Preceptors and Mentors

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.

Become a Preceptor

Find-a-Preceptor Database

ACEND® has unveiled a database which allows practitioners to register to potentially become preceptors and join the effort to guide and educate the next generation of dietetic professionals. The Find-a-Preceptor Database allows program directors and students, who are members of the Academy, to search for a preceptor within a certain geographical or specialty area.


National Preceptor Month

Initiated in 2013, April was named National Preceptor Month in an effort 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, our profession and our Academy would not exist.

During National Preceptor Month, interns and program directors are asked to thank those who are making a difference. No matter how small or large the thank you is - it is a much-needed thank you for all the hard work preceptors do on a daily basis.

Outstanding Preceptor Awards

At the request of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation now funds seven awards on behalf of the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) and ACEND® to recognize preceptors who are exemplary educators and mentors.

The award will provide reimbursement of up $1,000 for expenses related to attending FNCE®. The seven award recipients are recognized at the Academy Member Showcase and the NDEP Member Meetings at FNCE® each year.

Every year in January, a survey link is sent out to program directors to begin collecting preceptor nominations within their program. Nominations are collected and the winners are chosen by the NDEP selection committees for each area. Winners are announced in April during National Preceptor Month.


Additional Resources

Supply and Demand for Internships

Internship Supply and Demand

Learn more.

How Do Other Professions Avoid a Shortage of Internship Positions?

All other regulated professions in the United States that require supervised practice, from nursing, to medicine, to law, to teaching, avoid shortages of entry-level supervised practice by providing both didactic education and supervised practice within one education program. In contrast, the majority of dietetic students must obtain their entry-level supervised practice by applying to a second, post-graduate program, often without the benefit of professional recognition through a graduate-level degree.

Are There Enough Jobs for Dietitians?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that 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.

Questions or Comments

Please contact [email protected] with any questions or concerns related to preceptors.

ISPP Preceptors

Visit ACEND's ISPPs page if you are interested in volunteering as a preceptor for a program offering an ISPP.

  • Preceptor Sign Up

    Preceptors make a difference in the lives of students who are learning to become RDNs or NDTRs by acting as a mentor and training the dietetic professionals of the future. Read More

  • Preceptor Recognition Stories

    During National Preceptor Month, students and program directors joined in to thank their extraordinary preceptors. Take a look at some of the amazing ways they have thanked their preceptors. Read More

  • Find-a-Preceptor

    The Find-a-Preceptor Database allows program directors and students, who are members of the Academy, to search for a preceptor within a certain geographical or specialty area. Read More

  • Outstanding Preceptor Awards

    The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation sponsored seven awards on behalf of the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors group and ACEND to recognize preceptors who are exemplary educators and mentors. Read More

  • You Can Help to Eliminate the Internship Shortage

    Preceptors make a difference in the lives of students who are learning to become RDNs or NDTRs by acting as a mentor and training the dietetic professionals of the future. By volunteering to be a preceptor, you can help increase training opportunities for future RDNs and NDTRs. Read More