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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 to search for a preceptor within a certain geographical or specialty area.

Update Your Existing Profile in the Find-a-Preceptor Database

  • Click on the red button above that states "Preceptor Sign Up Page".
  • Under the "Existing Member" title, Click the blue "Log In" button. Enter your user name and password on the next screen. Note: If you are an Academy member, you must enter your Academy number. If you are not an Academy member, use the unique user name and password you developed when you registered in the database.
  • You will then see your profile on the screen. Click on the blue "Update My Profile".

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.

Precepting During the Pandemic

Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for food and nutrition practitioners, including preceptors. Preceptors have needed to develop creative solutions to address the circumstances and evolving education needs of nutrition and dietetics students and interns. There are stories of uncertainty and worry, but also of adaptation and innovation. We want to hear yours.

Outstanding Preceptor Awards

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation funds six awards on behalf of the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) 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 six award recipients are recognized at the Academy Member Showcase and the NDEP Member Meetings at FNCE® each year. The award recipients also receive a complimentary one-year membership to NDEP.

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

Preceptor Certificate of Appreciation

Thank your preceptors by providing them with a Certificate of Appreciation.

CPEUs for Precepting

As of June 1, 2017, preceptors may record a total of 15 CPEUs per 5-year cycle for precepting and/or leadership on your Activity Log. For more information and to obtain the necessary forms, visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Preceptor Training Program

ACEND offers a free 8.0 CPEU Preceptor Training Program.

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% between 2008 and 2018; however, we believe that even more RDNs will be needed because of the on-going U.S. health crisis.

Questions or Comments

Please contact ACEND 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.

Find an ACEND-Accredited Program

ACEND has more than 600 accredited programs across the United States and select countries internationally, with in-person and online options. Use the search filters to find the program that fits your needs.