The National Screening Survey (Bapen, 2008) revealed that malnutr common in all care settings, all diagnostic categories and all age groups, and originates largely in the community. The report recommends that community-based strategies should be established to detect, prevent and treat malnutrition. Community nurses are well-positioned to impact this problem and the first step is identifying those individuals who are at risk. Part 1 of this two-part article will provide an overview of nutritional screening and look at how malnourished patients can be identified in the community, with a focus on the practicalities of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (BAPEN, 2003). Part 2 will offer practical guidance on how to manage patients identified as being at high risk of malnutrition.