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Curriculum Models in the Field of Nursing

Curriculum models help teachers or designers in education to systematically identify the rationale for the use of certain teaching, learning and assessment techniques in education (O’Neill, 2010). The two major curriculum models are the product model and the process model. The product model, also known as the behavioral objectives model, is concerned with the product of curriculum. The model involves identifying the aims and objectives of curriculum, the learning experiences to meet these aims and objectives and the mode of evaluation of the aims and objectives. The process model, on the other hand, places more emphasis on learning experiences or the process of education as opposed to the outcome of the learning process. The model focuses on the activities in the learning and is more open-ended (Quinn, 2000).

A comparison between the two models shows that the product model is more relevant to the field of nursing. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has set standards for nurses which have to be adhered to by nurses and institutions that offer nursing courses. This means that these are objectives that have been set for nurses which can only be tested and inculcated in nursing students through an appropriate model. Such requirements make the product model more suitable. In simple terms, the product model requires that change must be seen in observable behavior to demonstrate that the student has acquired the right skills (Sheehan, 2017). Unlike the process model, the product model requires the teachers to set the aims and objectives of the course from the beginning which are used to test the achievements of the students. This is important in the field of nursing because there are certain skills and knowledge required before one can be allowed to practice as a nurse. The product model, therefore, ensures that the objectives of the course can be tested and seen in the student before being allowed to practice (Gosling, 2009).


Quinn, F. (2000). The principles and practice of nurse education. Nelson Thornes Publishers.

O’Neill, G. (2010). Overview of curriculum models. University College Dublin.

Sheehan, J. (2017). Curriculum models: Product versus process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 11, 671-678.

Gosling, D. (2009). Learning outcomes debate. Retrieved August 2, 2017, from: