Lagniappe Wellness Dietetic Internship

LWDI is accepting applications for the Fall 2020 match.

About Our Program

The Lagniappe Wellness Dietetic Internship (LWDI) is a program 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 and for information about the Medical City at Tradition.)

Admission and application requirements can be found here.

Program Highlights

LWDI offers interns unparalleled preparation throughout the internship by seasoned faculty experienced in the distance model. See the brochure at the right for detailed rotation information.

Program highlights include:

  • 9 month, full time program during which interns will complete 1100 hours of supervised practice and 100 hours of pre-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 Google site following interns’ acceptance into the program.
  • Online orientation with activities including asynchronous virtual class time spent on modules in the three major domains as well as the program’s concentration in Outpatient counseling with an emphasis on obesity and diabetes prevention and treatment.
  • Weekly 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.
  • 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.

Program Mission, Goals and Objectives

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.

Program Tracks

Onsite Track (Please note: the onsite track will begin Fall 2021.)

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. 

Program Expense

The LWDI program fee is $12,500, payable before the start of the program in August. Additional anticipated program expenses can be found here.

Completing the Internship

The LWDI is a full-time internship program which can be completed in 9 months. In cases of extenuating circumstances, interns may take up to 150% of the time allotted to complete the program requirements (13.5 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.