The dress code for nursing has changed a lot over the years. Female nurses are no longer restricted to white dresses and funny hats. Nowadays, many male and female nurses want to express their style in the workplace but feel as though they can't. There’s currently no universal dress code for nurses, so they may have some wiggle room when it comes to color and prints. Here's a breakdown of what some research reveals about what patients think about a nurse’s uniform.
A 2008 study from the Professional Nurse Practice Council tested how patients reacted to dress codes.1 The research was predicated on many debates, like whether to return to traditional white scrubs, and if nurses should be allowed to wear jewelry or artificial nails.
The group polled 430 randomly selected patients from their hospital on questions relevant to a nurse's appearance. This is what the researchers discovered:
94% of patients believed the nurses' appearances were professional.
64% of patients thought nurses should choose the colors of their uniforms.
73% of patients wanted nurses to wear their hair up and off of their shoulders.
91% of patients didn't like the idea of a nurse with artificial fingernails.
38% of patients wanted to be able to locate their nurses by uniform color.
28% of patients believed nurses should return to all white uniforms.
These poll results may surprise you. And they can help you have a better understanding of why an employer might have specific requirements for your nursing uniform. Who knows, maybe you can use these poll results to persuade a manager to allow nurses to wear more interesting patterns and colors for scrubs!