Forced wearing of nursing cap. - page 8

by onetiredstudent

I'm a senior registered nursing student and our school has a pinning ceremony to mark the completion of our program. Our class contains about 20% men, equal split of black and white in both genders. I am approaching 50 and... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from amygarside
    You could look at it two ways, you can think that it is gender discriminatory or you can look at it in the way that this is a universal symbol of the nursing profession. In this way you can be proud of wearing it without thinking that is shows bias to your gender. I do hope that you would realize it is not only about the gender but the symbol the cap symbolizes for the whole nursing community.
    Obviously not a "universal" symbol or one for the "whole" nursing community, just those who identify as female. (Because DoGood has a point, my MTF friend also gets to suffer gender discrimination.)
  2. 0
    Quote from RN58186
    Okay, I have to chime in..... We women all wore caps for grad, the guys in my class (6 of them) did not. All the ladies paid an extra $5 in fees that year for the cap. The guys decided THEY were being discriminated against becasue we all got caps and they didn't. At least one of them went to the registrar and said he wanted a cap too. He was told that he could have one but he couldn't pick it up until after the grad ceremony because they were sure he would wear it (they were right....). Every one of the guys in my class had at least one grad photo taken with the cap on and holding the bouquet of roses same as us. Just makes me chuckle, we didn't think anything of wearing them, but the guys were not pleased that they weren't allowed to!
    Ok, will give you that.

    Just as there was and still are nurses whom are protective of their school's cap in keeping it out of the *wrong* hands, that policy extends to seeing it somehow degraded by being worn under a variety of cirumstances one of which would be by "male nurses" regardless of their being grads of the program in question or not.

    Back in the day there was a uniform shop on East 14th Street in Manhttan (IIRC) where Saint Vinny's students went for their uniforms and school caps. This being the Village every year around Halloween there was an uptick in sales of nurses uniforms including caps. Saint Vincent's had a very distinctive one that was easily spotted by any who either worked or had care at the hospital. Subsequently you would see all manner and sort of persons wearing said cap on their way to and from parties and of course the famous parade up Sixth Avenue. Certain persons were not amused. *LOL*
  3. 1
    When I was in high-school, girls could not wear slacks to school. Females wore only skirts or dresses, no pants or jeans, period. The male students wore pants and jeans, of course. I found that to be extremely sexist, and I think forcing females to wear a cap is also. Women have fought long and hard for more equal rights. Having worn the darn cap for years, I wouldn't want to wear it, either. And no, it doesn't look right to wear it with "scrubs." We only wore ours with total whites~white dresses, stockings, and shoes. I hope your instructors have told you that it is improper to ever wear the cap in an automobile, or anywhere other than inside the hospital or clinic. It is to be put on after you enter the building, and removed before you exit it.
    captainmeowbot likes this.
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    I think it's clearly discrimination. The real question is: Is it worth fighting over? That's up to the individual, I guess.

    I will say that the argument that caps are a "tradition" is a silly argument. The world has changed. So has nursing. Caps were a part of nursing, once upon a time. They aren't anymore. Period. Tradition for tradition's sake is dumb. It serves no purpose.
    somenurse and wooh like this.
  5. 3
    Before we get too carried away with tradition ...a reminder that the caps were worn originally to keep the nurses lice from dropping on the patients!!
    UTHSC_Bound, tayloramaRN2be, and wooh like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from Conqueror+
    This a byproduct of nursing becoming a "recession-proof, everybody come on in, afterthought career" there is little to no respect for tradition or the history of the profession. I indeed still have my cap and it is on a stand with my pinning pic not a drawer or closet. If it matters I am NOT even 40 years old but I worked hard to make it to my pinning and I take offense to it being called archaic, sexist, cartoonish, and silly. If those are the words that this ceremony and attire bring to your mind perhaps you are the one that doesn't belong, not the traditions of the nursing journey.

    Edit: I am indeed no handmaiden or nun but if the thought of being labeled as someone who serves others is so revolting I hope I am NEVER in your care.

    Your post seems to imply, you feel those who feel it's wrong for a person without a penis, being denied her right to participate in her own ceremony unless she wears a pointy hat,
    is some type of riff-raff, "everybody come on in" kind of student? Or maybe i misunderstand what you meant
    in your first sentence there. As i read it, i think you mean, that people who don't want to be forced to wear a hat because they have no penis,
    as being some type that should have been screened out/ not included in the "everybody come in" nursing admissions standards,(?)
    which, btw, do exclude many applicants.

    Many many ppl have written, they seem to feel umbrage that not wearing hats,
    equates to not respecting nursing's history
    . This is nonsensical. I am a bit of a history buff, but, i feel no obligation to wear the costumes of whatever era or country i am studying, to prove i respect them.
    Honoring history, knowing history,
    and
    dressing up like the people you are reading about,
    are two different things.

    One can wear a nursing cap, and not know squat about the heros of our professions path.

    One can NOT wear a cap,
    and be very very knowledgeable and even in awe of the courage and strength of those who went before...even if she does not want to dress up like that person.



    I also don't think, not personally wanting to wear a cap that only one gender has to wear, does not,
    in any way,
    show any lack of respect for the history of the profession.

    Respecting someone,
    and dressing up like them,
    can be two different things.

    Our profession, btw, was originally doled out as PUNISHMENT for female convicts(often hookers). For their sentence, they were forced to care for sick people.
    Caring for sick people, was NOT NOT NOT seen as anything desirable nor honorable. It was even considered kinda scandalous to provide personal care for sick, half-dressed strangers all piled up in beds a room together.

    still, i doubt we want our graduates showing up dressed like hookers, to honor the history of our profession.

    Re: your last remark of your post---------Not wanting to wear hats which symbolize different things to different people, in no way indicates the person can not care,
    or care for you well. This person might provide the most excellent care, but, just doesn't want to look like a frenchmaid from the past after studying so so hard for years to get that degree.


    There are many
    many other
    professions,
    which graduate without dressing up like past heros of their field,
    and no one suspects
    those professionals "don't respect the history" of their field just cuz they don't dress up like them!!!



    I think it ought to be left up to each nurse if he/she wants to wear a cap, or not.

    I really suspect, that someone earlier who posted, may have been onto something when they wondered
    if the questionnaire may have led the students answering, when they wrote that THEY personally want to wear caps,
    but did not intend that their vote would mean everyone else will to be forced to wear caps to join in their own graduation. It is possible, that the students didn't understand their vote for what they would want to wear, would equate to having their classmates forced to abide by their own idea of appropriate clothing for a 2012 professional woman.
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 13, '12
    JJ1994 and wooh like this.
  7. 1
    I guess when I graduated from LPN school in 2009, we didn't think about it.
    The woman wore caps and dresses, men wore white, with a tie.
    We also had the candle lamp, and said the Florence nightingale pledge.

    We never felt discriminated against, but your feelings are your own.

    I start RN school in January, and I know no caps, and we wear white.

    I'm glad I got to experience the whole, cap,lamp, dress, and pledge ceremony.
    Szasz_is_Right likes this.
  8. 3
    Quote from nursel56
    It isn't just the cap that's traditional, it's the "whites", including the dress, stockings and shoes.
    IMO, this is when nurses actually looked professional.
    hlj123, nursel56, and elkpark like this.
  9. 0
    I'm already planning on wearing the white dress and a cap for pinning and very excited. It does seem a bit odd to require it. I don't see why it's imperative that everyone look identical down to the last accessory. However, that isn't a battle I'd waste my energy over. It's a hat. I hate wearing white shoes during clincals but in surviving.
  10. 1
    Quote from timmedico
    It shows where nursing has been and how far the profession has progressed.
    Or devolved.
    elkpark likes this.


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