Reviewed literature identifies the importance of continuing professional education and professional development for nurses subsequent to initial registration (including enrolled nurses) However, there is a lack of empirically based work analysing nurses’ perceptions of their continuing professional education needs and the perceived outcomes of continuing professional education in terms of changes in knowledge accretion, attitudes, skills, job satisfaction, staff retention and career development It is suggested that this lack of empirical work needs to be addressed if the proposed plans of the United Kingdom Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC) to introduce mandatory continuing professional education are to have maximum benefits for clients, nurses and the service