Graduate Pediatric Clinical Assistantship Information

Graduate Pediatric Clinical Nutrition Training Program

Children's of Alabama in conjunction with a graduate nutrition program offers a 9-month clinical pediatric nutrition assistantship.  The position is referred to as a nutrition resident.  This 9-month program typically coincides with the academic year.

The pediatric assistantship is designed to provide a broad knowledge base, skills and professional resources to practice in pediatric acute, critical and ambulatory care settings.  The assistantship includes 20-hours/week of clinical work experience that can be counted toward graduate course credit.  Children's offers a competitive biweekly stipend.  Candidates must present proof of current, valid license for Dietetics/Nutrition Practice for the state of Alabama.  The nutrition resident must successfully pass the CDR exam for registered dietitians within 2 months of beginning the assistantship.

The assistantship includes weekly rotations with the department's staff of registered dietitians, lactation consultants and dietetic technicians offering the nutrition resident an exposure to a wide range of experiences in management of disease states in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.  During the last months of the program, the nutrition resident focuses on the care of children in a chosen subspecialty area.  Research is required as part of the assistantship and is completed in this area of subspecialization. 

Learning objectives, references, and resources are provided to the nutrition resident for each rotation.  Appropriate learning experiences are provided and required to meet the outlined objectives. 

Rotations include:

Lactation Services Endocrinology
NICU and NICU Follow-up Gastroenterology
Weight Management (including bariatric Psychiatry
surgery) and Lipid Disorders Outpatient Referrals
Pulmonary Medicine (including cystic fibrosis)        LESTER® Program
Neurology (including ketogenic diet therapy)     PICU
Burns and General Surgery Rehab Medicine
General Pediatrics, Primary Care Specialty Surgery Services
Hematology/Oncology Nephrology and Dialysis
Stem Cell Transportation Solid Organ Transplants
HIV Immunology and Allergy

For more information you may contact: 
 Michelle Jeffcoat MS, RD,
Dept. of Clinical Nutrition, Children's of Alabama
1600 7th Ave. South
Birmingham, AL  35233

As a Nutrition Resident at Children's of Alabama, one is not entitled to any of the Children's benefits, including, without limitation paid time off, medical and dental insurance, and 401(k) participation; (2) this graduate assistantship and this agreement are governed by the Graduate Program Clinical Fieldwork Agreement executed between UAB or UA and Children's of Alabama; and (3) nothing herein is intended to create an employment relationship between the graduate assistants and Children's.  Please also note that participation in the assistantship program is not a guarantee for employment at Children's as a Clinical Nutritionist.  Any applications for Clinical Nutritionist positions, if available, are evaluated on a case by case basis.  Children's has the option not to continue the assistantship.  If there are unexpected circumstances where funding is no longer available during the course of the 9-month assistantship, the graduate student may elect to continue the assistantship and/or research without pay.  Children's will make available all relevant information relating to patient and organizational nutrition services and policies and procedures.

As a condition of the assistantship at Children's of Alabama you must comply with the following performance expectations:

  1. Be a full-time graduate student in the Graduate Program in Clinical Nutrition at UAB or UA.
  2. Complete 3 hours of graduate credit in a research clinical practicum course during the year and other activities required by your program including any original research necessary to fulfill thesis or non-thesis research requirements.
  3. Complete research (thesis research or a structured research project) in a patient population served by Children's.  Completion of a thesis is preferred.  In lieu of a thesis, a structured research project may be completed following standards defined by Children's and the University.  Upon completion of the structured research project and by the end of the 9-month assistantship, a manuscript suitable for publication must be submitted to the supervisor, Department Director and research committee members.
  4. Work 20 hours per week, but not to exceed 20 hours per week, in the Department of Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services of Children's, per attached Performance Expectations.
  5. Provide documentation of immunity to rubella, rubeola, chicken pox, and a "negative" tuberculin skin test or chest x-ray verifying the absence of pulmonary tuberculosis within the past 6 months.
  6. Attend Children's of Alabama orientation.  Attendance of the benefit sections of orientation is not required since the Nutrition Resident position is benefit-ineligible.
  7. Comply with all Children's policies, standards, and practices.  Children's reserves the right to terminate the Nutrition Resident from the program for any violation of Health System Policies, standards or practices, or, if the Nutrition Resident does not pass the required CDR registration exam, at the discretion of Children's.  If Children's terminates the Nutrition Resident, access to patient information and any research activities will be discontinued.  There will be no penalty or responsibility to Children's for the school or graduate student if the termination affects the graduate student's schooling. 
  8. Be responsible for all transportation and living arrangements.
  9. Present proof of enrollment in an acceptable hospitalization plan.
  10. Present proof of current, valid license for Dietetics/Nutrition Practice for the state of Alabama within 2 months of employment.
  11. Successfully pass the CDR (Commission on Dietetic Registration) exam for registered dietitians (RD) within 2 months of employment at your own expense.  If registration as an RD with CDR is not obtained, employment and this appointment will be terminated. 
  12. Provide medical nutrition therapy in accordance with standards as promulgated by the American Dietetic Association, American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and regulatory agencies. 
  13. Successfully meet the competencies defined for the graduate Pediatric Clinical Nutrition Assistantship at Children's and provide evidence of annual competency in age-specific categories as defined by Children's.
  14. Submit completed reports and assignments.
  15. Complete all required training courses.
  16. Sign and abide by a "Children's of Alabama Privacy Pledge" and agree to maintain the confidentiality of all proprietary information (including patient information) of Children's to which employees may have access in the provision of services.  Employees may not release such information to any third party whatsoever without the consult of Children's and shall upon the request of Children's timely return to Children's all proprietary information.

Assistantship Application
Reference Form