Rheumatological care in Germany is influenced by limited resources and education and qualification of health professionals is a way to optimize utilization of these resources.The curriculum for rheumatology health professionals of the Academy of the German Association of Rheumatologists (DGRh) was developed to qualify clinical nursing specialists of rheumatology clinics as well as specialized rheumatology hospitals on a systematic basis.Since 2006 499 participants have each been trained over 4 weekends and certification was achieved by examinations. The topics cover the principles of anatomy and the pathology of diseases up to modern diagnostic methods and treatment, including practical skills. Additional specialized courses for nurses of rheumatology hospitals and refresher courses give the participants the opportunity to increase their depth of knowledge.After 8 of the basic courses questionnaires were sent to all participants for evaluation and 143 (51%) out of 277 participants responded. Of the responders 95% found that their knowledge of understanding rheumatic diseases improved considerably or very considerably, 90% found that their ability to determine urgent cases and 86% to correctly judge emergency situations had improved and 50% agreed with the statement that their field of work and their tasks had changed after the training courses. Increased responsibilities, documentations of patient history, involvement in clinical trials and infusions and information of the patients about their disease or the treatment were listed as new tasks of the participants. In conclusion the evaluation shows that the curriculum for rheumatology health professionals is an effective step towards qualification for clinical nursing specialists. We believe that this will support the work of medical doctors in rheumatology and will improve the quality of care for patients with rheumatic diseases.