Windshield Survey Guidelines for the Community

b’Subject: Nursing’
b’Topic: sentiniel city assiggnment’

Windshield Survey Guidelines for the Community

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The Windshield Survey is a data collection method used in assessing a community. Complete the Windshield Survey by driving through the neighborhood of the community. This is your observation. You are to observe as you drive around the area.


SAFETY FIRST: Your safety is your most important priority. Students are advised to have a driver who is to attend to driving and not the data collection.


Complete the following questions and table to meet the rubric criteria for this assignment:

  • Name of Community or Target Population:


  • Name of One underserved or vulnerable population:



  • Name three health concerns specific to that group:





  • What initiatives should a community health nurse take to help the population with that health problem?



  • List key informants and qualities that make them a good informant:





  • Address one Healthy People 2020 goal in relation to the health concerns identified:



  • Briefly discuss an epidemiological Global Health issue related to this population:













Fill out this form. The following categories of information will assist you in your gathering of data and getting to know your selected community:


Elements Description Strengths Challenges
Boundaries (be specific):

Name & Nickname of area; size of community; what defines the boundary (roads, water, railroad)?







General condition of the area:

Is the area well-kept? Is there trash, abandoned cars or houses?

What kind of signs are in the area?















Housing and zoning:

Age of houses, materials used in construction of buildings; space between homes/open space, is open space safe/attractive?







    Signs of decay?

Where do people congregate? What hours of the day? Are there many people outside in the neighborhood? Homeless people?









How do people get from one place to another? Is public transportation available, reliable? What kind is available? Personal autos? Bikes? Others?











Social Service Centers:

Evidence of recreation centers, parks. Law enforcement agencies?









Animals: Do you see animals? Are they loose or on leashes/contained? Are there Veterinarians or animal shelters available?










Where do residents shop? Where are sources of fresh produce? How do they get to the stores?










    Food desert?
Race and Ethnicity:

What language is used on the signs?

What race of people live there? Do multi-racial/ethnic groups live there? Describe the ethnic food stores or restaurants.










What indications to you see about the types of religion residents practice?










Health Indicators:

Clinics? Hospitals, mental health agencies? Pharmacies? Dentists? Others?









Politics: What indicators do you see about politics? Posters, signs?






Do you see indicators of what people read? If they watch television? Listen to radio? Social Media?








Business and Industry:

Do you see manufacturing, industry, large employers? Small business owners? Retail? Military installation? Do people have to see employment elsewhere?









Adapted from Mizrahi TM: School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, September 1992; Stanhope MS, Knollmueller RN: Public and community health nurse’s consultant: a health promotion guide. St. Louis, 1997, Mosby.  In Stanhope, M, and Lancaster, J. Foundations of Nursing in the Community, Community-Oriented Practice, 2014, Elsevier..


Stanhope and Lancaster (2018). Foundations for population health in community/public health nursing. Elsevier.

Assignment – Population Focused Interventions in a Rural Community



This population focused activity is intended for undergraduate health professional students. In this activity, students will identify health issues or concerns that impact a specific population group living in a rural setting, with the intent of addressing health promotion and disease prevention.





Student Instructions

  1. Review the following resources:
    • Instructor recommended Government Websites
    • Barriers to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Rural Areas

  1. Enter Sentinel Town™ Community Health Simulation and click the map to locate the assigned citizen or family.
  2. Review the assigned or select a bio-sketch relevant to a specific population group (i.e. elderly, immigrants, single parents, Hispanic men or women).
  3. Review relevant literature to identify health issues that impact persons in rural settings.
  4. Meet with some or all of the key informants to discuss health concerns in this community.
  5. Complete the table for this assignment (Remember to address issues from a population focus in rural settings):
    • Column 1: Identify three (3) key health issues or concerns that impact a specific population group living in a rural community.
    • Column 2: List the determinants of health relevant to each of the issues or concerns you included in column 1.
    • Column 3: What are three (3) common issues or concerns similar people in this population group who live in urban areas might encounter?
    • Column 4: Provide an evidence based health promotion or disease prevention intervention for each identified issue or concern.
    • Column 5: State a rationale that includes statistical data









Population Group-_____________ Determinants of Health Common Issues or


Interventions Rationale








Learning Objectives

  • Identify common issues or concerns that impact a specific population group in a rural community
  • Relate determinants of health to population focused health issues/concerns.
  • Identify evidence based health promotion or disease prevention interventions.


AACN Public Health Essentials

This assignment addresses the following AACN Public Health Essentials:

  • Essential I: Liberal Education for the Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
    • Utilize the social and ecological determinants of health to work effectively with diverse individuals, families, and groups.
  • Essential III: Scholarship for Evidence-based Practice
    • Identify the determinants of health and illness of individuals and families using multiple sources of data.
  • Essential IV: Information Management and Application of Patient Care Technology
    • Access public health and other sources of information using informatics and other information technologies.
  • Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Optimizing Health
    • Practice evidence-based public health nursing to promote the health of individuals, families, and groups.






Grading Rubric – Population Focused Interventions in a Rural Setting






Point Scale


Student Earned Points & Faculty Comments


0-3 4-6 7-10 11-12.5
Identifies three (3) key issues/concerns that impact the identified population group living in a rural community  


Identifies determinants of health relevant to each issue/concern




List includes three common (3) issues/concerns the identified population group faces living in a rural community versus an urban community  


Addresses health promotion and/or disease prevention interventions for each identified issue/concern.  


Rationale-includes statistical data to support rationale.  


Includes a minimum of 4 references in correct APA format          
Conforms to current APA standards for headings, citations and/or reference page          
Faculty Feedback: Assignment Grade




Assignment – Basic Windshield Survey


This activity is intended for undergraduate nursing students. In this activity, students will observe, think critically about and report health issues in diverse community environments.



A Windshield Survey is a collection of subjective personal observations. It is your personal observations on what you see and experience in a specific environment.  Sentinel City® provides you with a safe way to immerse yourself in several different types of neighborhoods, from the safety of your home or office. For this windshield survey, you will tour the city, record your observations, and submit a written response that addresses the specific items listed.





Terms and Definitions

  1. Key Informant: Examples of key informants include, but are not limited to: political leaders, health care providers, service providers, such as mail carriers or shop owners; and long-term residents of the community, members of the fire or police department. People who live or work in the community are a rich source of information regarding the community and can often provide data not found in printed form.
  2. Epidemiology: The study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events.


Student Instructions

  1. Review the following resources:
    1. QSEN: Quality and Safety Education for Nurses
    2. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
    3. The Future of Public Health
    4. Watch theHenry Street Settlement: 120 Years in 4 Minutes Video
    5. Stanhope and Lancaster (2018): Chapter 12.
  2. Enter Sentinel City® Community Health Simulation and get on the virtual bus. Since this is your first tour, select the slowest speed and stay on the bus the entire time.
  3. As you take the tour, write down your observations, specifically, those that align with the following demographics and/or subsystems.
  4. Describe the characteristics of the people you see in Sentinel City®. What are the race/ethnicity distribution, age ranges and gender mix? Are there signs of poverty or wealth? What are they?
  5. Who do you see on the streets? Parent with a child, teens, couples, disabled persons? Is there anyone in the city you would not expect to see?
  6. Are there homeless persons?
  7. Are the dogs on or off leash? Are there other animals?
  8. Are there churches, synagogues, or mosques and what are their denominations or affiliations?
  9. Select a target population of interest and discuss relevant demographic data and health status indicators for this population group.
  10. Identify major health concerns for this target population. Include discussion of major health concerns in relation to a global health issue.
  11. You are encouraged to add other relevant characteristics you observe.
  12. After your tour is complete, compile your observations into an APA-formatted, two to four page paper, with at least two scholarly references, addressing each item listed above.

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate between community health nursing and public health nursing.
  • Relate historical events to principles that underlie community and public health nursing today.
  • Integrate concepts of public health with community health nursing.


AACN Public Health Essentials


This assignment addresses the following AACN Public Health Essentials:


  • Essential II: Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Care and Patient Safety
    • Apply systems theory to PHN practice with individuals, families, and groups.
  • Essential III: Essential III: Scholarship for Evidence-based Practice
    • Use epidemiologic data and the ecological perspective to identify health risks for a population.
  • Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Optimizing Health
    • Practice evidence-based public health nursing to promote the health of individuals, families, and groups.
  • Essential IX: Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
    • Use basic descriptive epidemiological methods when conducting a health assessment for individuals, families, and groups.


Concept Review

Questions to help students review the concepts in the material:

  • What would you describe as the top three health concerns for Sentinel City® Community Health Simulation?
  • Give examples of observations that support your top three health concerns.
  • Identify one epidemiological event/issue that could potentially occur in Sentinel City® Community Health Simulation.



Critical Thinking Questions

  • Identify one vulnerable or underserved population in Sentinel City® Community Health Simulation and describe a health problem specific to that group. What initiatives should a community health nurse take to help the population with that health problem?
  • Identify three key informants in Sentinel City® Community Health Simulation. What qualities make them good key informants?

Practice Exercises—None






















Grading Rubric – Basic Windshield Survey

Rural.Communication 3 Rural.Physical Environment 4 Rural.Population Focused Interventions (1) RuralvsUrban Compare.Contrast. (2) Basic Windshield Assessment (2) (1) Urban.Population Interventions (4)-completed rural population (1)

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