What is the purpose of requiring white shoes?

Nurses General Nursing

Published

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

Alyah

9 Posts

My guess is to spot blood easily... ?

NurseBanana

179 Posts

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

Fiona59

8,343 Posts

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?

elkpark

14,633 Posts

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

Intern67

357 Posts

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

139 Posts

Specializes in LTC.
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:

elkpark

14,633 Posts

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 ... :)

Specializes in med surg nursing.

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?

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

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

38 Posts

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

949 Posts

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others.

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!

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