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Common concepts of conceptual frameworks and curriculum patterns are identified by studying all 18 English-speaking, generic baccalaureate nursing programmes in Canada Four identified curriculum patterns use client systems, health illness, growth and development, and nursing roles as the primary curriculum organizer to sequence programme courses The nursing programmes commonly use nursing process, followed by growth and development, human needs, and family as secondary organizers to structure contents of programme course Identifying a curriculum by its organizers is useful to curriculum practice and research Nursing faculty can use the identified organizers as primary or secondary organizers in designing, changing or evaluating their curriculum It is also possible to use a nursing model with the identified organizers for an effective curriculum structure Research studies on conceptual frameworks could use primary and secondary organizers to compare strength and weakness among different nursing curriculum structures