I agree in part, yes we should introduce ourselves, but mixed up and sick patients will still think that the janitor who comes in wearing scrubs is a health professional too, if not an actual RN. Same for anyone else in scrubs who do not introduce themselves. And for 'what does that say about ourselves'? I do think that nurses need to think about appearances, but the mix you describe is same everywhere...in all walks of life, some women wear unflattering clothes, unflattering hairdo's, too much jewelry, and so on...its not just related to nurses. All it screams is "I have bad fashion taste" and all it reflects upon is the person wearing "last night's" makeup & hair.
I used to be in the 'special color' for nurses school of thinking, but now I've changed my mind (that's what I get for forming an opinion before I was a working RN). Now I vote just for nice large name tags, or perhaps the idea of a sewn patch on scrubs which say RN. My rationale: 1) about one color just for RN's: unless every other department stops allowing scrubs, and unless nurses can't accessorize with other color jackets and sweaters, confused patients will never keep the colors straight so issuing a special color for nurses is a moot point 2) about scrubs in general instead of a uniform for nurses: scrubs in general are comfortable and nurses of old who work starched white did not work 12 hour shifts. 3) scrubs are inexpensive and can go right into washer and dryer numerous times, most of my other clothes can't and we all know that nurse's scrubs cannot be worn a second day without laundering- EVER!!! 4) about the color white: white scrubs get wrinklier and show more general wear and in a 12 hour shift are more likely to be speckled with tiny reminiscents of the patient care we provide all day and which I have to confess that I'm happy not to see until I go home and wash my print top... and lastly 5) about spongebob and Betty Boop: I think these are appropriate in Ped's but not in adult ICU. But then again, I really don't care all that much if a co-worker happens to prefer cartoons to Hawaiian flowers. The patients don't ask us what we think about THEIR taste in clothes, so we don't need their approval about ours. All that should be required is that we show up with a set of fresh clean scrubs, and without truly unprofessional stuff like rings through our lips (that can look shocking/scary especially to an elderly patient) ready for our shift! (but I DO like the idea of special and larger name badges or perhaps a sewn on patch...even if patients can't really read them, others can.