Competency 7019.1.1: Epidemiology – The graduate applies principles of epidemiology to the assessment of the healthcare needs of communities.
Competency 7019.1.5: Environmental Health – The graduate assesses the impact of the environment on the health of the community.
Competency 7019.1.8: Cultural Competency – The graduate analyzes social and cultural factors that affect the care of diverse populations.


More emphasis is being placed on healthier communities as changes are occurring in the fields of healthcare financing, policy, and focus. One of the primary roles of a community health nurse is to assess the community or population in order to determine its health status in relation to its assets and needs.


Note: If you are a student who does not reside in the state of California, you were incorrectly enrolled in this performance assessment and should be enrolled in a different one. Please contact Ecare@WGU.eduto rectify this error.

A. Identify an appropriate community for which there is published data available (county, state, or national data) that will support the diagnosis.

B. Assess the health needs and risks of the identified community by utilizing the following tools:

Note: The collection of this data should include a variety of data sources, such as focus groups with older adults and/or youth, epidemiological data from the health department or department of vital statistics, investigations of community resources from stakeholders or faith-based organizations, and/or surveys. You do not have to answer every question listed in the assessment tools. Each of these tools can be found either in the web links section or as an attachment to this task.

• Population Economic Status Assessment
• Neighborhood/Community Safety Inventory
• Cultural Assessment Tool
• Disaster Assessment and Planning Guide
• Windshield Survey
Population Health Scavenger Hunt

Note: The name of each of the six tools should be identified in the needs assessment summary, along with a brief summary of how each of the six tools was used in the needs assessment.

1. Interpret the collected data using concepts of epidemiology and health determinants (e.g., birth rate, death rate, rates of disease, morbidity).

C. Formulate an appropriate community diagnosis for the selected community by doing the following (suggested length of 4–6 pages):
1. Identify the top three problems for the selected community based on the Healthy People 2020 goals.
a. Discuss the problems in relation to the Healthy People 2020 goals.

2. Select one of the problems identified in part C1 that you would like to investigate further, and do the following:
a. Discuss community resources (e.g., Public Health Department, American Red Cross, American Heart) that are available to address this problem.

3. Formulate a primary prevention topic based on the problem you identified in part C2.

Note: See the attached “Approved Topic List” for guidance in formulating your topic.

D. Include all in-text citations and references in APA format.

Note: For definitions of terms commonly used in the rubric, see the Rubric Terms web link included in the Evaluation Procedures section.

Note: When using sources to support ideas and elements in an assessment, the submission MUST include APA formatted in-text citations with a corresponding reference list for any direct quotes or paraphrasing. It is not necessary to list sources that were consulted if they have not been quoted or paraphrased in the text of the assessment.

Note: No more than a combined total of 30% of a submission can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from outside sources, even if cited correctly. For tips on using APA style, please refer to the APA Handout web link included in the APA Guidelines section.

File Attachments:
1. Approved Topic List link opens in new window

2. Population Health Scavenger Hunt link opens in new window

3. Windshield Survey link opens in new window

Web Links:
1. Cultural Assessment Tool link opens in new window

2. Disaster Assessment and Planning Guide link opens in new window

3. Healthy People 2020 link opens in new window

4. Neighborhood/Community Safety Inventory link opens in new window

5. Population Economic Status Assessment link opens in new window

Evaluation Method

Approved Topic List: Choosing Your Field Project Topic with a Primary Prevention Focus

Note: You may not log any work on your field project until you are enrolled in Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Field Experience/Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Clinical and have selected your topic.

What is a Primary Prevention?
The Community Health Nursing practicum requires a field project. The project focuses on primary prevention. Primary prevention is the prevention of disease, injury, disability or premature death before they occur.

First Steps in Choosing a Field Project Topic
First, consider what might be an issue of public health concern in your own community. The pertinent questions to consider are:
• What is the biggest contributor to disease (morbidity) and premature death (mortality) in your community?
• What are the controversial community health concerns discussed in your local newspaper?
• What do you believe people in your community are most concerned about related to health?
• What is generating the most visits to the emergency room or hospital admission in your community?
• What do you believe is reducing the quality of life in your community?

Possible Topic Areas to Choose for Field Project
Access to Healthcare
• access to mental health services
• access to dental health services
• access to health services
Alcohol and Drug Use
• responsible alcohol consumption
• prevention of drug abuse, including
– IV drug use
– prescription drug use
Child Health
• prevention of neonatal mortality
• prevention of unintentional childhood injuries, including:
– sudden unexpected infant death (SUID)
– poisoning
– drowning
– motor vehicle related (child safety seat and seat belt use)
– sports related
– pedestrian related
• prevention of child abuse
• promotion of vaccination
• promotion of health and well-being, including
– access to disability related services and devices,
– limit barriers to participating in home, work, school, or community activities
Disaster Preparedness
• prevention of adverse health consequences caused by natural and human caused disasters
• prevention of HIV/AIDS, including
– sexual transmission
– prenatal transmission
– IV drug use transmission
Oral Health
• prevention of dental caries
Overweight and Obesity
• prevention of overweight and obesity through healthy nutrition and physical activity
Physical Environment
• promotion of healthy physical environment, including
– air quality
– land quality
– water quality
• prevention of falls
• prevention of social isolation
• promotion of vaccination
Sexual Health
• Prevention of sexually transmitted infections.
Social Environment
• safe, affordable, quality housing (prevention of homelessness)
• prevention of tobacco use
• prevention of smoking
Unintentional Injuries
• prevention of workplace injuries
• prevention of motor vehicle related death/injuries
– prevention of pedestrian injury and death (includes bicyclists)
• prevention of domestic violence/intimate partner violence
• prevention of dating violence
• prevention of gang violence
• prevention of bullying/cyber-bullying
• prevention of suicide/depression
Women’s and Maternal Health
• prevention of unintended pregnancies
• lack of breastfeeding/promotion of breastfeeding
• promotion of vaccination

Resources to Start Your Topic Choice Process
• Healthy People 2020