News & Press: Advocacy News

Legislature approves WAND's Dietetic Internship Bill

Friday, February 26, 2016  
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Great news! The Wisconsin Legislature has passed the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Dietetic Internship Bill with overwhelmingly bipartisan support. The bill was championed by WAND and was the organization's top legislative priority.

But this certainly didn't happen overnight....

Over two years ago, WAND leadership sat down to discuss the greatest challenges facing the RDN profession in Wisconsin and to identify potential legislative solutions. The discussion kept coming back to the pending RDN shortage in Wisconsin and the main culprit for our workforce problems -- the lack of dietetic internship opportunities for aspiring RDNs.

And after a great deal of work and research, WAND found a solution that would begin to address the problem: The WIC Dietetic Internship Bill. The Legislation will help alleviate the dietetic internship bottleneck that is currently is preventing access to a high-wage occupation and driving recent college graduates away from the profession.

The bill (Senate Bill 402) creates a new dietetic internship program that will be administered by the WI Department of Health Services under Wisconsin’s WIC program. With limited exceptions, the internship program will only be available to non-RDN nutritionists currently employed by local WIC offices across the state. Individuals who complete the internship would be required to remain employed by the WIC program for at least 24 months.

In short, the bill will create more professional opportunities for aspiring RDNs, strengthen the overal RDN workforce in Wisconsin, and improve the level of nutrition care provided to WIC recipients.

The bill is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker later this month. Please stay tuned for more updates and information on the WIC Dietetic Internship Bill.

You can track the bill here: