this article reviews the concept of gender in nursing education at federal university of bahia based on brazilian curriculum requirements for graduate nursing programs. the possibility of inserting this concept as a progressive content into an integrated curriculum is presented, originating from experience obtained with a subject matter-based curriculum. the discussion of this proposal aims at contributing to other educational institutions which are currently experiencing a process of curriculum change. this article highlights some theoretical and methodological possibilities that might lead to an easier grasp of reality based on such concept. it even portrays the way this concept can be of use in understanding how institutions and health practices are put together and the ways in which they could be modified.