Nurses Protest Dress Code Changes - page 2

by DoGoodThenGo 10,147 Views | 64 Comments

Ordered to wear white, nurses at 15 area hospitals say the new scrubs will accentuate blood stains, reveal undergarments and turn yellow. North Shore LIJ says white uniforms will help patients identify nurses. Read more:... Read More


  1. 1
    I agree with those that have said color codes mean nothing to patients. I have worked/done clinicals/been a visitor at various facilities. The various required colors for RNs at those facilities: white, cranberry, navy blue, ceil blue, some combo of the preceding, and "anything goes." Needless to say, patients are not going to remember what color a nurse wears at a given facility.

    However, I do like the color codes within one facility. No matter to what unit I go, I know the nurses will be in one color, aides/tech in another, respiratory in another, radiology in yet another, etc. For example, when I transport a pt to a given unit, I know when a person comes into the room if they are a nurse to whom a can give report or not. I know if they are respiratory to set up the vent. Etc, etc. I do not look at it at all as an attempt to show employees their place or to make sure we know the pecking order.
    somenurse likes this.
  2. 10
    I think if I worked for a place that instituted all white, I'd stage a revolt where we all wore white, and all looked like huge slobs with stains all over our clothes. And I'd do stains like chocolate, so the patients would wonder what I had all over my clothes when I walked in the room.

    All one color, fine. But make it navy or some other color that's not completely impractical.
  3. 0
    There's going to be an argument from somebody, no matter what color you choose. I like white, but I don't care one way or the other. They're just clothes for work.
  4. 6
    I had to wear white pants and green top at a facility I once worked in..this separated nurses from other staff. The only downfall was as a woman, certain times of the month were quite risky to wear wear pants. Doesn't matter how "safe" and double protected you may be, accidents do happen and DID happen. That would be my ONLY con against wearing white, especially white pants
  5. 2
    I would hate to wear all white. The few times I've worn a white top I've managed to spill things like juice on me. Nice big stain for the rest of the night.

    My facility has us wear a tag that's visible under our name tag with our title. So my name tag with my picture and name and title in smaller print and right under that is a big RN. The aides say ASSISTANT, so on and so forth. I think that makes it much easier to identify which staff is a nurse, PCA, etc.
    anotherone and VivaLasViejas like this.
  6. 13
    Quote from wooh
    I think if I worked for a place that instituted all white, I'd stage a revolt where we all wore white, and all looked like huge slobs with stains all over our clothes. And I'd do stains like chocolate, so the patients would wonder what I had all over my clothes when I walked in the room.

    All one color, fine. But make it navy or some other color that's not completely impractical.

    and Wooh,
    don't forget to wear some sexy cut undies, thigh highs, whatever, maybe draw some interesting tatoos on your skin to show through the whites,
    to help them reconsider how "professional" white uniforms actually look...




    EDIT: btw, i am an old nurse, been a nurse longer than many members here have been alive, i am not fond of white uniforms because i DO remember them!! shiver!! Lol, we had a coworker nicknamed "5 hook" cuz she wore such massive bras...we could count she wore a 5-hook bra.
    nah, lets not go back to sheer uniforms that can be seen through, and the white uniforms thick enough you can't see through, are very very hard to find, and
    are really hot to wear on busy shifts, like wearing wool almost...
    Last edit by somenurse on Feb 10, '13
    anotherone, DogWmn, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 10 others like this.
  7. 1
    I may have said that I like it when all nurses where one color in a facility...however, that color should, most definitely, NOT be white.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  8. 2
    As a 'fossilized' nurse, I used to wear 'whites' when I first practiced and for a few years after until the uniform trend shifted. Then it became all the colors. One problem was that every place had its own color pallette, so was it any wonder that there was never any easily recognizable continuity for pts to identify? A nurse in navy at ABC, a nurse in cranberry at XYZ; however, the housekeeper wore cranberry at ABC and they wore navy at XYZ. Respiratory wore green; oh wait, were they in beige? Or was that transport?

    It all depended on where you were to identify the staff. The only color that used to remain constant was WHITE, which only the professional nurses (LPNs, too) wore regardless of the facility. In the parking lot, the white uniform wearer was a nurse; in the local grocery, the whte uniform wearer was a nurse; on Sunday, before/after church services, the nurse was the one in white. Easy to distinguish and at the time, easy to afford courtesy and respect. No guessing about it.

    I've discussed that lack of respect and courtesy for nurses that is so pervasive in healthcare today with acquaintances. I've noticed that for folk in their mid 40s and on, they all seem to remember wistfully the nurses wearing white (and to some degree, our CAPS). They all comment on how much things have changed, but there is no real acknowledgement of nsg professionalism. And there's their comment about not knowing who's who. And they all seem to have liked our 'whites'.

    I'm going to offer this as a far-fetched, out-there comment but maybe we DO NEED to go back to whites. As PP, NurseGuy, points out, there IS a positive difference. The younger generation of nurses has not really experienced it. To those who would complain - sheesh, we too,used to dirty our whites - we used bleach for the stains and now Oxyclean for yellowing. Wore neutral color underwear. And oh, by the way, we also had our menses way back in the day while wearing whites (and DRESSES were the requirement).

    Also, has anyone else noticed that MDs (males & females) still dress pretty much as they always have, professionally and with a lab coat. Their respect by the general public remains stable while management still treats them with a degree of deference. And nobody dares to disrespect nuns and ministers like they do us.

    And as my final observation, I note that nurses on a new job invariably complain that they must now buy new colored scrubs - the old navy, cranberry, etc are not the new required color. Whites would NOT be a problem.
    Szasz_is_Right and Hygiene Queen like this.
  9. 0
    Have freinds who work or worked at Lenox Hill and seem to remember they put floor nurses back into whites years ago. This was around late 1990's early 2000's before the NS-LIJ purchase. Certainly remember going to visit someone on one of LH's med-surg floors and seeing the nurses in whites including one or two in dresses with hose and *ahem* real shoes.

    IIRC at that time the nursing assistants voted to wear the blue dress with white bib job that was or still is the standard issue uniform for some local schools of nursing, including those that had clinical rotations at LH.
  10. 0
    Quote from amoLucia
    As a 'fossilized' nurse, I used to wear 'whites' when I first practiced and for a few years after until the uniform trend shifted. Then it became all the colors. One problem was that every place had its own color pallette, so was it any wonder that there was never any easily recognizable continuity for pts to identify? A nurse in navy at ABC, a nurse in cranberry at XYZ; however, the housekeeper wore cranberry at ABC and they wore navy at XYZ. Respiratory wore green; oh wait, were they in beige? Or was that transport?

    It all depended on where you were to identify the staff. The only color that used to remain constant was WHITE, which only the professional nurses (LPNs, too) wore regardless of the facility. In the parking lot, the white uniform wearer was a nurse; in the local grocery, the whte uniform wearer was a nurse; on Sunday, before/after church services, the nurse was the one in white. Easy to distinguish and at the time, easy to afford courtesy and respect. No guessing about it.

    I've discussed that lack of respect and courtesy for nurses that is so pervasive in healthcare today with acquaintances. I've noticed that for folk in their mid 40s and on, they all seem to remember wistfully the nurses wearing white (and to some degree, our CAPS). They all comment on how much things have changed, but there is no real acknowledgement of nsg professionalism. And there's their comment about not knowing who's who. And they all seem to have liked our 'whites'.

    I'm going to offer this as a far-fetched, out-there comment but maybe we DO NEED to go back to whites. As PP, NurseGuy, points out, there IS a positive difference. The younger generation of nurses has not really experienced it. To those who would complain - sheesh, we too,used to dirty our whites - we used bleach for the stains and now Oxyclean for yellowing. Wore neutral color underwear. And oh, by the way, we also had our menses way back in the day while wearing whites (and DRESSES were the requirement).

    Also, has anyone else noticed that MDs (males & females) still dress pretty much as they always have, professionally and with a lab coat. Their respect by the general public remains stable while management still treats them with a degree of deference. And nobody dares to disrespect nuns and ministers like they do us.

    And as my final observation, I note that nurses on a new job invariably complain that they must now buy new colored scrubs - the old navy, cranberry, etc are not the new required color. Whites would NOT be a problem.
    Quite honestly think if Barco, White Swan and others put as much thought into "whites" as they do scrubs things might be a little better uniform wise. Most of the offerings you see today are poorly made with cheap and thin material. In contrast look out for vintage white uniforms from even as late as the 1980's. Much better quality it seems.

    As for the trend of putting nurses in whole or part back into whites be it scrubs or uniforms this has been coming for awhile now. There were reports in the media including professional nursing publications that many saw the "casual dress" pendulum as having swung too far with almost an anything goes attitude amoung some staff.

    What is amazing is the rationale people come up with in protest against white for uniforms. Yes, stains and soils are easily seen on such garments, but is it ok to wear blue, black or whatever colour scrubs/uniform that is stained merely because it cannot be seen? The pale green or blue scrubs so many are in love with don't offer that much coverage from stains either.

    I've been to hospitals in Germany where the entire medical and nursing staff are in whites (scrubs or uniforms) and the persons much less the facility are so clinically clean you'd want to eat off them. Will say overall staff there aren't permitted to travel to and from duty in uniform. You change at the start and end of shift with the hospital taking care of the laundry.


Top