Standard 1: curriculum design and development

The following is the standard for curriculum design and development standard required by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) for approval of Higher Level Institutions (HEIs), associated health care providers and educational programmes leading to registration by NMBI.


Curriculum design and development should reflect current evidence / research based educational theory and health care practice. The curriculum model chosen should be dynamic and flexible to allow for changes in nursing practice and health care delivery, the development of evidence-based professional practice and in response to educational, health, social and economic change.


The curriculum is strategically planned to demonstrate balanced distribution and integration of theory and practice, in order to achieve the learning outcomes, proficiency and competencies for registered nurses as outlined in NMBI standards and requirements.


  1. The programme of study is designed as a Level 8 Honours Bachelor’s level on the National Framework of Qualifications (QQI, 2014).
  2. The curriculum design and development ensures that the programme meets all NMBI statutory requirements and EU Directives for Nurse Registration Education Programmes.
  3. The programme demonstrates consistency with the NMBI Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Nurses and Registered Midwives.
  4. The programme of study makes safety of the person and protection of the public an integral, explicit and continuing component within the curriculum.
  5. The programme of study shows the theme of consultation, collaboration, participation, engagement with the person receiving health care and choice as integral, explicit and continuing components within the curriculum.
  6. The programme of study demonstrates that the delivery of person-focused nursing care respects the dignity, autonomy, and right of the person receiving care to make health and life choices as integral, explicit and continuing elements with the curriculum.
  7. Curriculum design and development is guided by current educational theory, professional nursing knowledge and advances in health care practice that are evidence / research based.
  8. The curriculum development team is led by academic staff who are Registered Nurse Tutors (or hold academic and teaching qualifications and experience deemed equivalent and approved by NMBI) and comprises representative members of key academic and clinical stakeholders in nursing practice.
  9. The curriculum describes the range of knowledge, competencies, skills and professional attributes designed to assist the development of knowledgeable, competent, reflective practitioners capable of accepting personal and professional accountability for delivering evidence-based practice and for life-long learning.
  10. The curriculum design reflects various methods of teaching / learning and provides a balance between lectures, tutorials, workshops, small group teaching, interactive learning (e.g. problem-based) demonstrations, practical work and self-directed learning.
  11. The curriculum articulates opportunities for intentional, shared, interprofessional learning that is designed to enhance collaborative practice with other health professionals.
  12. Module descriptors identify the  ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System credits widely adopted in the EU), aims, learning outcomes, indicative content, student contact hours, student effort / self-directed learning hours and assessment strategy or strategies
  13. The curriculum articulates how the student is enabled to achieve the expected learning outcomes of the programme.
  14. There is evidence of involvement of persons receiving health care in the review and evaluation of the programme and in curriculum development.

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