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NURS421 - Community Health I

Course Details

Course Code: NURS421 Course ID: 4841 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course is only open to students who are enrolled in the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program. The course will begin with the history and theory of community health nursing and the influences of political and financial decisions. The course will provide an opportunity to investigate social, environmental, and economic issues and available community resources. Clinical experiences will allow for community assessment and planning for health education for vulnerable populations. This course includes a clinical project, which will be completed in NURS422. Students must arrange for a BSN-prepared project mentor prior to the start of this course. Formal mentor agreements will be signed during the first week of the course. (Prerequisite: NURS300)


Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss the three Core Functions of Community Health Nursing: Assessment, Assurance, and Policy Development as well as the ten essential services. (PO 1, PO 7)
  2. Evaluate the roles and responsibilities of nurses and other members of the healthcare team to improve health outcomes of communities. (PO, 1, PO 2)
  3. Identify vulnerable populations with health disparities within your community. (PO 8)
  4. Investigate predictive factors that contribute to the overall health status of a community and its members. (PO 8)
  5. Determine infectious disease threats in your community and mechanisms that are in place to address the threats. (PO 5)
  6. Explore the health risks and concerns of vulnerable populations in communities. (PO 2, PO 5)
  7. Analyze the local, state, national, and global public health initiatives currently in place to improve the health of communities.(PO 7)
  8. Develop a proposal for a teaching plan addressing vulnerable populations in your community. (PO 3, PO 9)
  9. Discuss nationwide healthcare priorities identified in Healthy People 2020. (PO 3)

*Also please see weekly course objectives.

Baccalaureate Essentials covered in this course include I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX.

Forum Assignments:

Please join the forums each week. Replies must be posted in the week due and replies after the end of the each week will not be graded. The Forums are for student interaction and input should be submitted before the weekends in order to fully participate in the discussions. Students should demonstrate their own knowledge in the forums and avoid copying and pasting from websites.


  • Post the initial response to each forum by 11:55 pm, ET, Wednesday.
  • Initial responses should be no less than 300 words.
  • Initial responses are to be original in content and demonstrate a thorough analysis of the topic.
  • Reply to at least 2 of your classmates in each forum by 11:55 pm, ET, Sunday.
  • Replies to classmates should be no less than 200 words.
  • Responses to classmates are significant to advance the forum.
  • All forums can be accessed in the Forums section of the course.
  • You must cite a scholarly source to support your response. This must be referenced at the end of your post, just as you would in a paper.

An initial post must precede the response posts to peers. An initial post received after Wednesday 11:55 pm will receive a 10% deduction for each day, for 3 days, prior to forum being graded. This means the highest grade possible for a late submission of 3 days, is 70%. However, response posts are due by Sunday 11:55 pm. If response posts are not submitted by this time, the discussion is over. Therefore, no points can be awarded for collaboration, and the highest grade possible for late submission past 3 days is 60%.

Remember that all times in this classroom are Eastern Time (Daylight or Standard, as applicable)

Reflection Forum

The Reflection Forum will serve as the reflective journaling component of this course. In the Reflection forum, you may be asked to share your thoughts about an article or presentation. Reflection forums are also used as a place for you to share your work with your classmates. As with the other Weekly Forums, you should try to post your initial response to the question by Wednesday, and make comments on your classmate’s posts. Note: If the reflection forum requires you to share an assignment that is due on Sunday of that same week, the initial reflection post can be posted anytime that week (up to Sunday night at midnight) without penalty.

In the Reflection Forum, you will be graded for your attendance and participation, not on the content of your discussion. There is no grade associated with responses in the Reflection Forum, although they are encouraged and appreciated. This is different than in the classroom Forum, which does have a rubric for content quality. Because the chat room is intended for reflection and thoughtful sharing, please feel free to share openly without concern about getting a grade for what you write.


Instructions for these assignments, as well as information about grading, can be found in the Assignments section of the classroom.

Week 3 – Defining a Community (Written Paper)

Week 4 – Population Assessment (Written Paper)

Week 5 – Windshield Survey (PowerPoint Presentation)

Week 6 – Identifying a Vulnerable Population (Written Paper)

Week 8 – Vulnerable Population Teaching Project Proposal (Written Paper)

Vulnerable Population Teaching Project

This Clinical Teaching Project will begin in NUR421 (Part A - 20hrs) and will be completed in NUR422 (Part B -20 hrs). The project will total 40 hours.

The components of the clinical project for NURS421 are as follows:

Based on the assessment data collected through the Population Assessment and the Windshield Survey, a vulnerable population will be identified. A brief paper, due Week 6, will discuss the selection of the vulnerable population. A proposal highlighting a teaching project that will meet one or more of the identified educational needs of this vulnerable population is due at the end of Week 8. This teaching project will be fully implemented in NURS 422.

You will be using a local mentor for your community health project. This baccalaureate-prepared nurse can help you in setting objectives that reflect your local community and can assist you in the assignments related to the clinical project. It will be your responsibility to arrange for this relationship and complete the required forms (located in the Lessons section of the classroom).

You will need to keep a log of the hours and activity related to your clinical project. All of the required mentor forms can be found in the designated area under Assignments.

Required Readings (See the Lessons)

Additional Resources

Web Sites

In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Web Site URL/Address

US Public Health Nursing

What is Public Health

Health Policy

Healthy People 2020

Public Health Foundation

CDC PowerPoint: Essentials of Public Health

American Public Health Association (APHA)

APHA Video: Generation Public Health

CDC: Public Health Policy

Health Map

CDC: Vaccines

National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System

Million Dollar Murray

Video: Faces of Poverty

U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines

Living Wage Calculator

Food Desert

Reading Assignments:

This course requires a time management plan and the self-discipline to follow it. You are responsible for managing your time, completing assignments on time, completing the readings, and making inquiries as needed to complete the course effectively. This is an eight-week course, which means the material must be learned in a short period of time. This requires dedication and diligence on the part of each student. You should plan to spend about 9 hours per week on the readings and assignments for this three credit course.

Reading assignments will be graded through evaluation of Forum responses and class assignments.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*
Book Title:Community/Public Health Nursing: Promoting the Health of Populations, 6th ed - e-book available in the APUS Online Library; link also provided in the classroom Lessons section
Unit Cost:$107.66

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.