An overview of the published studies on the effectiveness of a nursing education as it relates to job performance is presented. Selected literature is reviewed and divided into three areas of study: competency, performance, and quality of care. The literature revealed contradictory evidence on the value of baccalaureate nursing education. More important, the review demonstrates a lack of rigorous research in this area. Suggested research directions include the measurement of individual performance rather than the perception of group performance, the development of better instruments, and control of the setting and individual variables that affect job performance. It is recommended that nursing effectiveness be defined in terms of both patient outcomes and nurse performance.