Curriculum Design

Faculty Toolkit for Innovation in Curriculum Design

In 2008, the NLN Task Group on Innovations in Curriculum Design was formed with the mission of promoting excellence and innovation in curriculum design.

The task group included the following experts in nursing education: Linda Benedict, MA, RN; M. Sharon Boni, PhD, RN; Pat Bradley, PhD, RN, CNE; Linda Carpenter, PhD, RN, CNE; Jean Giddens, PhD, RN; Janet Grady, DrPH, RN, ANEF; Marian Kovatchitch, MS, RN; Lynne P. Lewallen, PhD, RN, CNE; Barbara McLaughlin, DNSc, RN, CNE; Janet Phillips, PhD, RN; Jerelyn Resnick, PhD, RN; Judith P. Ruland, PhD, RN, CNE; and Nancy Stuever, EdD, RN.

Linda Benedict chaired the task group. The group was divided into two work groups: one work group developed a repository of current curriculum innovations and the other work group developed the Faculty Toolkit for Innovation in Curriculum Design. The authors of this toolkit are: Linda Carpenter, Marian Kovatchitch, Lynne Lewallen, and Jean Giddens. 

This toolkit comprises three sections: a curriculum report card (DOC), a resources section (DOC), and a section containing exemplars in teaching strategies and curriculum (DOC). The first two sections were developed using the curriculum and innovation indicators in the NLN Hallmarks of Excellence in Nursing Education. The exemplars were chosen based on a task group study of schools self-identified as having innovative curricula.

The report card is designed to be used by nursing programs to assess their curricula. If you are assessing more than one nursing program, assess each one separately. Answer the questions in each section with your curriculum in mind. Each item can be ranked from “0” (no implementation in your curriculum) to “4” (full implementation in your curriculum). Although there are no specific numerical cut-points, the areas where your curriculum scores highest are the areas where it most aligns with the curriculum and innovation hallmarks in the NLN Hallmarks of Excellence. Areas where your curriculum scores lowest are areas for your faculty to work on.

Each section of the report card is linked to a specific part of the resources section. Note the number of the section of the report card where your curriculum scores lowest, and go to the corresponding area of the resources section for articles, books, and websites that address this hallmark. The exemplars at the end of the resources section represent general innovative ideas and do not correspond directly to a report card section.