Nurses and midwives need to develop specific knowledge and skills in genetics to enable them to offer appropriate healthcare in a range of non-specialist settings. Studies on the topic indicate that while nurses acknowledged the importance of genetics knowledge to their work, both their knowledge and confidence in using such information are poor. Despite the existence of competence frameworks, it appears that educators have struggled with the need to integrate genetics into nursing and midwifery curricula. An expert workshop on genetics education was held to determine the essential components of genetics knowledge and skills that should be incorporated into the pre-registration nursing curriculum in European countries. In this paper we present the essential topics for nurse and midwife pre-registration education and suggest ways in which genetics might be incorporated into the nursing and midwifery curriculum.