Continuing education in nursing: a review of the literature¶The literature concerning continuing professional education (CPE) in nursing will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the experience of CPE in the United Kingdom (UK). The reviewed literature will cover aspects of the implementation of CPE, including motivational factors, needs analysis and outcome evaluations, and in addition CPE in the UK will be set in its socio-political context. The literature shows a fragmented, inequitable and poorly funded provision of CPE to date in the UK. The literature has not shown the cyclical nature of CPE, suggesting that a more holistic approach to educational research is needed. There continues to be a lack of research showing the impact of CPE on patient care. If this is not remedied it may be difficult to justify future expenditure of public funds on CPE for nurses.