Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN)


Nutrition & Dietetics

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Nutrition & Dietetics

First Advisor

Dr. Lauri Wright

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Helm

Third Advisor

Dr. Claudia Sealey-Potts


The Covid-19 pandemic has seemingly altered the practice of Dietetics, and its essential supervised practice component of the Dietetic Internship programs. Telehealth, in particular telenutrition, became a necessity of practice for the entire United States and many parts of the world. Medicare and many private insurance companies amended policies for the expansion, inclusion, and provision of MNT via telephone.1 In addition, numerous Dietetic Interns were forced to complete the supervised practice (SPE) components of ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) accredited programs virtually. The practice of telehealth is not a new concept. Indeed, this area of Dietetics practice was growing prior to the pandemic. However, virtual completion of the supervised practice component of Dietetic Internships was previously not an accepted practice and was temporarily approved by ACEND. The approval of this virtual supervised practice will continue (until at least June 30, 2022) as it is based on a decision by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and remains active until the USDE rescinds this accommodation of virtual learning. The purpose of this study is to gain the perspective of dietetic interns and employers of the quality of this virtual supervised practice experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to compare RD exam pass rates between the graduated classes of 2019 (no virtual SPE) and 2020 (some SPE). The mixed methods approach to this study will utilize both quantitative (surveys) and qualitative (interviews) methods.