Abstract Theoretical and experiential learning in community assessment are essential components of the preparation of first-level community health nurses. This article describes a collaborative community practice project in which faculty incorporated senior baccalaureate community health nursing students as participants. Students assessed availability and utilization patterns of health care services in Spokane. Washington. Data derived from the survey were used by community planners in addressing issues of access to health care by low-income persons. Learning outcomes of this experiential process are described within the context of Burnard's Experiential Learning Model and community health nursing course objectives. Recommendations for design of similar experiential learning opportunities are made.