Nurses wearing white

Nurses General Nursing


  • by rnmaven
    Specializes in CTSICU, SICU, MICU, CCU, Trauma.

The hospital has decreed that all nurses will wear white in the near future. Despite a petition to administration voicing the opinions of the nurses that overwhelmingly the majority of nurses working at the bedside do not want to wear white, the policy has stood firm and the deadline to change to white is rapidly approaching.

My quesion you think that nurses should be forced to wear white? Do you think nurses should all wear the same uniform?

I finished nursing school in 1977 so I actually wore white uniforms (no scrubs) and a cap. It didn't take long to lose the cap and slowly, the trend to wear colored scrubs evolved.

The thought of wearing white all the time just really turns me off. I find it totally impractical and over time, it will gray and stain and tend to need more frequent replacing.

What do you think?

Dixielee, BSN, RN

1,222 Posts

Specializes in ER.

I think I would be changing jobs! White is the most impractical color for nurses. So now with everyone else wearing scrubs, the only people wearing white will be nurses and school lunch ladies!


14 Posts

No way! I had to wear white in nursing school, and in my opinion it really made me feel generic and ugly. I think it's true that you pick colors that reflect your mood, and that's good because at the time those are the colors in which you feel most comfortable. There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in a uniform at work!!!


353 Posts

Specializes in Rehab, Step-down,Tele,Hospice.

Sorry to go against the tide, but I wear all white and really don't think it's a big deal. I wash all my uniforms after 1 wearing anyway .Yeah it shows blood or whatever I get on them but so what? Just b/c it doesn't show doesn't mean it's not there.

My older population seems to like the white, Im always hearing: "honey I got to go to the bathroom but I know your a nurse so could you please send me your aid" Hee Hee.

I feel like I get a liitle bit more respect b/c people know Im the nurse not the housekeeper.

Oh well, to each their own.

Specializes in many.

I have had this problem in the past and we overcame it when the facility refused to replace all our uniforms at their cost. Until they were willing to pay for the uniforms, we stayed in colors.

Shortly afterward, new rules came down about housekeepers, maintenance and aides each wearing a particular color, and the nurses were left to "keep it professional".

Good Luck

Specializes in Education, Acute, Med/Surg, Tele, etc.

I agree that white is not a very good color for people in the healthcare field, and also keeps with many stereotypes of nurses and even doctors (white coat syndrome). I have never liked it and never will. When I wear scubs on casual fridays I still get the same amount of respect, but get to wear a fun color (I choose solid colors by habit).

On the other hand, I do think that a uniform that does distinquish the nurses from other staff is a very good idea. My facility handles it by having us nurses wear white vests over a pastel button down shirt and kaki pants (except casual Fridays). It works for the most part, but I work with a population of folks that can't remember if they ate lunch 5 minutes after they eat it so...sometimes it misses the mark..LOL!

I think that if someone thinks of a good uniform things aren't quite as bad as simply saying ..okay back to the whites. I additionally think that employers should give either an allowance or buy the uniforms for employees and pay for the cleaning (within hubbys company (paramedic) get two uniforms per year, and once a month dry cleaning...and it helps between normal washes at home!).

Specializes in NICU, PICU, educator.

As more hospitals move to a "professional" feel and trying to acheive magnet, this is going to happen. We had a huge war over it and we lost. The only ones that wear scrubs are OR and SICU now. If you work L/D you wear whites unless you are assigned to OR. Let me tell you, baby puke of special formulas will not come out of whites.. :p This is the ongoing trend now. Also, if the hospital laundered before , it is a cost containment move. We have no allowance and they will not launder our clothes. Nice, eh?

Specializes in Pediatrics.

this is rearing it's ugly head again!!! i know most are against it (even so much as to leave their jobs???) i personally would not be so bothered by it. i certainly wouldn't contemplate leaving my job over it.

i have plenty of stains on my non-white uniforms.

there are certainly bigger battles to pick.


182 Posts

At the hopital i will be working for, all nurses not in the ER or surgery wear white, so That will include me. The story goes that one day a doc gave told a janitor who did not speak very much english to do something and of course it didn't get done, so he blamed it on everyone wearing difft colored scrubs, so now all regular hospital nurses wear white, janitors aqua, CNA's, sil blue. Yuck, But so what its a place to work, not a fashion show.


1,842 Posts

if they're going to insist - then they must reimburse the cost.

white uniforms don't turn gray, but just wear any uniform (any colour) only once then wash it.

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

As more hospitals move to a "professional" feel and trying to acheive magnet, this is going to happen.

Trying to "achieve magnet" means giving the nurses more autonomy, not less. We're a magnet facility and we have a wide variety of acceptable scrub colors for our unit--among which is white. Our identifier is the big RN tag under our name badge, not the color clothing we wear.


50 Posts

:o i have spent my entire nursing school career wearing white and have always thought i would never wear white. iwork with many RN's who are very old school and four of five days they are in white. i asked one of them one day why and her response was that it made her feel more professional. probably because it was what they always wore.

i think for me, and maybe some of you on here it is not so much the fact that it it white. if they told you that you had to wear navy everyday you would probably complain just the same. i think the issue is that all of us view ourselves as professionals who are able to make choices for ourselves. after all, did you ever see anyone in a law office color coated?? :rolleyes:

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