Choosing a dietetic internship program is a significant decision in any RD2Be journey. There is no one-size-fits-all option for dietetic internships. Fortunately, students have many options to choose from that can meet their needs and career interests. 

Distance dietetic internship programs are often overlooked but are a wonderful option for students looking for customization and flexibility that traditional internships are not designed to provide. Due to the unfamiliarity of this option among advisors or their peers, students may be hesitant to pursue a distance program over a traditional dietetic internship.

Here are some common myths we hear from applicants and the truth behind those myths:

1. I won’t receive help finding my rotations or preceptors

While not all dietetic internship programs are similar, the same can be said for distance dietetic internships. Some distance programs may not help find rotations, but the Be Well Solutions Dietetic Internship program is committed to helping interns and applicants secure rotations, and we have a dedicated Outreach Coordinator for that very reason. 

We understand that finding preceptors can be intimidating for some. As a distance dietetic internship program with many years of experience overseeing interns’ rotation schedules, we have the resources and capabilities to make pursuing a distance option more feasible for students worried about finding their own preceptors.

We also offer free resources on our website to help students learn more about finding their own rotation sites, tips for securing rotations, and a preceptor toolkit for navigating outreach. 

Customizing your rotation schedule is one way to ensure your dietetic internship aligns with your career interests and goals. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to start networking early, and a dietetic internship rotation is the perfect way to get your foot in the door with your dream organization. 

2. Distance programs will not prepare me as well as a traditional distance internship

From experience, we know this myth couldn’t be further from the truth. In our opinion, a distance internship can sometimes be better positioned to prepare interns for their careers because they often get to learn alongside preceptors in the areas of nutrition & dietetics that they aspire to work in. Plus, you will have a leg up on the job search as you’ve gotten your foot in the door at various organizations throughout your internship versus needing to start from scratch in a new city.

We have alumni working in all areas of the field, and if you’re curious about some of the titles our alumni hold, feel free to check out some examples here (scroll to BWS DI Alumni Community).

As for preparing students to take the RD Exam, “distance programs have similar pass rates as programs offered fully in person” (ACEND 2024). The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics released a letter in March of this year (2024) regarding the drop in RD Exam pass rates. ACEND completed an evaluation comparing distance programs and onsite programs, and here is what they found:

“For every single ACEND-required objective, including program completion, employment, and RDN exam pass rate (first-time and one-year), distance programs showed similar outcomes compared to onsite programs. In fact, in 2021, graduates of Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) that are fully online had higher average first-time pass rate on the RDN exam (72%) compared to in-person DPDs (64%). This difference was statistically significant at P<.05. No differences were observed with other program types.”

– Accreditation Council For Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

We take RD Exam preparation very seriously. This is why we’ve partnered with All Access Dietetics to give our interns access to Pass Class as part of their tuition. In addition, we provide interns with Pocket Prep for RD Exam study questions. Our interns will also complete a practice exam as part of their dietetic internship curriculum. 

Of the BWS DI alumni confirmed to have taken the RD Exam, we are proud to have an RD Exam pass rate of 95%! 

3. I will feel unsupported during my dietetic internship rotations

The BWS DI program has a 5:1 intern-to-faculty advisor ratio for a reason. We would never want our interns to feel unsupported throughout their dietetic internship program. 

Even before Orientation, each intern is assigned to a faculty advisor. Breaking our cohorts into smaller groups allows each intern to receive personalized support navigating their rotations, assignments, or daily obstacles they may encounter throughout the program. 

Hear from one of our alumni on her experience with the Be Well Solutions Dietetic Internship program:

“I knew when applying to dietetic internship that I wanted a distance program, but was a little nervous about what that would look like. I was so impressed with the support the interns receive after an interview with the staff, that I placed BWS DI to be my first match. The internship has exceeded my expectations with their level of support and commitment to developing interns into successful dietitians. Through my internship, I not only gained the experiences most interns receive in a traditional experience, but also learned so much about networking and communicating virtually that will benefit me in the future.”

-Anna Whitlow, Spring 2019

4. Traditional dietetic internships are a better value in terms of cost

The cost of relocation is a major factor in the overall expense of a dietetic internship, in addition to the cost of tuition. By staying in your hometown, or better yet living with mom and dad for a year, you can save money during your dietetic internship and forgo the unexpected costs that come from moving. 

BWS DI appreciates the financial investment each intern is making when accepting their position in our program. With that in mind, we developed our tuition so there are no additional program fees or application fees. All program expenses and RD Exam study materials are included in the cost of tuition so interns can better prepare for the cost of their dietetic internship without any hidden expenses. Check out the full list of what’s included in your tuition here.

We also offer several opportunities to receive a discount on your tuition through our MS/DI partner discount, our Early Decision Discount, and our $1,000 Leadership Scholarship. Interns can also customize a payment plan schedule to best fit their financial situation. All of which you can learn about here.

5.Distance dietetic internships won’t provide the sense of community I’m looking for in an internship program

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that it is possible to work remotely and stay connected. We’ve been doing that since we started our dietetic internship program in 2017, so by now, we have mastered this.

Through Orientation, monthly conference meetings, journal clubs, and virtual events, we find that there are plenty of opportunities for our interns to connect. Often, our interns will set up group texts or connect virtually to discuss assignments. 

“BWSDI is a fantastic program for future nutrition professionals! My faculty advisor was always immensely helpful and understanding whenever I had questions. Despite being a distance internship, my cohort became extremely close and supportive of one another, and we now have professional connections across the country. I am also so grateful for the numerous learning opportunities provided by BWS and my preceptors. They have helped me feel prepared and confident in my abilities to enter the workforce as an entry-level dietitian. I would highly recommend this program to any future RDNs!” 

-Madelyn Percival, Spring 2022

While the connections may be virtual, the community aspect of our program is still very real. With our mentoring program, faculty advisor and peer support throughout the program, and our wonderful alumni network, there are many ways to feel a part of the BWS DI community.

Still not convinced that a distance dietetic internship may be for you? Learn more about our program by attending a virtual open house, signing up for a BWS DI Office Hours appointment via Calendly, or simply sending us an email at bwsdi@bewellsolutions.com.