Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis

Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis

Welcome to the ‘Venice of America’. Fort Lauderdale is located in Broward County in Florida and is 36 square miles.  It was named after Major William Lauderdale who fought the Seminoles and captured their land. There were forts that were erected that were named after the Major but none of them survived (City of Fort Lauderdale, 2013). The city of Fort Lauderdale sees a lot of tourists visiting is boundaries and plays hosts to millennials to Baby Boomers. The city began its transformation into a top spring holiday location and college students the beaches that exists along the eastern border of this friendly city. Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis. The local economy is numbered in the billions and the local government seeks to boost the image of the city as well as the well-being of residents. The purpose of the paper is to examine the community within which one lives and or works. It will present an overview of the community, demographic data, epidemiological data, a windshield survey which will identify community health nursing problem for diagnosis. The problem identified will be assessed and a rationale why this is an issue within the community. A summary of the issue identified will be presented.


Community Overview

The community of Fort Lauderdale is diverse and offers varying activities for individuals of all ages. It is the home of the very rich to the very poor. It has high rises and single family homes as part of its skyline.  It is located on the eastern cost of the United States and its shores are lapped by the Atlantic Ocean. The city is known for its beaches and boating waterways. The most popular strip is found along A1A which runs along the coast with the ocean in sight. As previously stated Fort Lauderdale remains a popular spring break destination. “An advantageous economic climate is helping the City of Fort Lauderdale establish itself as a world-class international business center and one of the most desirable locations for new, expanding or relocating businesses” (City of Fort Lauderdale, n.d.).  The entertainment strip is lined with bars, hotels, and high end hotels. There is also a gateway port that is a hub to shipping both commercial and pleasure in the form of Port Everglades. The community has several hospitals, pharmacies, banks and schools. Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis.

Demographic Data

The city of Fort Lauderdale is a potpourri of culture and peoples from varying parts of the world. The population of Fort Lauderdale which is located in Broward is a blend of varying cultures and races. However, there are some ethnicities that sustain an elevated existence in the city. The population is 176, 013 at last census conducted in 2014. In 2010, the white only population was 62.6% and the Black or African American alone stood at 31.0 %. In comparison the national census stood at 72.4% (Whites) and 12.6% (Blacks) respectively. Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis. The American Indian and Alaska Native only percentage during 2010 stood at 0.3% in comparison to the national levels of 0.9% The Asian community alone represented 1.5 % while the national rate stood at 4.8%. Hispanics or Latinos represents 13.7% of the Fort Lauderdale community compared to the national average of 16.3%.

The blend of two or more races stood at 2.1% in 2010 which is less than the national numbers measured at 2.9%.  The population that is 18 years and younger is 17.6% but the national population is 24.0%. The number of individuals over 65 years of age is 15.3% which us higher than the national demographics at 13.0%. A total number of 47.2% of the population is female. The number of veterans that lived in Fort Lauderdale in 2010 stood at 11,315 between 2010-2014. The number of individuals who were foreign makes up 22.8% of the Fort Lauderdale populace. Some 85% of the population was deemed to have education at the high school level or higher and are over the age of 25 years old which is 1.6 % less than the national rate at 86.6 %. Individuals over 25 years who had a bachelor’s degree stood at 33.9% which was higher than the national rate at 29.3% and this was registered between 2010-2014. Persons in poverty was at 21.2% compared to rates at the national level of 14.8% (United States Census Bureau, 2014). Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis.

Epidemiological Data

In the city of Fort Lauderdale, the population is impacted by varying illnesses and this is reflected in the epidemiology of the community. As a whole, Broward County exhibits good health status and good access to care on many measures when compared to Florida and to the U.S.  (Verite Healthcare Consulting LLC, 2013). Data suggests that here are certain chronic diseases that impact the Fort Lauderdale population including Zika, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, sexually transmitted disease especially HIV and drug abuse. It has been shown that these chronic health conditions have noteworthy impact on morbidity and mortality and associated treatment costs (Verite Healthcare Consulting, LLC, 2013, p.7).  Research shows that 65% of adults in 2010 were reported as being overweight or obese and 82% were more than non-Hispanic Black adults.  The goal as listed by People 2020 is 30.5 %. The mortality rate for diabetes among Blacks stands at 79% between 2010 to 2012. This is twice the rate of Whites in the county. Diseases like HIV and other chronic illnesses add to the increased mortality rate. The HIV incidence rate is high and stood at 79% which is higher than the state’s rate. The mortality rate stands at 60 % which is worse than that of the state (Verite Healthcare Consulting, LLC, 2013, p.8). Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis.

Windshield Survey

Exploring the city Fort Lauderdale community via car will highlights is good and bad aspects. There are neighborhoods that house the elite and those that serve as home to the middle class and the poor. Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis. There are areas within which the poor can access public housing including Kennedy Homes.  There are also signs of dereliction with boarded up homes due to numerous foreclosures which displaced many individuals and their families. There is a high incidence rate of homelessness and the veteran population among that demographic is high. The homeless can seek help from the Salvation Army.

Access to public transportation is apparent and many within the community use this service for their commute to school or work and so on. Many school buses can be seen while school is in session and often times they are seen dropping off children who walk home. Schools range from day cares, community colleges and universities namely FAU. There are several hospitals including Broward General and Kindred Hospital which are located in the downtown vicinity of the city. Residents have access to health clinics and varying types of doctors as well. The elderly population is high and is seen in the high number of assisted living facilities. There are supermarkets and food stores as well as farmers’ markets from which residents can purchase goods for consumption.

Problem Diagnosis

As stated earlier there are there are many issues that impact our community but one of the health concerns is the impact of substance abuse in Fort Lauderdale. “Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities. The effects of substance abuse are cumulative, significantly contributing to costly social, physical, mental, and public health problems” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,2016). The issue of overdose and or misuse of drugs be it prescribed or street derived negatively impacts individuals. Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis. The number of individuals who die from drug overdose is increasing, too often one wakes up to hear that a celebrity or someone known or close passed due to drug use and or overdose. Individuals like Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith. Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis.

The truth is that many are dying and are not just being impacted by street drugs like Flakka but “a majority of which are from prescription drugs – in Florida doubled since 1999” (TFAH, 2014). It is estimated that 6.4 individuals out on every 100,000 is impacted but the abuse of prescribed medications. Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis. Many Americans are impacted and this issue is not restricted by color and or class; anyone can become a victim of this strong and potentially detrimental addiction.  Thompson, Tommasello & Long, (2012) states that, an “… increased availability, lack of education about addictions, new pain management standards, and a drug-taking culture help to explain prescription drug misuse and abuse.” Many are turning to prescription drugs and ‘pill mills’ make this option a possibility for many. The authorities have moved to close many pills mills but with the need for more policing of the manner in which prescriptions are dispensed the issue continues to negatively impact individuals who are substance abusers. Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis.


The city of Fort Lauderdale affords many a great place to live and several opportunities to pursue varying areas of interests. But there are issues that impacts the community and drug/ substance abuse is one that is very visible. The city of Fort Lauderdale was among those that saw a spike in the use of ‘Flakka’ a street drug that left its victims completely unaware of themselves, their environment and what they are doing while under the influence. There are those who are abusing prescription pills and it impairs their ability to contribute substantially to the community and that of their families’ lives. The spike in such substance abuse saw an increase in crime, public disorder, several victims have stripped naked and ran down the middle of the street; one even impaled himself. The need to find solutions is urgent and as community health nurses the onus falls with the scope of practice. Help is on the way.



City of Fort Lauderdale. (n.d.). About Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved from:

Thompson, M.E., Tommasello, A., & Long, B. (2012). The prescription drug misuse and abuse epidemic. Journal of American Pharmacists Association, 52(5), 564-568. doi:10.1331/JAPhA.2012.1253

Trust for America’s Health[TFAH] (2014). Prescription drug abuse: Florida reports

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016. May 27,). Substance abuse. Retrieved from

United States Census Bureau. (2014, January 6). State & county quick facts: Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Retrieved from

Verite Healthcare Consulting LLC. (2013). Community health needs assessment. Retrieved from  Caring for Populations NR 443 sample essay assignment: Assessment and Diagnosis.