Forced wearing of nursing cap.

  1. 0 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 this is not my first career.

    The director of the nursing program gave the class the "option to vote" on the wearing of a nurses cap for the pinning ceremony and our class photo. The majority of the class voted to wear the cap, men excluded from wear.

    I do not wish to wear the cap and have been told by program director that "the class voted to wear it and you have to or you will not be able to participate". I understand the cap is traditional, but I feel it calls specific attention to my gender and not my success in passing nursing school. I've worked very hard to get where I'm at and I wish to celebrate my success with a pinning ceremony.

    I truly feel that being "forced" to wear the cap is discriminatory based on my gender alone. Period. The guys are not made to wear them because they are considered "feminine or female dress", and I don't wish to be "forced" to dress as such either (we are all wearing pant-scrubs by unanimous vote).

    I respect the choice of anyone else that wishes to wear the nursing cap. I don't and won't presume to force my opinion on them.

    Has anyone else had this experience?

    Does anyone know of any precedence against forced wearing of nursing caps to participate in school activities, etc? Any input on how else to proceed in approaching my school administration would be appreciated.

    I welcome the input from both genders, seasoned and new nurses, students and educators, and anyone else on here that wants to chime in.

    I ask only, that you be nice to me and each other. This is very serious for me.
  2. Poll: Is this sexist or gender bias?

    • yes

      48.47% 95
    • no

      51.53% 101
    196 Votes
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  4. Visit  onetiredstudent profile page

    About onetiredstudent

    From 'NC'; Joined Nov '12; Posts: 10; Likes: 7.

    253 Comments so far...

  5. Visit  Aurora77 profile page
    7
    You're so close to the end, I would let it go. The class voted, you happened to be in the minority. I honestly don't understand your rationale for opposing caps, but you could approach your program head if this is so important to you. It never hurts to ask. Be very diplomatic in your approach. Since nursing caps are traditional, your director could take offense easily even if that isn't your intention.
    Tinker88, weemsp, CLoGreenEyes, and 4 others like this.
  6. Visit  AZO49008 profile page
    10
    Oh good grief. This comes up every year. They need to just get rid of the caps, period. News flash: it's almost 2013. Nobody wears them EVER in practice so why some people get so strung out on the whole cap thing I'll never know. I'm a guy though so maybe there's something about it I don't get. That being said, I would chose to not participate.
    barbyann, medicmatt44, Red35, and 7 others like this.
  7. Visit  BluegrassRN profile page
    21
    The class voted, you lost. Your options are to wear the cap or not participate. Simple.

    It's not something to get worked up over. I personally agree with you about the caps, but it's not a sword to die upon, nor is it something to tarnish an otherwise special event. If you want to attend, wear the cap. Keep it for your next naughty nurse / zombie nurse/ nurse Ratchet Halloween costume. I you can't bring yourself to wear the cap, skip the ceremony. Your accomplishments are independent of any ceremony.
    visionary123, Tinker88, weemsp, and 18 others like this.
  8. Visit  nursel56 profile page
    7
    They want you to wear scrubs and a cap? That bothers me. It isn't just the cap that's traditional, it's the "whites", including the dress, stockings and shoes. I'm surprised your instructors signed off on that.

    As to whether or not I associate the cap with gender and discrimination, absolutely not. When I see a nurse of the past who risked many things to blaze trails in nursing for the rest of us, I see a leader and a trailblazer, not a cap. It's just a fact that most nurses were and are women and I just refuse to buy into any associations of shame about that.

    Are you reciting the Nightingale Pledge? There's actually quite a bit more in that to find fault with than the cap. Many schools have dropped the Pinning Ceremony altogether because they think it's archaic. I'm honestly sorry this is such a big issue to you because you will be subjected to backlash if you make an issue of it especially since the class already voted. Perhaps you can get together with other women who voted "no" and brainstorm the issue. Best wishes and congrats on your upcoming graduation!
  9. Visit  onetiredstudent profile page
    6
    From another perspective: should a school that receives money from the federal government in the forms of financial aid be permitted to discriminate against a student based on sex?
    barbyann, chwcbesteph, Fruit Sucker, and 3 others like this.
  10. Visit  Aurora77 profile page
    34
    How are you being discriminated against? You were admitted to the program and are now about to graduate. The class voted and the majority apparently doesn't agree with you--that's not discrimination, that's democracy.
    Live.&.Learn, visionary123, weemsp, and 31 others like this.
  11. Visit  netglow profile page
    4
    Hey OP, I declined the pictures. What would I want a picture for??? I dunno. I'm a grown up, I'm not going to pass them around to relatives like I did when I was in gradeschool, what the??

    I didn't buy a pin. I have a sorority pin from my first college stint (again, I've grown up since). Don't know where any of my sorority stuff is.

    I went to our pinning which I also thought was a left over from childhood. Turns out 8 other classmates didn't go, I just thought I'd need to so I could be assured of a reference letter or two - felt like a fool. No party hats require there. But they were for the pictures.

    I paid for a degee. I don't need to do the silly stuff. There was a college-wide formal graduation for people to go to anyway, I didn't go to that.

    I am a second degree nurse. Just done with college wasting my time and money.
    barbyann, anotherone, jadelpn, and 1 other like this.
  12. Visit  LLL01 profile page
    1
    Quote from BluegrassRN
    The class voted, you lost. Your options are to wear the cap or not participate. Simple.

    It's not something to get worked up over. I personally agree with you about the caps, but it's not a sword to die upon, nor is it something to tarnish an otherwise special event. If you want to attend, wear the cap. Keep it for your next naughty nurse / zombie nurse/ nurse Ratchet Halloween costume. I you can't bring yourself to wear the cap, skip the ceremony. Your accomplishments are independent of any ceremony.

    I agree with this.
    visionary123 likes this.
  13. Visit  somenurse profile page
    6
    To the OP, i hear you. If you want to go, and don't want to wear a cap, what happens? You won't be allowed in, or what happens? If you have the option, to go, and celebrate this great moment, but don't want to wear a cap, do that.

    I also see the cap as an outdated, and yes, most definitely it's a sexist bit of clothing, indicating subservience/maid/nun kinda thing, that female nurses are somehow different from their male colleagues?
    I had to wear one 35 years ago, but, everyone did back then. We had to wear them to work, too! can you imagine?
    shiver! What a pain to keep something you wear daily on your head, and then, take on and off, brilliant white. What a pain to keep them centered on your head. HOw messy it looked for many types of hair, having the strays all outlined against the bright white cap.
    and don't get me started on how often putting our stethys on and off our neck, always banged that cap, making it sit sideways on your head, like some kind of clown,
    every time we put our stethys on or off. Most of the time, you didn't even realize your hat was askew like a clown would wear it, til you passed some mirror.

    pia bit of headwear, from someone who used to wear a cap. YAY they are gone!! and yes, IT IS SEXIST, and discriminitory, to force some graduates to wear a hat, but the graduates with penises don't have to wear the hat. Makes no logical sense at all.

    now, we've come a "small" way, ha ha, and nurses today, don't have to wear that ridiculous cap anymore. I say, go to your ceremony, and skip the hat. Whyever not? If they give you grief, announce you are secretly a male. bah haha! Tell them your scalp is sore that day, that you've had an adverse reaction to some shampoo or hair color or something, due to the soreness of your scalp, you can't tolerate any hairpins squeezing the cap to your head that day, sorry. Whatever.

    Sure they voted, but, you don't have to wear something ridiculous from an era gone by, just cuz your classmates think discriminating is great idea.

    good luck, and congrats!!
    Last edit by somenurse on Dec 12, '12
    abalone, Cherry02, morte, and 3 others like this.
  14. Visit  somenurse profile page
    5
    or, to the OP, go to ceremony, without a hat, and tell them, you are now a transvestite, and so you won't be wearing the cap today. bah ha ha!!
    CLoGreenEyes, anotherone, Kandy83, and 2 others like this.
  15. Visit  GrnTea profile page
    9
    Quote from onetiredstudent
    From another perspective: should a school that receives money from the federal government in the forms of financial aid be permitted to discriminate against a student based on sex?

    Of course not.

    But this is not sex discrimination. You are not being denied any of the facilities or opportunities of your educational program based on your gender. A photograph doesn't meet that standard. Care to play again?
    weemsp, babsy28, hearts895, RN BSN, and 6 others like this.
  16. Visit  NBMom1225 profile page
    5
    I think it is discriminatory... the male students are allowed to participate and are not required to wear the cap. The female students who do not wish to wear the cap are being told they must wear the cap or they cannot participate...I'm with the OP on this one...
    tayloramaRN2be, kimbap, annlewis, and 2 others like this.


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