Finding Sites and Preceptors

Getting Started

As applicants begin the process of securing preceptors, we encourage them to share the Information and Resources for Preceptors page.

Here they can request the Intern and the Preceptor Program Handbooks, rotation syllabi and electronic intern evaluation links, required forms, and information about the precepting benefits of free CPEUs awarded for their training and participation.

This streamlined, easy access to everything they need and more will inform and encourage their decision making process.

For the distance track, interns are required to locate their own practice sites/preceptors. Requirements for this are described below.  To ensure timely completion of the program, our Assistant Director begins assistance in identifying supervised practice sites as early as possible, often during the application phase.  Applicants are encouraged to schedule a virtual meet & greet with the assistant program director, where personalized guidance on finding preceptors is given. Applicants/interns are also directed to a free resource at the top of this page with tips and advice on finding preceptors specifically for LWDI’s requirements for the distance option.  If an intern is admitted to LWDI and has not identified all of their supervised practice sites, a more structured assistance approach begins including sharing potential leads if available in the intern’s area and structured accountability check ins with continued guidance until all sites have been secured.

Rotation Descriptions

Pre-orientation and Orientation (40 hours)

Interns will complete 80 hours of readings, webinars, case studies and simulations before the start of rotations in September.

Foodservice Management rotation (200 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 (200 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 (400 hours)

The Medical Nutrition Therapy rotation (400 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 (160 hours)

The Outpatient Emphasis rotation (160 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.

Preceptor Requirements

Preceptors for LWDI will be required to meet individual state and federal regulations for licensure and have specific credentials based on rotation type:

  • Preceptors in the MNT rotations will be required to be RDNs.
  • Preceptors for Foodservice Management rotations will be qualified to fill the position per the facility job description and education requirements for the Food Service Manager/Director or Food Service Supervisor and experienced in the management of foodservice operations. 
  • Preceptors for the Community Nutrition rotation may be an RDN or other health care or nutrition education professional.
  • Preceptors for the Outpatient/Emphasis must be an RDN or credentialed Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).

Confirmation of preceptor qualifications will be achieved through documentation on the Preceptor Qualification form, which will be required for each rotation for every intern prior to the start of the rotation.  RDNs for the MNT rotation will be required to submit a copy of his or her CDR card and a resume or copy of their CDR continuing education log to demonstrate continued competence.  Non-RD preceptors will provide evidence of continued competence by providing documentation of continuing education in their area of expertise, such as for ServSafe or CDM certification in Foodservice Management for example. Preceptors in the distance track will provide documentation that they are qualified according to the laws and regulations for practice in their respective states.

The chart below summarizes preceptor and practice site requirements:

RotationPossible SiteTotal Hours NeededPreceptor Credentials
Food Service ManagementSchool foodservice, Hospital/Medical Center, Long Term Care/Sub-acute clinical Foodservice, College/university dining services200RDN, CDM, ServSafe Certified staff person or other staff person at the facililty qualified to fill the position per the facility job description and education requirements for the Food Service Manager/Director or Food Service Supervisor. 
Community NutritionWIC, Public Health Departments, State/County Departments of Health, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Fitness/Athletic Club, Food Bank, Grocery/Supermarket, Head Start Program, Health-related Children’s Camp, Meals on Wheels, Non-profit Health Related Agency, Office for Aging, Senior Citizen Program, State/Federal Agency or Task Force, Corporate Wellness Programs200RDN or other health care or nutrition education professionals.
Medical Nutrition TherapyCommunity hospitals, Medical centers, Long-term care facilities, Sub-acute facilities 400RDN
OutpatientOutpatient nutrition counseling clinics, Nutrition private practice (if insurance is billed), Bariatric Clinics, Renal Dialysis Outpatient Center, Corporate Wellness Programs (if insurance is billed), Insurance Companies with preventative Wellness, Pediatric-based Program / Clinic, Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, Eating Disorders Clinic160RDN or credentialed Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

Be sure to communicate with us the status of your potential rotation sites. To discuss potential rotation sites with our faculty, please email