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Nursing Curriculum Developer Job Description and Salary

Written by: University of Tulsa   •  Mar 1, 2024
Nursing Curriculum Developer Using a Tablet and a Computer.

Nursing Curriculum Developer Job Description and Salary

Nursing education programs maintain cutting-edge curricula through professional curriculum design, development, and improvement. A nursing curriculum developer works closely with a nursing program to review curricula and provide professional feedback. In addition to an exploration of the nursing curriculum developer job description, those interested in this career should also review the salary expectations and educational steps to qualify for this essential role.

What’s the Nursing Curriculum Developer Job Description?

College curricula need to expand and improve to reflect changes and innovations in the discipline being taught. This is particularly true of nursing, where ongoing advancements in the health care field need to be explored and understood by newly trained nurse professionals. The role of a nursing curriculum developer is to monitor these industry changes and make the recommended improvements to curricula. Some curriculum developers are also tasked with designing curricula and sourcing materials for new nursing programs.

Developers often work closely with nursing instructors to create quality nursing education programs. There are, of course, key distinctions between the roles. While an instructor delivers the lessons, a curriculum developer can assist in identifying learning objectives, teaching methodologies, and new technology options.

Key Responsibilities

As part of their overall goal of assessing and improving curricula, developers may assume some of the following daily tasks.

  • Monitoring current teaching practice
  • Providing feedback to faculty to promote ongoing improvements in teaching skills
  • Researching curricula improvement options
  • Assessing existing curriculum and nursing programs
  • Recommending new methods, lessons, and modes of instruction
  • Defining competencies and outcomes of nursing programs
  • Collaborating with instructors to design curricula for nursing programs
  • Training faculty members on the latest teaching technologies related to nursing instruction

The specific responsibilities of a nursing curriculum developer depend in part on the size of the program and the nature of the role. Some universities employ a team of developers to create and improve upon established curricula. Others work with a single curriculum developer, sometimes as part of a short-term contract, to assess standards and recommend improvements.

Workplace Environment

Because working closely with the curriculum is an essential goal in the nursing curriculum developer job description, these professionals frequently work in educational institutions. Curriculum developers are typically required to observe classrooms and work in office settings. Developers may also need to observe nursing instructors and students in clinical health care settings.

Salary Expectations for Nursing Curriculum Developers

According to the compensation website Payscale, the median annual wage for curriculum developers is approximately $71,400 as of December 2023. Prospective curriculum developers should review job descriptions for more information, as salary expectations can vary based on location, years of experience, and scope of duties.

For example, Payscale found the lowest 10% of curriculum developer earners made about $49,000 annually, while the top 10% earned more than $100,000.

Steps to Become a Nursing Curriculum Developer

Developing curricula for nursing programs requires professional experience in the nursing field, adult education, and learning technologies. Because of this, prospective curriculum developers should take the following steps to prepare for their careers.


Most nursing curriculum developer job descriptions require professionals to have at least a master’s degree in nursing or a relevant field. In addition to a graduate degree, nursing curriculum developers also need to have an active nursing license, either as a registered nurse (RN) or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Prospective developers first need to follow the steps to become an APRN or RN to gain on-the-job clinical experience to become a nursing curriculum developer. 

Work Experience

Curriculum developers need to have an in-depth understanding of the nursing field before identifying learning objectives and teaching best practices. Because of this, most positions require years of nursing clinical experience. The exact number of years can vary, but five or more years can qualify professionals for many positions.

Relevant Skills and Traits

A successful career as a nursing curriculum developer relies on many technical and interpersonal skills. Here are a few key skills professionals should have to fulfill the responsibilities of their position.

  • Nursing knowledge. Developers may focus on overarching learning objectives, but they need to understand the daily duties of nursing staff to create these instructional goals.
  • Interpersonal communication. These professionals need to communicate and collaborate with nursing students, instructors, and other curriculum professionals on a daily basis.
  • Technical writing. Drafting curriculum changes and new learning objectives requires technical writing expertise.
  • Detail-oriented planning. Analyzing existing educational methodologies and recommending action-oriented changes takes a commitment to detail and careful planning.
  • Teaching knowledge. While not always required, having experience and/or understanding the role of a nursing instructor can make the job of a curriculum developer easier.
  • Commitment to education and research. Curriculum development sits at the intersection of cutting-edge research, education, and the delivery of passionate leadership for the next generation of nurses.

Learn More About Curriculum Development in Nursing

Explore the nursing curriculum developer job description and requirements today to see if this career fits your goals. If you’re ready to prepare for a rewarding career as a curriculum developer in nursing, consider enrolling in The University of Tulsa’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. 

Our online program not only prepares students for leadership opportunities, but equips them with the tools for curriculum development, assessment, and evaluation. 

Reach out today to learn more about the application process, and the Education and Elevation specialty track for students interested in a career in curriculum development.

Recommended Readings:

A Nurse Educator’s Role in the Future of Nursing

The Most Important Leadership Skills for Nurses

MSN vs. DNP: Differences Between the Degrees


American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Curriculum Guidelines

American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Curriculum Improvement

Payscale, Average Curriculum Developer Salary\

SAGE Open Nursing, “A Key to Transforming a Nursing Curriculum: Integrating a Continuous Improvement Simulation Expansion Strategy”

SAGE Open Nursing, “Nursing Education Practice Update 2022: Competency-Based Education in Nursing”, Nursing Curriculum Development

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary

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