Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is education beyond entry level. It is critical for personal and professional development and the success of dietetics practitioners. The need to develop a lifelong learning plan should be directed by a personal desire to stay current and prepare for one's future practice. Dietetics professionals should select CPE experiences that are consistent with the personal and professional demands of their careers. A conceptual framework for developing a lifelong learning plan, environmental issues, perceived needs for CPE, and other factors affecting the development of a continuum for lifelong learning are explored in this article. Strategies and opportunities for practical approaches to developing a lifelong learning plan are suggested.
Associate Professor and Program Director, MS in Clinical Nutrition, School of Health Related Professions, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey
This article is dedicated to Dr. Margaret Simko who was an educator, mentor, and role model to many dietetics professionals. She stimulated students to develop their potential in dietetics and motivated dietetics professionals to continue to pursue lifelong learning endeavors. Her energy, enthusiasm, and drive served as motivational forces to dietitians throughout the Greater New York–New Jersey area. This article was the last article she asked me to author.