help for article about nurses' uniforms - page 2

I am writing an article about nurses' uniforms and how they vary country to country. Maybe there isn't a difference? I would appreciate any input, advice or resources I can check out to make... Read More

  1. by   jemb
    Nurses can purchase all sort of decorative pins that indicate RN, LPN, LVN, CCRN, etc. Just about any nursing license or specialty certification has a pin available that the nurse can wear. They are not required, and are available from certifying organizations, and from uniform stores and catalogs. Nursing caps of previous eras would indicate the status of the nurse (LPN/LVN or RN), but the particulars varied by school attended, region of country, hospital, etc. For example, where I was hospitalized as a child in the 50's, RN's had a black stripe on the cap, while LPN's had solid white caps. Unlicensed caregivers wore no caps. Other than employee badges which indicate your license, it is not as clear in most places today what license each person holds. Seniority is not indicated in civilian uniforms at all -- couldn't say for military, though, as I haven't been that route.
  2. by   florry

    Oh, yes, there is a huge differences from country to country! Foreks. her in Norway, we don't longer have uniforms but we call them working-dress or habit. You cannot see if you are talking with an assistent for cleaning or fex. the nurse in charge or even the matron...! By the way I am a nursing uniform collector (old one and some new one from England. Strange hobby? No, because Florence Nightingale was "primus motor" here, she said "no" to those CRINOLINE (a spes. of under-skirt). She said that crinoline was impossible to work in/with under the Crimean War....
  3. by   RNConnieF
    Try doing an Internet search, I got a lot of hits most with pictures of uniforms from several countries. Also try "Ask Jeeves" that came up with a site "Nursing Uniforms Past and Present" that included an international photo album. You should be able to get a ton of info. Good Luck.
  4. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by nursewriter2
    Thank you all very much. And what wonderful humor too! Do nursing schools in the U.S. discuss dress and what to expect as part of your curriculum? Or do you just find out on-the-job? Does what you wear signify seniority or years of experience? I've also seen sites about nurse badges and buttons. Are those important, or extras?
    The nursing program I am in dictates we wear a very strict uniform: ceil blue pants, white top and a ceil blue jacket (jacket is optional depending on weather etc). The top and the jacket need to have a patch from the college on the right lower pocket. White shoes. Hair up. No jewelry, except wedding ring and one pair of studs in ears. Anyone not wearing the correct uniform to clinicals will be sent home.
  5. by   askater11
    I live in the midwest.

    Suburb hospital --#1 hospital I worked. At first you could wear any uniform. Then they started that each unit had to wear a certain color. We were long as we had teal pants we could wear any kind of jacket.

    Urban hospital --#2 hospital (where I'm at now) They are very flexible. I wear whatever.

    Suburb hospital--I interviewed for a position. Aides wore teal. R.N.'s blue. (everything had to be solid colors) R.N.'s had to where blue but white could also be worn (as long as part of the outfit was blue). No acrylic nails. (which I think goes for most local institution) I have shoulder length hair, she said my hair will be okay since it's shorter. (so I'd imagine they'd request hair in pony tail is I had longer hair) Shoes had to be white. She also mentioned about make up...but I don't know what there criteria is for makeup b/c she said my make up looked okay.
  6. by   Youda
    Midwest USA, also.
    Some places I've worked color coded everyone. CNAs one color, LPNs another, RNs another color, housekeeping, etc. Where I'm at now, we can wear any scrubs or uniform as long as it's neat and clean. Everyone knows I'm the nurse, because of the stethoscope around my neck and the 10-pounds of keys I have to carry around.
  7. by   -jt
    In the minds of the US public, the person in white is the nurse - whether she really is or not. You walk into a doctors office & all the desk secretaries & office assistants are wearing white & everybody automatically calls them "nurse". A few years ago, when RNs were being laid off in mass numbers during "downsizings" & "restructurings", a hospital in California (Alta Bates, I think) was sued for putting all the ancillary personnell in white uniforms & eliminating the "RN" from the nurses name tags - it was found to be defrauding the public in allowing them to think everybody caring for them was a nurse. Apparently, the hospital didnt want the pts to know how few RNs were really there. It had to stop this practice & clearly identify the RNs.

    In some hospitals, the administration decides everything itself, including the dress code. The RNs at my hospital are union so we have a hand in making all decisions that affect us. Because the public perceives the one in white as being the nurse, we decided that our RNs & LPNs would be the only ones to wear anything white. We can choose white dresses, colored or white tops with white pants - our preference. We're supposed to also wear "discreet" undies. Any group of nurses on any unit can decide for themselves if they want to wear a specfic color top for their floor. The RNs in CCU have decided that they all will wear only pale pink tops with the white pants everyday. Everybody in NICU, L&D, OR, PACU, & ASU wears scrubs & everybody in Psych wears street clothes but all our ID tags have bold letters identifying the persons title. Nurses aides in the rest of the hospital wear rose colored uniforms. The med techs in the ER wear blue & white striped shirts & navy pants. Housekeeping wears green uniforms. What happened with the xray techs, I dont know - they look like MDs walking around in their clothes & long white jackets.

    Artifical and excessively long nails are supposed to be banned for all who come in contact with pts because of the recent research data showing they carry bacterial organisms even after handwashing, & increase the risk of pt infection, including MRSA - but I have seen all kinds of workers including nurses wearing them anyway.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 7, '02
  8. by   semstr
    We had a thread like this a few months ago, but I can't remember it's name.
    So here goes again:
    We get our dresses and tops/ trousers provided from the hospital.
    RN have white trousers and pinstripe blue/ white tops, the dresses are pinstriped.
    LPN have whites, with small pinstripe blue necks and a srip of the arm.
    Our student have white trousers and blue tops.
    Housepersonal wears a kind of yellow/ brown
    Scrubs only in OR or ICU, CCU

    The best thing is: all this is washed by the hospital too!!
    We are not even allowed to wear private stuff, because the hygienic team is deadly against it.
    we are not allowed to leave the hospital in our nursingsclothes.

    Take care, Renee
  9. by   ?burntout
    At the hospital I am at now-we can wear any kind of white uniform or colored scrubs except for black or denim.
  10. by   indynurse
    When I went through nursing school, we had to wear a white top, white pants, a white mantle (smock) with red piping along the edges and white shoes. The white top was polyester and if you wore the top and the pants by themselves, you looked like the cafeteria workers from grade school. Add the mantle with the red piping and you were mistaken for a "candy-striper". You were allowed to wear a white lab coat and I always wore mine on clinicals. I needed the extra pockets. I did loan it out one clinical day to a classmate who did not realize her white undies with the little Mickey Mouse ears all over would show through her pants. (Flesh colored undies won't show through the white pants). Two years after I graduated, the nursing program changed to red scrubs with the school of nursing patch on the sleeve of the top. They look so much more comfortable than what I had to wear....
    Where I work now, we are allowed to wear any color scrubs we want except for white. Go figure. We are also not allowed to wear denim scrubs. L&D and surgery have to wear the hospital's ceil blue unisex scrubs. The rest of the staff must provide their own.
    We also cannot wear clog-type shoes (a rule ignored by many) and we cannot have acrylic nails. This dress code has been in effect for the last 5 years. Prior to that, each unit had it's own color (solid color top & pants) and a coordinating scrub jacket. The nurse techs wore a solid color top in the unit color but had to wear white pants so that the physicians would know who was a nurse and who was a tech and not try to give verbal orders to a tech.
    At another hospital where I worked, the nurses could wear any color scrubs except denim or "cranberry". The cranberry scrubs were only to be worn by OB nurses.
  11. by   deespoohbear
    The hospital I work at the uniform policy is pretty lenient. The OB nurses all wear a rose/pink color bottoms and a scrub top of the little footsies in pink and blue. There uniform is specified for security reasons. On the general med/surg unit that I work in we can pretty much wear whatever colors we want. Just until a few months ago we had to wear white pants and a scrub top in any color/pattern we wanted. We were the only unit in the hospital that still had to wear white pants. So administration decided to let us wear whatever colors we want. Most of the nurses and CNA's are dressed appropriately for the job, but a few could use some lessons in keeping their uniforms wrinkle free. What really bothers me is the shoes that some of these people wear. I have a pair of shoes that I use specifically for work. I leave them at work. The shoes are all white Cherokee Rockers. Some of the people I work with really have some nasty looking shoes! And every color known to man. And dirty to boot!! Yuck. I want to tell them to clean your shoes, or better yet buy a new pair to wear only here at work. Just a silly pet peeve of mine I guess.
  12. by   florry
    Hello deespoohbear!

    Thank God that there still are nurses out there who have some attention to their working habits and shoes!!

    Its about dignity (the patients and their relatives, name them also customers...), not only cleanliness, its about proudness to our profession.

    You have never seen a cabin attendent with dirty shoes and a bad-looking and -smelling uniform? (Maybe you have seen it, but they would not ceep their jobs very longer)
  13. by   whipping girl in 07
    Where I work, the CNAs wear dk. green and housekeeping wears a certain floral pattern top with olive green or navy blue pants. Speech, PT and OT wear that carribean blue that Landau makes. RT and xray wear whatever they want. My unit is supposed to wear navy blue uniforms/scrubs, but we wear just about anything. It is really up to the nurse manager of each unit to decide what colors the nurses wear. One of the other units is teal and white and that's it! Cath lab and surgery wear the standard issue hospital scrubs, and PRN team is supposed to wear white, but most don't. Our nametag is considered part of our uniform as well, and I always wear mine where it can be seen that I am a RN. I also introduce myself to the patient as their nurse. Some of my scrub jackets have my name and RN on them as well, and I wear my nursing school pin too.

    I wear navy blue clogs and I love them! Very easy to keep clean and don't get all scuffed like white shoes do. Also very comfortable.