Nursing Uniforms Through The Years

Published: 27th April 2010
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Nursing as a profession may have simply flourished a few years ago, but in reality it began ever since the birth of humans. Over the years, the profession has gained great respect from people all across the world especially, due to the pivotal nursing work of Florence Nightingale and other notable nurses. Nursing as a profession was mainly commenced by the nuns for taking care of the wounded soldiers in the military. During the world wars, the nurses dressed in simple white dresses took charge of caring and nursing the wounded soldiers. It was then that the profession gained attention of people and recognition in the society. Today, it is taken up as an important profession that saves life of people suffering from diseases and injuries.
Over the time, along with the growing importance of the profession, the appearance of the nurses has also come across a drastic change. Nurses in the yester years wore a cap on their head which portrayed their profession and rank in the hospital along with a huge apron or a tunic. However, with the passing time the nurse uniform also experienced a great change. Here below is a brief about the profession and every important transition phase that it went through.
Fever-Proof Nursing uniforms (late 1800 era)
This was the basic pioneering stage of the profession. In the late 1800's, the nuns took care of the patients and the various people suffering from diseases. As a result, the nurses in this stage appeared nearly similar to the nuns. They wore a simple gown similar to that of the nuns with an apron which according to the medical practitioners was fever-proof. They also wore a hat on their head for hygiene purpose and also for the identification of the nurses from the others.
White Nursing Uniforms (World War I)
The next phase of the nursing profession was the time during the First World War. During this period, white color was accepted as the main uniform color based on the older uniforms worn by the nuns. As a result, the nurses wore long gowns with a hat on the head. The only difference identified about the nurse uniform was the Red Cross band worn on the left arm by the nurses. The use of face masks and the medical hand gloves that were deeply studied by Florence Nightingale was still not used for protection.
Colored Nursing Uniforms (World War II)
The first world war brought along several changes in the profession. The nurses after World War I were made to undergo rigorous training. As a re4sult the profession leaped ahead with several advancements. However, the nurse uniforms during the World War II were still white in color except the fact that they were not as bulky as earlier.
Medical Scrubs (Current Generation)
The nurse uniforms changed soon from their white uniform to the colored scrubs based on the demands made by the nurses for their comfort and stylish professional look. Today these colored scrubs are called as the medical scrubs.


Rahul Patel is an expert in nursing uniforms and working as a freelance writer for online retailer of medcouture lab coats in USA.

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