process.  When writing a personal statement, it is best to address this in the comments provided. Other areas of strength will be the applicant's academic performance, community service, leadership attributes, letter of support and resume.

Candidates who are offered admission will be required to complete an Intent to Enroll form and submit a $200 seat deposit by the required deadline to validate the offer of admission and confirm the acceptance.

Candidates who are accepted and in the process of completing the final requirements may receive a pending decision or provisional offer of admission. Accepted students must submit all original transcripts and documents to the Office of Admissions in order to be fully admitted.  Financial aid funds cannot be distributed until this obligation is fulfilled. Delays in this step may also affect a candidate's ability to successfully enter the program.

Accepted candidates will be admitted into a cohort that begins in the summer term (early May start date) and must attend an orientation on-site at the Fort Lauderdale campus.

 

Estimated Annual Expenses:

Tuition:  $23,000

Books and Supplies: $1800

Student Services Fees: $1500

Travel: variable depending on course assignments

Health Insurance: $2200/year or waiver accepted

Background Testing/Immunizations: $200

ServSafe Training: $125

Professional Memberships: $58

Conference Registrations: $150

The M.S. in Nutrition degree program and all concentrations within the degree have been granted financial aid funding status to qualified students. Please consult the NSU Office of Financial Aid website or speak with a representative if you have any questions.  

Generally, to qualify for federal, state, and institutional financial assistance, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate financial need. For some sources of aid, this is not a requirement.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Be registered with the Selective Service if male
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
  • Be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program
  • Sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Show you are qualified to obtain a college education by having a high school diploma or recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law

Distance Education

The M.S. in Nutrition Professional Practice Concentration (MS-RDN) will use online technologies and learning management systems to deliver course content. However, the experiential learning portions of this concentration require onsite availability throughout the entire program. Therefore, a distance learning option is not offered.

Supervised Learning Experiences

Supervised practice experiences are coordinated through the program with educational affiliations arranged by Nova Southeastern University on behalf of the nutrition program. Students may work with the program director to engage unique learning experiences as appropriate to fulfill the experiential learning requirements and explore personalized practice options under a qualified preceptor.  Students are not required to arrange their own preceptor or learning sites.

Graduation and Program Completion Requirements for RDN

  • Students must successfully complete the required coursework at a grade point average of 3.0 or higher within three years of matriculation (150%)
  • Students must pass the comprehensive examination of 70% or better
  • Students must complete all competency-based assessments at the required target levels
  • Students meet all university financial and library obligations
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