Student Section

In the Department of Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services at Children's of Alabama we enjoy having college undergraduate and graduate students come to learn more about the field of clinical nutrition and lactation. We provide learning experiences which facilitate a better understanding of pediatric clinical nutrition practice.
The following opportunities are available for students:

  1. Undergraduate Nutrition Externships
  2. Dietetic Internship Rotations
  3. Shadowing

As the number of requests from students has increased in past years, we have developed more specific guidelines for students who desire to complete a learning experience at Children's. We hope this will help clarify some questions that students may have.

Undergraduate Nutrition Externships

Our nutrition externship is a unique opportunity for students seeking unpaid work experience in the area of pediatric clinical nutrition. Each extern will work alongside Registered Dietitian and Dietetic Technicians to assist with program development or quality improvement projects. Additional opportunities include access to all educational programs conducted at Children's during time of externship, experiences in inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, work in the Enteral Feeding Lab, Lactation Center, and other department services and programs. At the end of the externship, each student will present their work to the nutrition staff.

Previous Student Projects:

  • Creating family friendly handouts for formula & breast milk preparation instructions
  • Developing a Pediatric Nutrition Assessment for Malnutrition Checklist
  • Researching dietary treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Creating a meal plan for diabetic patients
  • Providing updated research on Medical Nutrition Therapy for specific disease states

Program Requirements:

  • Enrollment in and in good standing with a dietetics education program at an accredited university.
  • Completion of Sophomore year and at least one college level nutrition course
  • Interested in actively participating in an intense learning experience

Interested students need to contact Amy Cameron by email at or phone at (205) 638-5845.

Please Note, students participating in the externship program must have documentation of the following: TB skin test; hepatitis B and flu vaccines; varicella status; and MMR immunization up to date.

After the end of the student's experience, we ask for feedback on how we are doing. Students may use the Externship/Independent Study Evaluation form to submit feedback by mail, fax or email to the Unit Educator.

Dietetic Internship

Children's of Alabama requires a working contract with a University in order to accept Dietetic Interns. At this time, we are not accepting interns in distance programs.

For those students who have already been assigned a pediatric rotation at Children’s, please contact your program director for rotation information.

Shadowing Opportunities

Limited half-day and full-day shadowing opportunities are available for college students considering a career in the field of clinical nutrition. The purpose of shadowing is to observe the role of the registered dietitian in the clinical setting to gain better understanding of the profession. For shadowing opportunities, please contact Tanya Sloane, the Division Secretary for Clinical Nutrition & Lactation at 205-638-9204 or for scheduling and availability.