RD? Check. Job? Check. What Now?

For the past nine months or so I have been enjoying my job as a clinical dietitian.  Although initially I felt pretty green as a new dietitian, my patients and coworkers have taught me so much!  I’m enjoying the work and feeling confident in what I do each day as I complete my assessments, respond to consults, and sign orders as an RD, LD.

Maybe it’s just because I’m straight out of school, but part of me feels a little restless.  I’m used to doing a million things at once in college or in my internship.  Having a predictable, steady job was my goal, and I am very happy. But as silly as this seems, I sort of feel like everything I’ve worked for has led up to this point, and now I need to set new goals for myself.

Admittedly, I’ve been keeping pretty busy with my involvement in the outpatient cardiac rehab at the medical center where I work.  In addition to my inpatient duties, I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling and will start teaching classes next month.  Also (thanks to web presence!) I have been doing some freelance writing.  Most recently I was contacted by an editor at Military.com‘s SpouseBuzz Blog for a guest entry.  I was really excited to contribute to a blog that reaches out to fellow military spouses!  My post was on healthy eating while your spouse is deployed –  read it here.

So what’s the next step?  Well…

bachelor's degree graduation

Currently contemplating: Am I ready to upgrade my Bachelors degree to an MS or MPH?

…I have started browsing through online graduate schools.  Honestly, I’m not sure what kind of program I want, such as a Masters in Public Health (MPH) versus a Masters in Science (MS).  Then, do I take the thesis option or the paper/coursework option?  Researching all the options has been, at times,  overwhelming.  I know I will need a 100% online graduate program, however, because my husband serves in the Army and we are required to move around.

But then I think…do I really want to take classes?  I mean really, it’s only been a year since I finished my internship.  Plus that means I’d have to study, take exams, write papers, and pay a LOT of money.  Is now the right time to do so?  We haven’t had any kids yet so that’s ideal, and the more I put it off the less likely I’ll be to actually do it.  However my husband’s job is making for big changes so maybe now isn’t the best time.  Is there a best time?  My internal debate rages on…

Has anyone out there completed online degrees in nutrition that would like to share their experience?  I’d love to hear your feedback about the program you chose and how it fit into your life!


8 responses to “RD? Check. Job? Check. What Now?

  1. Hey, great blog! I couldn’t say much about choosing a master’s school. I’m only a year out from my masters in Human Nutrition and I think it is just the M.S. letters behind my name which has led to most of the work I’ve gotten. Although, I totally know what you mean about getting settled in a job and then still having that craving for college craziness that once was!

  2. Katherine Flanagan

    I am currently in my two and a half year mark in graduate school majoring in Dietetics. I started my master’s degree after I got married (no children). After a year of courses, I was accepted into the internship/graduate program at my Alma Mater. I am majoring in Dietetics (a 16 month combined internship and masters program).

    A master’s degree is not difficult at all for one who does not have a busy work load aside from their master’s coursework. I am lucky because I had ahead start in graduate school compared to my peers in the internship/graduate program.

    Comparing all of the graduate classes I have taken to undergraduate coursework, you will learn much more applicable information. It’s a very different experience and education in our field.

    The professors are not out to fail you and in fact concentrate more on helping you succeed because you are now a professional student who is automatically marked as “special treatment”. After a semester of coursework, you will get use to writing papers and completing research. Some people feel research is not for them and will never consider it in the future. You don’t ever have to consider doing research just because you have a master’s degree, but believe it or not, it can help you aquire higher paying jobs or other jobs that will require you to have at least a master’s degree. I researched jobs around my state and found many that preferred one with a master’s.

    In the end, working towarads a master’s degree opens many doors and a whole new perpective in the nutriiton/dietetic field. Good luck on your endeavors!

    • Katherine do you mind sharing what program you are enrolled in? In the next few years I would love to do a combined RD, master’s program. I have a BS in Nutrition & Food and long story short in the next few yrs I’ll be looking into different programs. Thanks 🙂

  3. Hello there! I came across your blog by typing, “blog registered dietitian,” literally. I’m so glad to have found the blog, though. I graduated with a B.S. in environmental science from Maryland in Spring 2010, but I will be going back to UMD for a second Bachelor’s in Dietetics. Since you’ve gone through the program at UMD, can you offer any advice on professors, classes, where to get work/volunteering/internship experience, anything else you think would be useful? I would love to hear about your experience in the undergrad program and how you prepared to apply for the internship. You can contact me at irina_s8837 at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

  4. Hello Christina 🙂 I found your blog too by typing in dietetics and EP! Love the web presence and have skimmed your blog. I’m a military spouse and I would encourage you to go back sooner than later. Life only gets more complicated as the miltary years go by and duty stations get more interesting. My hubby has 12 yrs in and I’ve been along for the past 5 which have been all out of country (Korea and Germany). It can be VERY difficult to find jobs and/or take certain classes abroad. With 1 kiddo you will be able to pull a lot off but when #2 rolls around….your time will shrink. Military hubby’s are gone a lot and if your not near fam/friends it just makes it even harder. I hear you on the internal debate…I’m in the same boat :). Good luck!

  5. What is your advice to someone just now starting to study nutrition? I have been wondering what type of clubs, organizations should I be a part of? What type of volunteering do I need to be doing prior to finding am internship? Also how hard is it to be placed in an internship? Did you participate in the matching program…how were you successful?

  6. Great blog! I am currently finishing up my dietetic internship (I have 6 weeks to go)! I actually wanted to comment on the masters program though. I didn’t get an internship right away so I enrolled in a masters program in nutrition last year. I’m doing an online program (well, not at the moment since I’m doing the internship). It was a great experience but it made me realize how much I missed the social aspect of college. I live in Michigan and the university I went to was in Connecticut. Can’t really meet up with the other students since we live in different states. But if you have a busy schedule, the online program is very convenient. One thing I did like about the program was that the thesis was not a requirement, there was another option you could go for. Once I finish the internship and become registered, I plan on picking the program back up.

  7. Wow! Nice internship information blog. Thanks for the always interesting posts!

    Online Internships For College Students

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