Previous research has demonstrated that some CPE programs result in improved performance and others fail to do so. This ambiguous conclusion about the effectiveness of CPE is not helpful to practitioners and results from the wrong question being asked. A conceptual framework based on a new research approach to linking CPE and performance was developed and empirically tested on a continuing nursing education program. The framework explained from 39 to 81 percent of the variance in the eight measures of performance outcomes. The use of this new framework provides evidence regarding the conflicting findings of previous research, suggesting that the question guiding earlier studies has been improperly framed. Future research should be redirected from determining the effectiveness of CPE to analyzing the effectiveness of CPE.