College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines

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Journey to a Dream Job: Sydney Johnson, Dietitian

sydney johnson

Recent UND Master of Science in Nutrition alum Sydney Johnson has embarked on an exciting new chapter in her career, landing her dream job as a Renal Dietitian in Wichita, KS.

Renal dietitians are registered dietitians (RDN) who specialize in nutritional needs and help monitor the diets of patients with chronic kidney disease. They work with patients and their care team to empower the patient to make lifestyle changes to prolong kidney function. Recent UND Dietetics alum, Sydney Johnson, is excited for what her future job as a Renal Dietitian holds. “A big part of the job is educating patients so they know how to preserve kidney function and overall health through nutrition,” says Johnson. “It will be my job to go over labs with each patient, work with them to come up with new interventions, or re-educate them in areas that might be unclear,” she says. The position requires a significant amount of interdisciplinary communication as the healthcare team produces unique interventions for the betterment of the patient.

From Family Inspiration to Professional Passion

Johnson’s interest in renal nutrition began at a young age, sparked by her personal experiences. “My grandpa was on dialysis while I was younger, so I was initially exposed to it then but still didn’t know a lot about it,” she recalls.

At UND, students complete clinical rotations during their senior year. Johnson found that she connected closely with patients experiencing end-stage renal disease. “I remember from the beginning loving the types of relationships you get to build with the patients, the interdisciplinary team collaboration, and how nutrition is truly at the center of care,” she says. From that point on, Johnson knew that this would be her path. “I grew to love learning about the renal system and dreamed that one day I would be able to make it part of my career!”

Finding a Home at UND

Johnson knew choosing the right nutrition education institution would impact her academic and professional journey. Before UND, Johnson had considered many schools but says none of them felt like a perfect fit. “I felt like UND could be a place where I would feel comfortable making my new home for the next four years as I felt like those around me actually cared about me and wanted to see me succeed.”

This sense of belonging and support extended beyond her initial impressions. “I still remember that before deciding to officially make Dietetics my major, I had the program director personally call me and answer my questions.” This type of personal connection made UND the top choice for Johnson.

Sydney Johnson (center) says her connections to classmates and faculty contributed to her success with UND’s program.

Building Lifelong Connections

The relationships with faculty and fellow students that Johnson formed during her time at UND have played a significant role in her experience. “The people I was able to go through the undergraduate program with are still some of my closest friends today and truly made my experience at UND something I will cherish for a lifetime. After graduating, I know that any of my classmates or professors will always be there when I need them.”

Johnson says these connections, built on guidance, support, and shared goals, provided a strong foundation during her studies and continue to offer a network of support as she progresses in her career.

Stepping into the Dream Role

Johnson is excited to bring the passion and expertise she gained at UND into her new role as a renal dietitian in Wichita. Her journey from witnessing her grandpa’s experience with dialysis to her time at UND, and now her dream job as a renal dietitian highlights the importance of finding a nurturing educational environment. In her new position, Johnson looks forward to positively impacting her patients’ lives. “After completing my master’s degree, I feel like I have a whole new perspective on nutrition and the field of dietetics… I’m more confident that I can help treat the patient from a more holistic approach.”

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