Public Health Practicum: Mini-documentary

  • Journal Article
  • Textbook

Teaching Strategy Description:

Students are matched with diverse agency partners to work on a variety of health promotion projects in their public health nursing practicum course. The projects span bringing preventative health teaching to non-health and marginalized settings (e.g. community centres, low income neighborhoods), community organizing to address social determinants of health (e.g. with groups like the Metro Vancouver Alliance); and policy advocacy work (e.g. B.C. Living Wage Campaign; First Call Child and Youth Advocacy coalition; B.C. Health Coalition).

Mini-Documentary: The mini-documentary is a final assignment within this practicum where students prepared an overview of what they did for their population health promotion project and what they learned about public health nursing. Instructors then interviewed them on their projects, filmed these interviews and edited the series of interviews into a mini-documentary, which included an introduction to some of the key concepts and theories and principles of primary health care (which were narrated in the background with the use of visuals, e.g. image of ice berg depicting the social determinants of health; image of people huddling to depict the principle of public participation). This then leads into the previous cohort of students presenting their projects and reflecting on what they learned. The mini-documentary can be used to orient subsequent students to the practicum.

Teaching Context:

  • Fourth-year BScN Students
  • Final assignment in a Primary Health Care and Population Health Promotion Practicum
  • Seminars occur alongside the practicum to help students apply theory to practice
  • Nursing faculty and community partners jointly supervise students


Cohen, B. (2006). Barriers to population-focused health promotion: The experience of public health nurses in the province of Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 38(3), 52-67.

Hartrick-Doane, G. & Varcoe, C. (2015). How to Nurse: Relational Inquiry with Individuals and Families in Shifting Contexts. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.


Submitted by: Meridy Black, Caroline Brunt, Dee Duncan, Kathy Fukuyama, Marg Hawkins, Elaine Jones and Shari Laliberte, Vancouver Community College

Indicator(s): 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5