Sunday, March 26, 2006

Nursing School Uniforms

I know it's been about a year since I graduated, but I've always wanted to do an informal poll on this. Collect a little database of ideas and opinions. :)

I think I came out pretty lucky as far as uniforms go. Prior to our class, all students wore white scrubs and a white jacket. We got a white polo shirt and navy blue scrub pants and jacket. Of course we had to wear white shoes. I think we looked pretty good, but as we neared graduation they started to look a bit 'used'.

I think nursing students look good when they match as a group, but since we had to buy them ourselves we should have been able to buy whatever brand we liked so that they at least fit properly. When I was working in med-surg there were some CNA students who had maroon-colored scrub tops with the school logo on them and white scrub pants. I thought they looked pretty good.

What constitutes a good nursing school uniform? What did you (or do you) wear and what's your opinion on it?
Posted by HypnoKitten at 5:41 PM

Anonymous Emily, at 6:45 PM  

White, with white, and more white! This was only a few years ago and the nursing caps were still optional...hard core, old school!

On the subject of uniforms, I would be curious to see who has to wear them in their current jobs. My really large hosptial just implemented uniforms and the staff looks so much more professional and put together. It took a long time, and some still are not convinced, but people act differently when they are part of something larger than themselves. (I have worn Camo-Uniforms too long!)

Blogger Melissa, at 8:55 PM  

We had to wear white which I hated because the real nurses wore colors. We stood out too much. I was so envious of the USC nursing students who wore khaki pants and burgundy polo shirts.

Blogger COWmanRN, at 4:07 AM  

White and polyester are the only way to describe our uniforms. White pants, white tunic tops (men's tops unzip all the way and have a breast pocket,women's tops do not, and they have that very flattering narrowing at the hips) with the school logo on a patch on the left shoulder. We also have the optional navy blue lab coat. It works out that men tend to not wear the coat, but the women do since it gives them 2 extra pockets.

Blogger Mandy, at 7:26 AM  

Starting out, we had to wear all white, with the tops being polo shirts. In maternity, we are wearing navy blue scrubs. I think this is my favorite. It doesn't show blood (or other various fluids), it doesn't make you feel like casper (I'm already pale with blond hair!!), and we all seem more put together and professional.

Quick story - my first attempt at taking at a wound vac, I managed to spray my white clothes with bright red blood. Just lovely. :/

Anonymous valerie, at 4:16 PM  

Way back when I was a nursing student, our school uniform was a light blue shirtwaist dress with a white ao[pron that buttoned on at the shouldrs and covered you down the front. Whte hose and white leather shoes were required. I HATED these uniforms, but they were custom made so everyone looked very crisp and tailored.

Blogger cns2008, at 5:12 PM  

we wear teal, which is awfully bright. i am jealous of some schools near us that get to wear navy blue and burgundy.
a friend's grandma gave her her old nursing cape. i'd like to see those make a comeback.

Blogger danasaur, at 8:48 PM  

We wear whatever colour we want, just has to be srubs. It can be patterned, or plain. The tops don't have to match the bottoms... its really slack. We tend to blend in with other nurses, except for our name tags. I still like to wear white sometimes though... apparently thats very old school.

Blogger Sarah, at 10:34 AM  

Hi! Visiting from Melissa's blog. We went to nursing school together and became great friends and still are to this day. I hope you are as lucky and made some good friends in school.
OK back to the uniforms: white, rough, scratchy, awful fabric, and they never looked good enough to the teachers, always needed to be ironed or bleached or starched or something. Miserable stiff jackets that did not keep you warm. At least we didn't have to wear dresses. My mom went to the same nursing school about 25 years ago and they had to wear dresses...How the heck are you suppossed to work in those?

Blogger unsinkablemb, at 5:39 PM  

We had white pants, a blue polo with our nursing school name embroidered on it, and a long white coat with our school patch on the left shoulder. We also had to wear name tags with "Nursing Student" underneath our names. I hate white pants, but the rest of it wasn't so bad. I thought that our students looked very professional compared to some of the other schools that we came across in clinical.

Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 PM  

oh lord, In LPN school we wore a fine pin striped light blue dress with a pin tucked pleated "bib area, white hose and our caps. Those dresses were hideous!For RN all white, but at least it was of our own choosing the style.

Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:40 PM  

OK. I'm old. In nursing school we had to wear white polyester dresses. For my thoughts on the uniforms of today, you could read my posts..


Anonymous sean, at 7:24 AM  

We're pretty lucky...

Our uniform is the same as RNs...or in otherwords, no specifice nursing student uniform at all.

The only difference is that we wear our university name tags, and they are strict about wearing white running shoes (RNs tend to wear a vast assortment of shoes and colours...some safe, some not).

Blogger missbhavens, at 9:19 PM  

Hmmm...students should most certainly NOT look like staff but perhaps they don't have to look like each students we were supposed to wear our white polo shirts with white shoes, a name tag and white nurse pants--no scrubs allowed! But when our clinic group got through our first rotation without ever having been observed by the directors, we would took a poll amongst our 8 selves and decided that we should wear royal blue scrub pants to match the school's crest on the polo. We looked pretty cool, in the longer like a bunch of Good Humor ice-cream scoopers!

I now work in L&D and we wear ceil blue (a color that does not seem to exist outside of nursing) surgical scrubs because we hot-tail it to the OR for a c-section at least once a shift. They had color coded the staff so that the RNs wore that awful teal (white or teal pants) and LPNs wore blue and PCTs wear khaki. But in a recent administration shake-up our old-school hospital director has mandated that all RNs wear white from head to toe (except us).

People are TICKED OFF, I tell you!

Blogger Nurse2B, at 2:18 PM  

White head to toe with the Pace University patch on the larft arm. First I just got scrubs but now I found a couple of tops that have a collar and those double pockets. I find those pockets work better for me than the ones in my pants. I end up putting everything in the bathroom sink with lots of soap and bleach the minute I get home.

Blogger genderist, at 8:58 PM  

I went to a school of nursing where the profesors were all old-school-hard-core-nurses. We wore starched white uniforms. The white tops had to have buttons up the front, could not be the one-piece-pullover kind. The pants had to be starched white, too, without the elastic gathering at the ankles. We had to wear closed-toed white leather nursing shoes, but the kinds with the full heel in the back (instead of the strappy-thing). Our patches had to be exactly 2.5 inches from the shoulder (and yes, they did send people home for patch unconformity)... Our hair had to be back and off of our collars, and the female students were required to wear makeup. However, only two earrings could be worn, so if you had multiple holes in your ears, you could only wear two earrings in them. No tongue rings or body piercings were allowed...

And now? My employers don't care what I wear, so long as they're scrubs, print or solid colors are permitted. On Fridays we can wear regular clothes and denim, but I usually wear a scrub top with my jeans.

Meanwhile, for those of you who have not seen my blog lately, I've been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and have a total thyroidectomy scheduled for Monday morning, April 3rd. All well-wishes, prayers, and good thoughts are most appreciated.

Blogger Marisapan, at 1:53 PM  

We have to wear white scrub pants and either a blue or white scrub top. A lab coat is optional, but whatever layer you wear on the outside must have a big school of nursing patch on the left shoulder. My major gripe with the white pants is that I constantly worry when it's THAT time of the month. Menstruating + white scrub pants = major leakage anxiety. They uniform was obviously approved by a group of menopausal women.

Anonymous Nursecadet, at 7:13 AM  

I don't know what we'll be wearing yet. I suppose I'll find out at orientation, I hope its not too terrible. By the way.....I'm in!!!I start school in August.

Blogger Heeds, at 8:07 PM  

good topic.

our school used to have maroon scrub tops and bottoms with white or black shoes. i thought that was quite attractive. then they changed over to white scrubs for everyone - and underneath the white scrub top you wear the color polo that corresponds with the school (LPN, RN, NAC, whatever)...

i thought the change to white scrubs was more attractive and is helpful because its easier to find the students and easily identify which program they are with based on the color of their polo.

however, after awhile white gets old!

Blogger Wendy, S.N., at 1:21 PM  

My school also has the men's zip-up tunic (very uncomfortable and not at all flattering). White with teal trim on the sleeves and the school logo embroidered in teal on the chest.

White pants, white shoes, white scrub jacket.

Hideous. I feel like the Sta-puff Marshmallow Man.

Blogger Richelle Goettel, at 1:27 AM  


We had white polo shirts and blue scrubs after having all white with pinstripe blue polo tops. The white fit very poorly, and the polo shirts were not feminine for my build. I was miserable with those. The blue scrubs were a relief, but the problem there was in the summer when it was 104 degrees for about a week in a row, I had to take a scissors to the white polo top and cut it into a "dickie" and even then my neck was just burning.

You know what I think they aught to do? Allow students to pick the color they want (the blue made my skin look grey...I prefer maroon or teal or even black with prints) require solid colors, any color, but require an identifying patch be sewn on both sleeves. Who could miss identifying a patch on a sleeve on a solid color?

Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"..., at 2:00 PM  

We were required to wear royal blue--not navy-- white pants, white shoes, white jacket, white tights, and it even specified white modest underwear. Apparently, one male student wore none awhile back (!) and a female student wore a print...(don't remember if it was polka-dots or animal the rule became white/modest and specified.

We hate wearing white...we are mistaken for the "real nurse" since none of the nurses wear white!

Our class convinced the Powers-That-Be to allow us and future classes next year as advanced nursing student to wear blue top and blue pants. Everything else will be the same.

The hospitals (who refer to our school's students as "smurfs") like this because they can tell the beginning students from the more advanced.

Our school's MA's wear all navy and dark shoes.

We would've liked navy or maroon--but we're jsut glad that we won't have to wear all white.


Blogger Kim, at 12:02 AM  

Oh, it was horrible. We could wear all-white, that's what everyone wore back in those days but we, ourselves, had to sew a green and a gold grograin ribbon down the front of every single thing we wore! (circa 1976)


Same ribbons on my cap, looks good there!

Blogger Student Nurse Jack, at 9:21 PM  

Happily, ours are "Hook 'Em" burnt orange scrubs with white longhorns embroidered on them. So come July, when I'm literally sweating my ass off, the color underwear I'm wearing won't matter.

HATE the all-white/no clogs shoe restriction. I want some cool clogs! Guess that's my incentive to study well.

Blogger Nanner, at 1:41 AM  

When I was in LPN school, we wore carribean blue pants, lab coat with a white scrub top. In RN school we had to wear white pants, white polo shirt with school logo and a forest green lab coat with the school patch on it. The uniforms I wear at work are full of color and I enjoy them more!

Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:38 AM  

In LPN school we work white Landau pant and jackets. The top was the ceal blue snap top front. Not too bad. In RN school is is a white jacket, white pants, and powder blue top. I was lucky.


Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"..., at 7:45 PM  

Had you seen this yet, Hynokitten?

Blogger JeffGeorgia, at 2:49 PM  

Well, I am starting nursing school this coming July and I can't wait to find out. But looking online for what UNISEX or MEN outfit there are I am in deep trouble. THERE IS NOTHING - BORING. Let's see working in Ped's and one nurse wearing cute bear scrubs or a male nurse in all green - which would you like to look at.

Blogger HypnoKitten, at 7:37 PM  

I guess that totally depends on how good looking that male nurse happens to be, eh? :)

Most guys just wear solid colors. I know of one black male nurse I know who wore red or black scrubs and they looked really good. Have a salesperson at the scrubs store help you find something that looks good with your hair color and complexion, IF you get to choose what you wear - unfortunately most nursing schools already have their mind made up as to what you're going to be wearing.... ;)

Blogger Antigonos, at 10:39 AM  

In 1980, my mother, when terminal, would put on the bell, and when the nurse, attired in some colorful top and white pants, would enter the room, she would say "Oh, I'm sorry. I wanted the nurse, not a waitress."
I belong to the antediluvian generation which wore a blue checked dress, with detachable collar held in place with studs, a heavily starched white bib and apron, also joined with studs, white stockings and white shoes, and of course our student's cap, plain for first year, one black band for second year, and two for "senior" year. Moreover, we had uniform inspection (including shoelaces!) daily. Hair must be neat and off the collar, no makeup, no nail polish, and the only permissible jewellry was a plain gold wedding ring. Since our aprons were mid-calf in length, and it was the Swinging Sixties, some of the girls shortened them, only to be told by the instructors that skirts had to come to below the knee. "Your skirts are too short, Miss Friedman", a classmate was told, to which she replied, with a completely straight face, "I have low knees, Miss Tauber".
We were also told that a "professional appearance notes a professional attitude and approach", and, you know, 40 years on, I think they were right. Where I work now, in an outpatient clinic, I wear a white jacket over street clothes and some of the nurses are actually in jeans and sports shoes. This Old Wrinkly also misses wearing her school cap--I worked darned hard to get it!

Blogger Jo, at 10:56 AM  

Teal green scrubs with a patch on the left arm.
White shoes and socks, hair up. A White lab coat for days we are not on the floor, to be worn with nice business attire.
I'm so glad to say good bye to the Teal, Finally!
I think you can stay professional looking in scrubs as long as you stay with solid colors and avoid the Spongebob scrubs. (Except maybe in pediatrics)
During my psych rotation everyone wore T-shirts and jeans (including the MDS)
T-shirts, especially ones advertizing the Org. are allowed on my work unit with scrub pants

Anonymous Jane, at 11:17 PM  

A dress, white apron and cap is a good uniform for a nursing student. Most nurses would like to wear a traditional uniform but are often afraid to say so.

Anonymous Samantha, at 10:15 PM  

I'm a college of nursing instructor and a Nurse Practitioner, and remember when uniforms were pale blue with white collar and cuffs, a white cap, stockings and lace-up shoes. No so bad, really. Our students wear white pants, burgundy tops witht eh brugundy and gold college seal, and white clinic shoes of any kind. When I give flu shots at our local senior center I still wear my cap, and the senior citizens love it. it is still a powerful symbol and one we should have kept.

Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:30 AM  

I worked with a Sister of Mercy who had once served as a professor at one of the Mercy Schools of Nursing. She commented to me one day that the nurses look like they are wearing pajamas, and wished that they would all go back to wearing white so you knew who the nurse was. I reminded her that alot of people would Love to see her back in the traditional habit, as she wore a standard white nurses dress with NO VEIL. She chuckled at me and said " I see your point!". She didnt want to be dictated to any more than the nurses!

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