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What is the purpose of requiring white shoes?

Posted

I am just REALLY curious. So far I haven't come up with an answer from the internet, only discussion posts about what shoes are best. Is there a history to this, or a purpose to make nurses wear white shoes? I saw some on sale last week and was thinking maybe I should start stocking up, ha ha! :D

My guess is to spot blood easily... ?

So if you get blood on them do you have to get rid of them?

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

Tradition.

Once you start working you can wear whatever you want as long as the shoes meet health and safety requirements.

I wear Navy in the winter with my darker trousers. White in the summer with my dresses and lighter trousers.

As long as my shoes have closed heels management doesn't care. Have you seen the colours of some crocks?

AFAIK, it's just a last vestige of all-white uniforms. But lots of places no longer require white shoes.

AFAIK, it's just a last vestige of all-white uniforms. But lots of places no longer require white shoes.

I think it is also an arbitrary decision for students. If you let green nursing students wear whatever footwear they want, they will tend to make questionable decisions.

jrw03282009

Specializes in LTC. Has 1 years experience.

I am just REALLY curious. So far I haven't come up with an answer from the internet, only discussion posts about what shoes are best. Is there a history to this, or a purpose to make nurses wear white shoes? I saw some on sale last week and was thinking maybe I should start stocking up, ha ha! :D

I wondered the same thing when I started school. I have figured that it was to "train" you to realize that your shoes can get God AWFUL nasty. While in school and visiting clinical sites you can get yourself in the habit of keeping your shoes clean so that maybe when you are out in the real world, we MIGHT keep up with it, lol! White just naturally shows everything and it is easier to to remember b/c we see it so easily. (Plus our instructors can easily see if we are keeping up with our cleanliness!) Gotta love em'!:nurse:

I think it is also an arbitrary decision for students. If you let green nursing students wear whatever footwear they want, they will tend to make questionable decisions.

ITA -- I wasn't even thinking about students ... :)

livinthedreamRN

Specializes in med surg nursing. Has 6 years experience.

The RNs at our hospital have to wear all white all the time including shoes. I was wondering if that's becoming the norm nationwide?

Where I am, white is not "in". However, most larger networks have switched to uniforms. This is a great thing unless your uniform is an ugly one :lol2:. It only makes sense to me because there needs to be visual distinction between RN, and other licensed profs e.g RT, PT as well as (especially) from UAP.

The shoes. I remember in school the uniform required white shoes. I had such a hard time finding white shoes that were comfortable that I just began wearing my New Balance walking shoes which are mostly white with blue detail. Never got called on it.

birdcage

Specializes in new to NICU.

I have heard about the return to all white for nurses. Most of what I have seen around here is specific colors for different professions in the hospitals. Who knows what it's really all about.

mamamerlee, LPN

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

The white shoes harken back to the times when nurses - at least here in the US - wore all white. Although as students we did not wear white, we had white pantyhose and shoes, and the shoes had to be very clean at the start of every day. They were usually very sturdy, and real leather, and we cleaned them up each afternoon after clinicals, and polished them frequently.

It was a way of being aware of how you looked made a difference to the patients, and to each other. A nurse with dirty shoes at the START of her shift didn't seem to care enough about herself (or himself) so that might reflect on the way they cared about their patients.

My class in nursing school - I started in 1971 - was the first that was not required to wear a girdle!!!

And white shoes were required throughout the hospitals for many years. CLEAN white shoes!

nyteshade

Specializes in A lil bit of this and a lil bit of that. Has 18 years experience.

I personally like the white uniform and bright white sneakers. You'd be surprised at how many patients actually pay attention to these details. I had one guy look down at my shoes while he was laying in bed, and commented how bright and clean they were. He also mentioned other nurses who didn't seem to care, which made him hesitant. It looks clean, professional and it's traditional. I don't like the hot pink crocs and stuff either (I'm not saying if that's your thing you are a terrible nurse). Just my :twocents:

P_RN, ADN, RN

Specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89. Has 30 years experience.

Actually in the earlier part of the 1900's up until probably the 30s or so nurses wore black hose and black shoes.

Personally I like the white sneakers, it's easier to tell when they're clean. I have several Rockports, but they don't make my favorites anymore. I also have some new balance that are OK but are too wide even in the narrow size. Probably ought to check with your job or job to be before spending a lot on shoes that may not be appropriate.

Take a look here: http://dyk2.homestead.com/

Edited by P_RN

itsmejuli

Specializes in Home Care.

Taking pride in your appearance is the first step in acting professional no matter what your job.

When I was in bootcamp for the military we had to "spit polish" our black boots. They got so shiny that you could see the reflection of your face in them. I'd rather wear white sneakers :)

Our facility policy requires white shoes but it's really just the soles they care about. It has nothing to do with nursing or tradition, they just want to prevent the black streaks on the floors! Even though it's the policy they very rarely enforce it.

Okay...showing my age here...anybody remember Clinics-white tie oxfords? I wore them for years, even after sneakers were in fashion. I have narrow feet, and they came with a 4A heel. Remember polishing, then shining. Though not very stylish, they were comfortable...

Okay...showing my age here...anybody remember Clinics-white tie oxfords? I wore them for years, even after sneakers were in fashion. I have narrow feet, and they came with a 4A heel. Remember polishing, then shining. Though not very stylish, they were comfortable...

I remember the Clinics -- although I never wore them myself (I was a Nursemates and SAS girl ... :)) People complain bitterly about the idea of being required to wear "real" duty shoes now, but the well-made ones were extremely comfortable, even when you were on your feet all day.