Work while you learn in the online Clinical Nutrition certificate program

woman typing on keyboard next to a microscope

Sarah Droege had worked for five years when she decided it was time to go back to school. She was doing weight-loss nutrition for a clinic and realized it wasn’t the right fit.

Droege enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Online Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition, which allowed her to keep working while she continued her education.

“I still have a lot of student loans, so I was concerned about the payments in going back to school,” she says. “I have been able to keep working, which has been key. I’m able to make my student loan payments and pay for this program without taking on any additional loans.”

UW-Madison’s 12-credit Online Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition provides a graduate-level education in areas such as critical care, nutrition support, complex nutritional assessment, advanced nutrition counseling, advanced pediatrics, and clinical nutrition research. Students work directly with the same experienced faculty who teach Clinical Nutrition on the UW-Madison campus.

The course is offered completely online and can be completed over three semesters—in other words, one year. Students can begin any semester (fall, spring, or summer) and take the courses in any order.

Many of the program’s students are practicing Registered Dietitians who need continuing education credits. Others are graduates in nutrition or dietetics programs who want to improve their ability to obtain a highly competitive dietetic internship. The program is also useful for nurses, pharmacists, speech pathologists, and other medical professionals who want to provide better care for their patients.

‘I can work at my own pace’

Droege particularly appreciated the flexibility of the Online Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition.

“I can work at my own pace,” she says. “The flexibility was key because I can look at the course schedule and choose when I want to get things done. If I know I’m working a lot one week I can get my things done the week before.”

Droege initially worried that an online program wouldn’t allow enough of a chance to interact with professors and fellow students. But that hasn’t been a problem with Clinical Nutrition.

“The professors are so responsive,” she says, “and are always there when you need to ask a question. You can still have conversations with all your classmates—and actually, it might even be a little bit easier because in classroom courses there’s often not time for as much discussion among students. In the online course, there’s a whole forum page where you talk to people all the time about classroom topics and real-life experience.”

For more information about UW-Madison’s Online Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition, see here.

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