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Keene State Dietetic Students with Congressman Chris Pappas

Distance Clinical

The Distance Clinical track provides a unique opportunity for interns to complete their 480 hour clinical rotation at a facility in their home community or geographic area of their choice but have all other rotations coordinated for them in New Hampshire. The clinical rotation takes place during the second summer session of the program for distance clinical interns. Prior to leaving New Hampshire and starting the clinical rotation, distance clinical interns must have completed all other internship requirements and graduate coursework.

We will accept 6 distance clinical students each year in spring match. Distance clinical students will begin orientation the last week of June, along with the other students. The clinical rotation is the only rotation that is completed distance. All students are required to move to New Hampshire at the start of the MSDI program.

All applicants for the distance clinical track must locate and secure their own clinical facility and preceptor prior to submitting their DICAS application and must include verification of their arrangements in their application (more information about this below). The hospital and preceptor must meet our clinical site criteria. A hospital where you have an established relationship as an employee or volunteer can be a great option but it is not a requirement. Distance clinical interns must be self starters and self directed. We will look for evidence of these qualities in your application.

  1. The Application Process
  2. Finding a Clinical Site and Preceptor
    1. Guidance for Selecting a Distance Clinical Site
  3. Academic Affiliation Agreement with facility
  4. Communications with Clinical Preceptors

The Application Process

Distance clinical applicants will complete the application process following the same guidelines as all other applicants. In addition, they will identify their own clinical site and preceptor(s). Applicants must submit the following forms with their application (these forms may be typed or hand written, but must be signed in ink by the preceptor):

You will complete your clinical rotation at one facility or hospital system. While you may work with multiple clinical RDs, you do need to designate a primary preceptor who agrees to take responsibility for setting up your clinical schedule, communicating with the internship staff, and completing your evaluations. Your primary preceptor is the only one who will need to fill out the Preceptor Information Form and Preceptor Agreement Form.

You may not be employed by the clinical facility during your internship rotation there.

Finding a Clinical Site and Preceptor

There are specific criteria for choosing a hospital and RD preceptor as well as tips to help locate a facility.

Guidance for Selecting a Distance Clinical Site

  • The facility must be a primarily acute-care facility. They can also accept “SNF” level of care patients, but the primary must be acute.
  • The intern will need experience with post-op, cardiac, GI, wounds, COPD, vented patients, cancer patients, etc.
  • The intern will need experience with parenteral and enteral nutrition support.
  • Generally a “critical access” designated hospital cannot meet the requirements because they offer a limited range of services and transfer highly acute patients to larger facilities.
  • The facility should have an average census of at least 40-50 patients with most of them being medical/acute.
  • The clinical preceptor should have a minimum of two years full-time clinical experience in an acute-care setting.

Note: LTC and out-patient experience do not count towards the clinical rotation, but up to 40 hours can be used toward “Specialty Hours.”

Our website does have a link to the specific evaluation forms: Clinical Skills Checklist and the Clinical Skills Evaluation Form. Those are good forms to share with potential preceptors so that they can best evaluate whether they can provide you with the minimum supervised practice required.

Many hospitals may already be affiliated with dietetic internships and therefore may not be able to take you as an intern. Please be mindful and understanding when you come across this situation. The following hospitals are ineligible to take distance clinical interns from KSC because they are already affiliated with NH internships:

  • Catholic Medical Center, Manchester, NH
  • Cheshire Medical Center, Keene, NH
  • Concord Hospital, Concord, NH
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital), Lebanon, NH
  • Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH
  • Exeter Hospital, Exeter, NH
  • Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Rochester, NH
  • Monadnock Community Hospital, Peterborough, NH
  • Mount Ascutney Hospital & Health Center, Windsor, VT
  • Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth, NH
  • Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford, ME
  • University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington, VT
  • Valley Regional Hospital, Claremont, NH

Clinical Rotation Evaluation Forms - For copies of the following forms, please contact the KSC MSDI Program Manager at

  • Clinical Tasks Checklist – A list of tasks interns are to complete during their clinical rotation.
  • Clinical Skills Evaluation Form – A list of skills interns are to complete during their clinical rotation.
  • Professional Development Form– This form evaluates the intern’s professional behavior throughout the rotation.
  • Clinical Case Study Rubric – Your preceptor will use this form to evaluate your clinical case study presentation.

Academic Affiliation Agreement with facility

Once an applicant is accepted into the KSC distance clinical program, this agreement will need to be signed by the facility in which the intern has chosen to do their clinical rotation. Occasionally some facilities prefer to use their own version of an agreement, in that case Keene State College’s Director of Contracting Services and the facility will work together to reach an agreement.

Communications with Clinical Preceptors

The Keene State College MSDI Program Manager will keep in regular contact with the clinical preceptor throughout the intern’s clinical rotation. Preceptors will be encouraged to complete the CDR Preceptor Training Module if they have not already done so. The module provides 8 CPEU’s and is free to preceptors of dietetics students. Information about the module can be found by scrolling down to the bottom of this webpage.

Should the clinical placement site or preceptor cancel their agreement, the intern is responsible for finding another clinical site. The internship staff will assist and support this process; however it is ultimately the responsibility of the intern.

Contact the Program

Stephanie Chmielecki, MS, RD, LD
Dietetic Internship Interim Director
Phone: 603-358-2914
Fax: 603-358-2393

Interested in working with an intern? Please fill out this online form.

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