National HealthCare Corporation (NHC) is a long-term health care company that operates health care centers, Alzheimer's units, homecare programs, hospice programs, assisted living and independent living centers. NHC's heath care centers provide skilled and intermediate nursing care as well as speech, physical and occupational therapy. NHC is recognized nationwide as an innovator in the delivery of quality long-term care. Our goal is to provide a full range of extended care services designed to maximize the well-being and independence of patients of all ages. We are dedicated to meeting patient needs through an interdisciplinary approach combining compassionate care with cost-effective health care services. NHC was founded in 1971, began trading publicly on NASDAQ in 1983, listed on the American Stock Exchange, and operated as a limited partnership from 1986 until December 1997 at which time it converted back to a corporation. To learn more about the sponsoring company, please visit nhccare.com.|
In order to become a registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist, an individual must complete a three-step process including: 1.) Complete the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics academic requirements plus obtain the minimum of a Bachelor's degree, 2.) Complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program (i.e. Dietetic Internship Program) and 3.) Obtain a passing score on the registration examination for the RD or RDN credential.
The primary objective of the program is to train qualified individuals to become competent dietitians. For the 2016-2017 class, six dietetic interns were selected for the program. The ten month internship program begins in mid to late August. Currently, dietetic interns rotate through the following facilities: NHC centers in the Middle Tennessee area, Skyline Medical Center, Horizon Medical Center, VA TN Valley Healthcare System, Fresenius Dialysis Care, WIC, Homecare, school foodservice, wellness and fitness experiences and various hospitals in Memphis for pediatric training.
NHC's Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and the United States Department of Education. Upon successful completion of the dietetic internship program, the interns will meet the ACEND required core competences and program specific concentration competencies for the RDN. In addition, intern graduates will be eligible for active membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and to take the registration exam. Upon successfully passing the RD exam, individuals will be eligible to obtain licensure according to their state guidelines.
Care is taken during recruitment and selection, as well as actual administration, to protect student civil rights. The program director seeks a diversified class and works to maintain an appropriate percentage between minorities who interview for the program and those accepted. The program and sponsoring organization both adhere to policies regarding the selection, hiring and promotion based on ability regardless of race, color, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy), retaliation, sexual harassment, age, national origin, disability or genetic information. Student privacy is respected during the program. Grades and evaluation outcomes are handled on an individual basis, and space is provided in the internship director's office for private counseling as needed.Accreditation
The NHC Dietetic Internship Program is currently granted Accreditation status by the:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
312/899-0040, Ext. 5400
ACEND is the only accrediting agency for dietetics education recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE).
NHC Mission, Goals, and Objectives
All program goals are being met at this time. Specific levels achieved for these outcome measures are available from the director upon request.
The mission of the NHC's Dietetic Internship is "To prepare interns to become successful entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists through supervised practice and didactic learning experiences in clinical, foodservice management and community nutrition with an emphasis in geriatric nutrition." The mission of the program drives the goals and outcome measures that are listed below:
Goal 1: The program will produce competent graduates who are prepared for entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists.
Objectives for Goal 1:
Goal 2: The program will prepare graduates to practice in the geriatric nutrition field and provide a return on investment (ROI) for the sponsoring institution.
Objectives for Goal 2:
Goal 3: The program will affiliate with facilities that will provide highly knowledgeable and supportive professional staff to train the interns during their supervised practice experiences.
Objectives for Goal 3:
Goal 4: The program will prepare graduates to demonstrate a commitment to the community through professional involvement, leadership and service in a variety of personal or professional settings.
Objectives for Goal 4:
Goal 5: The program will develop within the interns the skills and motivation to pursue learning opportunities during and after the program.
Objectives for Goal 5:
Curriculum, Schedule, and Program Completion
The NHC Dietetic Internship is completed in approximately ten months on a full-time schedule beginning in mid to late August and extending into June. Most weeks consist of at least 40 hours per week of classes and supervised practice experiences, with completion of written projects being done at home. A two-week orientation is mandatory for all interns held at NHC corporate office in Murfreesboro, TN and several affiliate sites. Before starting the program, interns must have proof of medical insurance, have professional liability insurance (provided by NHC), drug screen, background check, and health form requirement. Currently, the supervised practice hours are completed during the weekdays with the exception of approximately three weekends. If a leave of absence is requested and approved by the director, the program requirements must be completed within 150% of the program length or 15 months. Information regarding leave of absences will be discussed further in the policy and procedure manual upon acceptance into the dietetic internship. A master rotation schedule is given to each student at the beginning of the program and Monday class schedules are given to interns at least two weeks ahead of time.
Both didactic and supervised practice experiences shall be included in the dietetic internship program. Planned learning experiences shall be offered in logical progression from introductory to the expected degree of competence in program graduates. RD Exam practice tests will be administered throughout the year and will require a passing score in order to graduate from the program. In addition, during the final week of the program, the interns will complete procedures for eligibility to take the RD examination. The RDNE misuse form will be explained by the director and signed by students to be kept in their student files.
Upon graduation, students are expected to have met core and emphasis competencies. Successful completion of classroom and rotation assignments will ensure that the core competencies for entry-level dietetics, and geriatric emphasis competencies, have been met and that a verification statement will be issued to graduates. Grading expectations are listed in the policy and procedure manual.
If an individual other than an intern such as faculty, preceptor, dietetics practitioner and/or member of the public has a complaint, they may submit a complaint against the program. If the complaint can be addressed with the program director, that is the first course of action. If it is believed that it can't be resolved through the program director, the complaint can be brought to the senior vice president of patient services. The procedure to file complaints against accredited programs to ACEND is discussed in the policy and procedure manual. Please submit complaints directly to ACEND only after all other options with the program and the institution have been exhausted. All grievances will be handled in a manner that prevents retaliation.
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