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Philosophy & outcomes

Internship mission

The Geisinger dietetic internship utilizes the values of Geisinger and collaborative evidence-based practice to prepare dietetic interns for entry-level positions as registered dietitian nutritionists. Graduates of this program will positively contribute to the supply of registered dietitian nutritionists. 


The faculty believes:

  • Professional competence and productivity require self-motivation and initiative to continuously assess oneself and seek learning opportunities.
  • Interns are responsible for their own professional competence.
  • Learning opportunities are unlimited and the intern is expected to take advantage of these abundant opportunities for growth.
  • The curriculum is merely a starting point from which interns launch individualized plans for development.
  • Achieving professional competence is an ongoing process which continues throughout a career.
  • The faculty-intern relationship is a mutually respectful one in which both can learn and grow.
  • Professional development is facilitated by constructive criticism and respectful guidance.
  • Just as professional development is an ongoing process, the development of this internship is never complete. Intern, faculty and advisor input is actively sought, encouraged and used in continuous quality improvement.

Internship goals and objectives

The following graduate and program outcome measures assess the full intent of the dietetic internship goals:

1. The dietetic internship will prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians:

  • On graduate surveys, of the respondents who rated the entry-level skill, the rating of the skill will meet or exceed 85% of moderate or high ratings over a three-year period.
  • On employer surveys, of the respondents who rated the entry level skills, the average rating of the skill will meet or exceed an average of three on a four-point scale.

2. The program will positively influence the supply of registered dietitian nutritionists over a five-year period:

  • At least 80% of program interns complete program/degree requirements within 15 months (150% of the program length).
  • At least 95% of program graduates take the Commission on Dietetic (CDR) credentialing examination for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • Of graduates who seek employment, 70% or more are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • Of graduates who seek employment, 90% or more are employed in clinical and/or pediatric positions (to support program concentrations).

Program outcomes data are available on request.