Continuing nursing education must be mandatory for all nurses as a lifelong efficacy of self-regulation has few identifiable cons and is pragmatically based on the pros. The following substantiates this positon as connected to the American Nursing Association (ANA) Scope and Standards of Practice as well as Code of Ethics.

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Relationship ANA Scope and Standards of Practice
The ANA (2010) outlines their specific view of continuing education as a mandatory process for all nurses. Expected levels of performance by all nursing professionals “… requires a process of lifelong learning (p. 14).” Reassessing competencies among all registered nurses as well as identity areas need additional knowledge, personal growth, skills and integrative learning experiences underpins the ANA standards of practice.
One concern as pointed out in the ANA (2010) standards of performance when using ongoing education connected with Online and virtual programs looks at evidence versus tradition. “…design should be based on evidence more than tradition so that the nurse graduate is prepared to provide safe and competent care (p. 28).”

Relationship to ANA Code of Ethics
The ANA Code of Ethics (2010) holds that all registered nurses both develop
and maintain a “current knowledge and skills through formal and continuing education and seek certification when it is available in their areas of practice (p. 24).” This was first established in the ANA (2001) Code of Ethics binding all nursing professionals to conduct self-efficacy in regulating themselves individually using collegial process as well as peer review of their professional practices. Engaging peer evaluation fosters refining nursing knowledge, clinical decision-making at every level, as well as skills. The heart of the nursing social contract is the efficacy of self-regulation of their own professional quality of service and performance.

The ethical and pragmatic aspects of practicing efficacy of self-regulation connected with mandatory ongoing education for nursing professionals looks at the fact of the regular advances made in the field of medicine that may change from day to day. It is indeed a lifelong path as a professional nurse that occurs from admission day at school until retirement. This is an inter-professional as well as team-based educational process and of course, practice (American Association of Medical Colleges & American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2010; Jacksonville University, 2016).

The above successfully supported the point of view stating continuing nursing education must be mandatory for all nurses as a lifelong efficacy of self-regulation. The ANA addressed this position specifically as well as the other valid references as stated above. The only advisable con between the focus on the ANA standards of practice and Code of Ethics is making sure the design of the instruction specific to online courses and using virtual programs does adhere to evidence rather than tradition as the field of medicine makes advances across the board on a daily basis.

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2010). Lifelong Learning in Medicine and Nursing. Retrieved from
  • American Association of Medical Colleges. (2010). Lifelong Learning in Medicine and Nursing. Retrieved from
  • American Nursing Association. (2010). Scope and Standards 2010 Edition. Retrieved from
  • Jacksonville University, 2016). Critical for Nurses to Continue Education. Retrieved from