Gov. Walker Signs Dietetic Internship Bill into Law
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Nearly two years ago, WAND went to work to find a legislative solution to Wisconsin’s pending RDN workforce shortage and the lack of available dietetic internship opportunities. Late last month, WAND’s hard work and commitment paid off when Gov. Scott Walker signed the Wisconsin Dietetic Internship Bill into law as 2015 WI Act 276.
The newly enacted law creates a dietetic internship program under Wisconsin’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program to help address the state’s nutrition care workforce shortage and provide greater career opportunities for aspiring RDNs.
The new program will provide additional internship slots statewide to non-RDN nutritionists currently employed by the WIC program. Upon completion of the internship, freshly minted RDNs will be required to remain employed in the WIC program for at least 24 months. The internship program will be administered by the state Department of Health Services.
As you know, dietetic internship opportunities for college graduates are in short supply and competition for the limited slots that open each year in Wisconsin is fierce. In fact, the current dietetic internship bottleneck is preventing access to a high-wage occupation and driving recent college graduates away from the profession.
The Dietetic Internship Bill will help strengthen the state’s RDN workforce, improve the level of nutrition care provided to WIC recipients, and reduce the occurrence of costly chronic disease in Wisconsin.
Left to right: Karen Krchma, WAND member; Alicia Schweitzer, WAND lobbyist; Colleen Kristbaum, WAND President; Julie Haase; WAND Public Policy Coordinator; Michael Welsh; WAND lobbyist; Gov. Scott Walker; Tyler Clark, legislative aide; Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton); Matt Henkel, legislative aide; Jason Vick, legislative aide