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This course is part of the Public Health and Nursing ExpertTrack

Public Health and Nursing: Feeling the Community’s Pulse

Analyse communities to understand the context and factors that impact on the health and wellbeing of your patients.

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 3 of 5
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Learn how to assess what your community’s health needs are

The assessment of patients and clients lies at the heart of nursing practice. It involves identifying current and future health needs as a basis for the planning of therapeutic interventions.

On this course, you’ll have the chance to analyse the community in which you work in order to consider ways of responding to public health challenges.

Understand your health system and how it operates

You’ll explore what it means to assess the health needs of a community, and understand how a community health needs assessment can contribute to overall health performance.

Examining national and local health priorities, you’ll reflect upon what a community is, and how you can profile its health needs in order to intervene effectively.

Explore community profiling and health needs assessment requirements

Alongside nursing experts at Coventry University, you’ll identify epidemiological, comparative, and corporate approaches to a community health needs assessment, examining the merits of each.

You’ll also consider how a systematic approach can be used by nurses to contribute to a local health needs assessment, before reflecting on how you can bring all your learning together to help a community to become healthier.

This course is designed for experienced nurses wanting or needing to extend their understanding of how nurses can act as promoters of health.


  • Week 1

    Community health needs

    • Welcome to the week

      This week we will explore what it means to assess the health needs of a community and how a community health needs assessment contributes to health improvement.

    • What is a community?

      Community is a familiar word that has many meanings. It is important that all nurses, if they are to be more community oriented in their public health role, understand community, what it is and the specific nature of the community

    • Health needs assessment

      We explore health needs assessment at a community level, as well as geographical locality or neighbourhood, and the concept of need. To start, we consider what we need to know about a local community for health needs analysis.

    • What are health needs?

      In this section we will first consider the relationship between human rights and health before examining a framework for assessing community health needs.

    • Review of the week

      Review and reflect on your learning this week.

  • Week 2

    Approaches to assessing community health needs

    • Welcome to the week

      Assessing community and population health needs involves the critical use of routine or available health information.

    • Approaches to community health needs assessment

      In this activity we will discuss further and apply each of the following approaches to a community health needs assessment: epidemiological, comparative and corporate.

    • Local community health needs assessment

      In this section we will consider a systematic approach that can be followed when conducting a community health needs assessment.

    • Summary

      A summary of approaches and techniques involved in health needs assessment.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Evaluate the function and purpose of a community's health needs assessment
  • Assess critically concepts of health needs and their application
  • Discuss critically the epidemiological, comparative and corporate approaches to health needs assessment and their contribution to promoting public health
  • Assess how nurses can contribute to a community health needs assessment

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for experienced nurses wanting or needing to extend their understanding of how nurses can act as promoters of health.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured 5 QS Stars for Teaching and Online Learning in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and has received No. 1 in the world for Massive Open Online Courses in MoocLab’s World University Ranking 2021.

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About this ExpertTrack

Explore how nurses can assess community health needs, and analyse public health theories to lead public health promotion.

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