An own goal from Hanno Balitsch put the struggling hosts in front midway through the first period, but quickfire goals from Robert Mak and Marvin Plattenhardt turned the match on its head.
The positive for Dusseldorf was the two sides below them both lost, meaning they stayed out of the bottom three.
They will now travel to Hannover for their last game of the season above Augsburg, in the relegation play-off place, on goal difference and two points clear of Hoffenheim.
Dusseldorf had the first sight of goal but Andreas Lambertz's shot from distance was straight down the throat of Raphael Schafer.
But they went ahead in bizarre fashion in the 23rd minute as Lambertz worked himself down the right of the area and fired in a low cross which Balitsch, under no pressure, turned into his own net at the far post.
Mak failed to connect properly with a volley from Alexander Esswein's left-wing cross as the visitors sought a response, while Mike Frantz shot just wide from 25 yards.
Dusseldorf had another let-off early in the second half when Markus Mendler, played in by Mak, shot wide when one-on-one with Fabian Giefer.
But it was not a costly miss as Nuremberg levelled in the 58th minute.
Timm Klose's ball in came through to Mak on the right of the area and the Slovakian shot clinically into the far corner.
The hosts were looking nervous now and Frantz should have put them behind only to shoot wide when free in the area.
They did take the lead in the 64th minute, Plattenhardt lashing a direct left-footed free-kick from right of centre into the top right corner.
Tomas Pekhart almost made it three seven minutes later but his header from a Plattenhardt corner was tipped over by Giefer.
The goalkeeper then denied Mak when he was through on goal.
Dusseldorf had two late chances to snatch a point, but Mathis Bolly volleyed over and Adam Bodzek's shot was parried by Schafer to leave Dusseldorf with work to do on the final day.