UNF’s Brooks College of Health welcomed an inaugural class of students in the fall into its innovative online graduate degree program — a Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition.
The program — one of only two in the country — was designed to meet a growing demand for nutrition and dietetic practitioners who have the expertise and skills needed to assume leadership roles within the healthcare community.
Dr. Lauri Wright, DCN director and assistant professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program, said she expects doctoral graduates to be highly marketable as credible experts who can move into top roles within clinical, community or higher education wellness settings.
“As a profession, we are moving to a master’s level for entry level jobs,” Wright said. “So it’s a natural step for registered dietitians to seek a doctorate in order to advance in their careers.”
The online program targets practitioners with a master’s degree and a minimum of three year’s work experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics. It combines online coursework with the hands-on experience of an advanced practice residency and time spent producing outcome-based research, which looks at the effectiveness of programs or interventions.
The program also includes, as part of its international nutrition course, the opportunity to travel to another country and work in an area of high need, such as a malnutrition or HIV clinic.