Issues concerning competency-based education (CBE) have recently promoted much discussion and debate throughout most developed countries. This paper provides an Australian perspective and adds to the wider debate about CBE by deliberating on the part professional competency standards should play in a university curriculum, specifically the undergraduate nurse education curriculum. A position is developed by addressing the following thesis statement: the competency-based approach to nursing education is an indisputable reality but nursing competencies must not be allowed to control the curriculum. Some background material is briefly reviewed in order to situate CBE, nurse education, and nursing competencies in their Australian economic and sociopolitical context. The position is then explicated through an examination of some intersections between nursing competencies and aspects of undergraduate nurse curriculum making.