Becoming a Preceptor with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
About a year ago, I wanted to give back the knowledge that I learned from my master's degree and being secretary for the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM). I decided to become a preceptor by using my private practice an excellent way for an internship setting. I am now a preceptor with Life University in Marietta, Georgia and I have learned so much from the students that I have precept so far. A lot of people do not know that there is such a tremendous need for seasoned registered dietitians to become a preceptor more than ever before.
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) part of the, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is an autonomous accrediting agency for education programs preparing students to begin careers as registered dietitians or dietetic technicians, registered. ACEND initiated in 2013 that April was named National Preceptor Month to raise awareness of not only the need for preceptors but also to recognize and thank the practitioners who help create the next generation of professionals by teaching students in their workplace. Without preceptors, the profession of nutrition and dietetics and the Academy would not exist. ACEND stated that "preceptors make a difference in the lives of students who are learning to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists or Nutrition and Dietetics Technicians, Registered by acting as a mentor and training the dietetic professionals of the future."
There are so few dietetics internships over the years due to the demand-supply of dietetic students since 1993. Having more seasoned registered dietitians to become preceptors can alleviate this very dire problem. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that it predicts the number of jobs for registered dietitians and nutritionists will increase by 9 percent between 2008 and 2018; however, we believe that even more RDs will be needed, because of the on-going U.S. health crisis.
This month, I am rallying for other fellow RD's to make some time in their busy scheduled to become a preceptor for our next generations of RDNs. Even if it is three weeks or a month or a year, why not make a difference for our students RDNs who want to make a change in the field of Nutrition and Dietetics!
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