continuing education/continuing professional development, continuing education unit, health care professional, mandatory continuing education



  1. Vaughn, H. Todd PT, MS, MTC
  2. Rogers, Janet L. PhD
  3. Freeman, Julie K. MPT


Although most states in the United States require health care professionals to complete continuing education units (CEUs) for licensure renewal, little evidence to date has established a relationship between completing CEUs and clinical competency. Considering the high cost of health care delivery and services, it would be prudent for both managers and consumers of health care to review the costs and benefits of requiring CEUs for professional licensing renewal. This study features an extensive review of the literature to analyze the supportive as well as the opposing views of mandatory CEUs for professional license renewal. Most of the studies reviewed reported almost no relationship between participation in traditional continuing education courses and improved patient outcomes. Several recommendations evolved out of this study for improving patient outcomes following the attendance of continuing education courses.