The Bavarian club's 11th draw of the season left them in a share of bottom spot in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Braunschweig with only goal difference keeping Gertjan Verbeek's off the foot of the table.
Nurnberg created nearly all of the chances, had a goal disallowed and hit the woodwork for the 16th time this season, but failed to do the most important thing - score a goal.
Hiroshi Kiyotake led Nurnberg's early assault on goal, although Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann kept them at bay.
Josip Drmic thought he had broken the deadlock when he tucked the ball past the Schalke goalkeeper, but the linesman's flag brought a swift end to his celebrations.
Kiyotake only found the side-netting with his next shot before Jermaine Jones sent Schalke's first shot across the face of goal.
At the end of the first half, Roman Neustadter went even closer for the visitors, his shot just clearing the angle of post and crossbar by inches.
Nurnberg continued to attack in the second half, but the closest they came to scoring was when Per Nilsson turned Kiyotake's free-kick onto the underside of the crossbar.
It was already the 16th time this season that Nurnberg have been denied by the woodwork.
It was clearly not going to be Nurnberg's night, but Schalke never looked like punishing them.
Jefferson Farfan had two half chances to steal the points, but that would have been too cruel on a Nurnberg side who end 2013 in 17th and without a single win this season to celebrate.