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Course Guide: NURS 405

Public Health Nursing: Community Analysis Project

Community Needs Assessment

What is it?

A community needs assessment is an appraisal of a community designed to provide an organization with a picture of the community they serve. They are widely used in public health and community organizations to help determine the composition of the community, community needs, and to identify other resources and stakeholders.

Why do we do them?

A community needs assessment helps identify community health concerns and potential partners. 

How do we conduct them?

Starting a community assessment can be as easy as pulling out a pen and paper and jotting down what your community members and fellow classmates (colleagues) know about the community they serve or as complicated as putting together a large-scale community survey. 

Before you get Started

1. Decide who your population is...

2. Decide what information you need to gather to give you a snapshot of the community and the problem...

Accessing available information on my community:

  • City/County/State websites
  • Non profit websites or reports
  • School District websites or reports
  • Wikipedia
  • Other?


Deciding on a Topic

  1. What is your interest?
  2. Is there data on your topic? Is the data collected at the level I need it for (local, county)?
  3. Who would collect this data?