This research aims to characterize Continuing Education (CE) practices offered to the staff involved in nursing activities at Sterilized Material Centers of hospitals located in the micro-region of São Jose dos Campos, Brazil. A descriptive research with quantitative analysis was carried out through structured interviews, with nurses, nursing technicians and auxiliaries, sterilization assistants and nursing students. It was found that 31.2% of the interviewees (one nurse and nineteen employees) took part in CE; 65.4% of the employees were not motivated to participate. The CE is theoretic-practical and optional, with direct supervision; employees are evaluated through performance observation and analysis, without any other formal instruments. We also observed the need for an actual CE service of CE with structured programs.
continuing nursing education; nursing staff