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Nursing Community Assessment

This guide will help you gather information about communities in order to analyze health issues and health needs from a population perspective.

Purpose, Target Group and Location

  • Purpose: A community assessment may have a particular focus or purpose (for example, to assess the extent and availability of community resources relevant to a specific health issue.)
  • Target group: A target group may be defined in various ways (see below). In all cases, a community assessment's purpose and target group must be determined in consultation with your instructor.
  • Community: Communities (and community assessments) are usually defined by location (e.g., people living in a city or town or neighbourhood).
    This guide contains a lot of information that is keyed to localities, such as community and neighbourhood areas within Winnipeg and cities, towns, health regions, and health districts in other parts of Manitoba.

Target Group

Target groups are groups within a community that share characteristics that we are interested in.

Target groups can be selected by a wide range of criteria or combinations of criteria - for example, location within the community, age, shared health problems, educational level, ethnic identity or income.

The various sections of this research guide provide links to information sources on these and other topics that can help define a target group.


  • Selecting a target group for whom little information is available can cause us to spend too much of our project time trying to dig up enough information to analyse.
  • Selecting a target group for whom a lot of information is available can cause us to spend too much of our project time sorting through the material we have found.
  • Consult with your instructor to determine the target group intend to investigate, and the characteristics of the target group that we should focus on.
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