Graduate Pediatric Clinical Assistantship Information

Graduate Pediatric Clinical Nutrition Training Program

Children's of Alabama offers a 9-month clinical pediatric nutrition assistantship. The position is referred to as a nutrition resident. This 9-month program typically begins in Mid-August and concludes in late May of the following 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 40-hours/week of clinical work experience that can be counted toward graduate course credit if a Master’s degree is not yet completed. Children's offers a competitive biweekly stipend. Candidates must present or obtain 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. Once initial training and rotations are completed, the nutrition resident focuses on the care of children in a chosen subspecialty area, or provides staff relief as needed. Research is offered and encouraged as part of the assistantship. 

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
Neonatal ICU Gastroenterology
Weight Management Psychiatry
Cardiology Outpatient Referrals
Pulmonary Medicine        General Pediatrics
Neurology     Pediatric ICU
Burns and General Surgery         Rehab Medicine
Intestinal Rehab Specialty Surgery
Hematology/Oncology Nephrology and Dialysis
Stem Cell Transportation Solid Organ Transplants


For more information you may contact: 
Michelle Jeffcoat MS, RDN, LD
Dept. of Clinical Nutrition, Children's of Alabama
1600 7th Ave. South
Birmingham, AL  35233
205-638-9594, Michelle.Jeffcoat@childrensal.org 

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 may be 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. Work 40 hours per week, but not to exceed 40 hours per week, in the Department of Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services of Children's, per attached Performance Expectations.
  2. Provide documentation of a negative TB skin test within initial 2 week orientation period.
  3. Attend Children's of Alabama orientation. Attendance of the benefit sections of orientation is not required since the Nutrition Resident position is benefit-ineligible.
  4. 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. 
  5. Be responsible for all transportation and living arrangements.
  6. Present proof of enrollment in an acceptable hospitalization plan.
  7. Present proof of current, valid license for Dietetics/Nutrition Practice for the state of Alabama within 2 months of employment.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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. 
  10. 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.
  11. Submit completed reports and assignments.
  12. Complete all required training courses.
  13. 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