Effective assessment of nurses in higher education is dependent on the interpretation and demonstration of learning outcomes by students and educators/academics. Rubrics can effectively communicate unit learning outcomes to students and may contribute towards the academic rigour of nursing courses, when assessment criteria are articulated clearly and consistently to both students and educators/academics. This paper aims to describe the different types and uses of rubrics, as well as outline the steps required to develop exceptional rubrics whilst using the literature as a basis for suggestions. Well written rubrics can facilitate consistency of marking across a student cohort, which may result in decreased student anxiety regarding assessment expectations, uniformity of assessment style and layout and may ensure that educators/academics across a teaching team are interpreting assessment criteria, consistently. Exceptional rubrics can empower students to success in academic assessments.