Concept-Based Curriculum (CBC)

Whether your program is required to transition to a concept-based curriculum or you’re simply interested in the benefits of teaching conceptually, Elsevier offers a wealth of expert guidance, tools, and resources to help you successfully make the transition to a CBC.

Choose a Concept-based Curriculum to help your students.

A concept-based curriculum is ideal for overcoming content saturation in nursing education by categorizing and organizing information into broader principles, or concepts. For students, this means gaining the skills to recognize the larger patterns and relationships that come with patient care and illness.

“It’s a better educational method for the students to understand concepts.”

Giddens “Simplifies” Concept-Based Curriculum at Central Wyoming College

Read the success story.

Conceptual learning encourages students to focus on big ideas (or concepts) and apply information or knowledge to specific situations for context. Learning complex subject matter, such as nursing and health care, requires the ability to transfer what has been previously learned into problem solving activities in the context of clinical situations.

Jean Giddens, PhD, RN, FAAN

Mastering Concept-Based Teaching, 2nd Edition

Whether you teach in an LPN, ADN, BSN, or MSN program, this insightful book offers all the strategies and guidance you need to plan, develop, and deliver an effective concept-based curriculum. Learn more.

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Concepts for Nursing Practice, 3rd Edition

Written by conceptual learning expert Jean Giddens, this proven text is the only one of its kind exclusively focused on explaining broad concepts as a basis for helping students make conceptual connections and using that knowledge to locate, analyze, and apply nursing specifics.

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Exemplar-linked titles for RN programs:

Concept-Based Clinical Nursing Skills,



ISBN: 9780323625579

Nutritional Foundations and Clinical Applications, 7th Edition

Grodner, Escott-Stump and Dorner


ISBN: 9780323544900

Understanding Pathophysiology, 7th Edition



ISBN: 9780323639088

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Exemplar-linked titles for PN programs:

Clayton's Basic Pharmacology for Nurses, 18th Edition



ISBN: 9780323550611

Foundations of Nursing, 8th Edition

Cooper & Gosnell


ISBN: 9780323484367

Adult Health Nursing, 8th Edition

Cooper & Gosnell


ISBN: 9780323484381

Foundations and Adult Health Nursing, 8th Edition

Cooper & Gosnell


ISBN: 9780323484374

Looking for something different?

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Nursing Concepts Online

Elsevier’s Nursing Concepts Online (NCO) is a fully integrated online nursing course solution that incorporates active learning with supporting materials such as quizzes, case studies, and simulations to implement a concept-based curriculum.

NCO includes:

  • Adaptive Quizzing

    A comprehensive bank of adaptive questions allows you to assign pre-built quizzes to test mastery by Giddens concept, as well as enable students to create custom quizzes as a self-study tool!

  • Exemplars

    The complete list of exemplars as seen and discussed in Giddens’ Concepts for Nursing Practice are incorporated throughout! Plus, priority exemplars link directly to Elsevier’s Core Collection library on VST for titles purchased and used in your curriculum.

  • Interrelated Concepts

    Interrelated concept images from Giddens’ Concepts for Nursing Practice are included for every concept.

  • Case Studies

    Model case studies from Giddens’ Concepts for Nursing Practice offer additional interactive reflection questions and answer guidelines.

  • Patient Reviews

    HESI patient reviews are incorporated into concept folders for selected concepts.

  • Test-Bank

    The RN test banks from the Giddens’ Concepts for Nursing Practice Evolve Resources are incorporated into the course, with results that feed into the grade book.

  • Self-Assessment Questions

    More than 500 interactive review questions enable students to further assess their understanding of concepts.

  • SimChart®

    The SimChart for Nursing educational EHR product offers pre-published case studies and detailed simulations (including skills drills) to assist you in effectively implementing simulations.

  • Clinical Nursing Skills Online

    Clinical skills videos organized by concept include safety checklists, equipment photos, printable equipment lists, delegation information, preparation information, follow-up instructions, documentation instructions, and review questions that feed to the grade book.

  • Instructor Resources

    Enhanced instructor resources help ease the transition for new concept-based curriculums and allow you to get the most out of NCO.

CBC Training

On-demand and live training

Learn how to leverage NCO to further your concept-based curriculum’s success!

See NCO Training