Lagniappe Wellness Dietetic Internship

We are participating in the Spring 2023 Match!

Upcoming Open House date:

Feb 3, 10 – 1 and 3-7 Central Time

Robin Schenk is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: LWDI Open House
Time: Feb 3, 2023 10:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 815 5099 3190
Passcode: 710633

This will be a “drop in” style open house which will be virtual over zoom.  Applicants can drop in at their convenience any time from 10am-1:00 pm and 3:00 -7:00 pm central time.

We can’t wait to meet you. Can’t attend an open house? Request a meet & greet via the link below.

Click here to request a meet & greet.

Check out our Open House Slides Here!

About Our Program

  • The Lagniappe Wellness Dietetic Internship (LWDI) is housed within the National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute (NDORI) at the Medical City at Tradition located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. NDORI’s mission is to make a visible difference in Mississippi by improving healthcare, addressing disparities, and providing world-class, innovative education and research to prevent, treat, and cure diabetes and obesity.
  • Onsite track interns will receive substantial training in the LWDI concentration of Obesity and Diabetes Prevention and Treatment at NDORI headquarters. Distance interns will receive the same preparation while benefiting from learning modules, case studies, lectures, and webinars developed with NDORI’s Registered Dietitians. (Refer to for more information on NDORI.)
LWDI offers interns unparalleled preparation throughout the internship by seasoned faculty experienced in the distance model. Program highlights include:
  • 7 month, full time program during which interns will complete 900 hours of supervised practice and 100 hours of pre-orientation and orientation assignments
  • Emphasis in obesity and diabetes prevention and treatment, a practice area requiring increasing numbers of RDNs
  • Pre-orientation case studies, readings, and other assignments to be administered on the LWDI Intern Portal following interns’ acceptance into the program
  • Online orientation with synchronous and asynchronous activities in the three major domains as well as the program’s emphasis on obesity and diabetes prevention and treatment
  • Creative, out-of-the-box immersion in the focus area including submissions to the LWDI blog “Food for Thought” and monthly discussion board participation
  • Didactic content review taught by LW faculty throughout the internship, mixed content area quizzes, domain content exams following each major rotation to prepare for the national registration exam, and an online mock RDN exam at the end of the internship
  • Fourteen week didactic class on Obesity and Diabetes focus area taught by Certified Diabetes Educator credentialed Program faculty
  • Faculty mentors available for evening and Saturday guidance
  • Option for concurrent enrollment in the University of Southern Mississippi’s Master of Science program, which allows for eligibility for federal financial aid
  • Onsite Track: Students who select the on‐site track will be completing their Dietetic Internship rotations on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast at the NDORI campus and at program-identified sites elsewhere in the state and region.
  • Distance Track: Interns who choose the Distance Track are responsible for securing their own rotation sites and preceptors for all supervised practice experiences. LWDI faculty are available, however, to provide guidance during this process and can be contacted at Preceptors will be evaluated by the Program Director for appropriateness via the Preceptor Qualifications form. Additionally, each rotation must have a signed Preceptor Agreement form and a Proposed Rotation Schedule form submitted and approved by the Program Director prior to the start of the program. All forms are available on the LWDI Mandatory Application Forms page.
  • Distance Education Requirements: To be successful in a distance program, interns must work well independently and will be expected to communicate effectively in person and via technology. Interns in both tracks will participate in virtual exchange of information and as such will be required to have competence in the use of technology including email, scanning and uploading documents, Zoom Video Conferencing, Google Suite learning platform, etc. Interns must possess a laptop or desktop for these functions including camera/video capability for Zoom conferencing. All forms, evaluation, quizzes and exams will be completed and submitted electronically.
  • Pre-orientation and Orientation (80 hours): Interns will complete 80 hours of readings, webinars, case studies and simulations before the start of rotations in September.
  • Foodservice Management rotation (160 hours): Interns will gain experience in a variety of settings including but not limited to hospitals, long term care facilities, schools and colleges, and corporate food service operations. Experiences in this rotation will begin with orientation and observations of procedures in the diet or management office and progress to include day to day food service operations and maintenance and operation of food service equipment including safety and sanitation procedures. Once interns demonstrate a general understanding of operations, they will expand on that knowledge and progress to budgeting, quality assurance and monitoring, recipe and menu development cost and analysis, and human resource management. By the end of the rotations, interns will function as staff relief with minimal supervision.
  • Community Nutrition rotation (160 hours): This rotation should occur at sites where nutrition education and community based nutrition services occur to diverse cultures, ethnicities and age groups such as senior centers, grocery stores with nutrition programming, childcare organizations, SNAP, WIC, Meals on Wheels, or Corporate Wellness. Examples of activities in this rotation include but are not limited to conducting a community/organization needs assessment, develop and deliver educational materials and activities, provide nutrition screening, education and counseling, and participate in advocacy for populations served. Initial activities will be observational and basic and will progress to more complex activities with increasing levels of responsibility, culminating in one week of staff relief with minimal supervision in the independent provision of nutrition educational programming and basic program management.
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy rotation (360 hours): The Medical Nutrition Therapy rotation (360 hours) allows interns the opportunity to work with clinical dietitians who provide care for patients in a variety of settings and at all levels of nutrition risk. The MNT rotation can occur in facilities including but not limited to hospitals, medical centers, clinics, long term care and sub-acute care facilities. Interns will utilize the Nutrition Care Process, ADIME notes and PES statements in their practice. Each intern will work closely with his or her preceptor initially observing and participating in screening and lower acuity patient care and progress to participate in nutritional assessment, education and implementation of nutrition care process care plans in acute inpatient and long-term care clinical facilities. After initial exposure to basic patient care, the interns may also work with outpatient dietitians to provide nutrition education, counseling, and other interventions in health promotion and disease prevention for patients and clients needing medical nutrition therapy. Populations will include diverse cultures and ethnicities across the life span, including maternal, infant and child, adult and elderly patients. Interns will work with the following diseases, initially with common disorders and progressing to more complex medical states as listed below:
      • Overweight and obesity
      • Cardiovascular disease
      • Endocrine disorders
      • Renal disease
      • Malnutrition
      • Gastrointestinal disease
      • Respiratory disease
      • Cancer
      • Critical care and post-operative
    • Interns will be required to have at least two weeks which include critical care toward the end of the rotation when they have had sufficient acute care experience and have demonstrated the necessary foundation to advance. The final week of the MNT rotation will be clinical staff relief experience which will allow the intern to function as an entry-level dietitian and perform the normal daily workload and tasks of a dietitian in that setting.
    • Throughout the rotation, interns should have opportunities to participate in patient care rounds working with interprofessional teams in order to cultivate collaborative practice in patient centered care and present in-depth case studies on complex patients to target audiences as assigned by preceptors.
  • Outpatient Emphasis rotation (240 hours): The Outpatient Emphasis rotation (240 hours) includes additional didactic material to be administered via the Google site and Zoom video conferencing in addition to providing interns the opportunity to gain supervised practice experience in an outpatient setting focusing on, but not limited to, a patient population with obesity and diabetes. Interns will have achieved competence in the Nutrition Care Process and will expand their practice to include concepts and strategies adopted by the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators, including diabetes self-management education training (DSMET). This final rotation will culminate in the virtual presentation of a case studies to the intern class which will provide additional exposure to a variety of cases and an opportunity for peer evaluation by the audience.
We now grant credit for prior learning. For more information, contact Robin at
The mission of LWDI is to train graduates to become entry level RDNs who are proficient in the prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes and who are committed to health promotion through their own lifelong learning.
  • Goal 1: Prepare graduates to become competent entry level RDNs who value professional growth.
    • Objective 1: Within 5 years, 50% of graduates will become involved in a professional organization such as the Academy of Nutrition and dietetics (AND) or American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE)
    • Objective 2: At least 80% of program interns complete the program/degree requirements within 13.5 months (150% of the program length).
    • Objective 3: 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
    • Objective 4: 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%.
    • Objective 5: At least 80% of employees who respond to a survey will rate graduates as at least “satisfactory” regarding the graduate’s preparation for entry level practice.
  • Goal 2: Prepare graduates who apply skills in the prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes.
    • Objective 1: Of graduates who seek employment, 75% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
    • Objective 2: 75% of graduates will agree that they were sufficiently trained in the prevention and treatment of obesity and diabetes.
  • Program data is available upon request.
  • LWDI participates in the Spring match and commences each Fall the Wednesday after Labor Day with a three day virtual Orientation followed by a 5 day Refresher Week during which interns complete modules, readings, case studies and simulations. Rotation start the next week and continue for 7 months on a full time basis.
  • The Program calendar allows for time off for holidays with approval from preceptors and interns are required to make up days missed for holidays as well as sick days and time off due to inclement weather.
The LWDI program fee is $12,500, payable before the start of the program in August. Additional anticipated program expenses can be found here. LWDI is a full time program and as such it is not recommended that interns rely on employment for ongoing expenses throughout the program.
  • The LWDI is a full-time internship program which can be completed in 7 months. In cases of extenuating circumstances, interns may take up to 150% of the time allotted to complete the program requirements (10.5 months) after consultation and approval by the Program Director.
  • In order to successfully complete the program, interns in both the onsite and distance tracks must successfully complete the minimum supervised practice hours and associated rotation evaluations, complete all preceptor and program assigned learning experiences required per the rotation syllabi for the year of the intern’s enrollment, and attain all ACEND required competencies.
  • Additionally, interns must take the comprehensive mock RDN examination at the conclusion of the internship and earn a score of 75%. LWDI believes in the value of mastery learning; therefore, interns who do not score 75% or better will retake the exam up to three times.
LWDI has been granted candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics