Yes, this question has been asked over & over & discussed to death...however...I will risk being flogged with a wet noodle & give my 2cents' worth...
Yes, I have read the articles & studies. I STILL think the wearing of "fake" nails is: It all depends.
Where are you working? How much patient contact do you have? By "fake" do you mean tips or full-length acrylics? How long do you wear them? How do you style them?
But, you see, this could all apply to "real" nails, too! And THAT is my point.
I have worn "fake" nails for three years. They are full-length acrylic, so they will NEVER "fall off". (My whole finger would have to fall off.) I wear them very short and filed thin at the ends, and rounded. I do not polish them, I wear them "natural". NO ONE ever knows they are "fake".
I get them repaired every three weeks and my tech always drills out any suspected air pockets, uses sterile application tools and new files. She paints my fingernails with antiseptic during the procedure. And she does not use any tools or drills on me that have been used on another person.
I pay $35 every three weeks for this procedure. I don't eat out at lunch very often and I figure this is my "lunch money".
So why do I wear them? Because I have three nails that split length-wise and are always sore if I don't have "fake" nails. Plus, these nails are STRONG (my own were always weak and would split if I even tapped them wrong.) They are very useful to protect my hands. My nails always look pretty and very clean. I clean under them and scrub with nail brushes to keep them nice. I teach Nurse Aide classes and have proven my hands are clean by those classes I teach about washing your hands and using the "glow in the dark" stuff. I have also had microbiology students swab under my nails, and swab under "natural" ones...Guess whose nails grew more junk in an agar plate???
I would not want ANY nurse to have long, pointy, un-even, or dirty nails. "Natural" OR "Fake". And I would prefer my nails over a nurse with orange or blue nail polish.
Yeah, my hospital has a rule against the nails. But unless the few people who know I wear them squeal on me, I will never get rid of them.
I know I may not be "PC"...but then again, I am also a registered Republican, I support Pres. Bush, I am a Catholic, I am Pro-Life, I am anti-smoking, etc., etc.....So there. :chuckle