“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work,” said Florence Nightingale.
Florence Nightingale wanted to show the world how important it is to be a nurse for health and a lengthy life, particularly for soldiers who are often wounded while fighting to protect their homeland Because of Florence Nightingale, nursing soon became a respectable and well-recognized profession. Nursing is certainly a very superior type of job that is performed by a very preferred type of person. In the early days, nursing was one of the very few professions that a woman could choose.
But many aspects of nursing have changed been changed since that day. Just like changes in the rules of working, drastic changes have been seen in their uniforms as well.
Nursing was taken as a “street profession” at the beginning of 19th century, and that time most of the nurses used to wear servants’ uniforms, which involved a full black or printed gown with an apron and a cap.
However, the trained nurses started to wear lighter-colored gowns with caps and white aprons to show that they were nurses.
In 1900, Nurses began wearing capes and hats with colored bands to be distinguished as nurses. These colored bands were also used to display different ranks of the nurses. The dresses used to be long and fitted tightly around the waist.
Many other styles were introduced in the early 1900s; these styles included button-down top with sharp collar necks. A white bib also enclosed to the nurse’s trunk down to the waist.
During the World War I, many significant changes in the nursing uniform were made. Though nurses had to be quick and able to offer immediate care, therefore pockets were included to their dresses, and sleeves were designed to be rolled up for an easier movement.
After the world war I, nurses began to wear a plain white frock that fell to the ankles and shaped the basis of the nursing uniform that we all know and identify today.
In the 1930s and 40, the collared white dress and cap remained the standard uniform for nurses.
However, in late 1940, minor changes were introduced to the uniforms of nurses, their aprons were made much simpler. Though many uniforms had a bib pinned with an extended portion to secure the front side of the dress.
Washing a contaminated apron was much easier than throwing away the whole dress.
By the end of 1960, nurses did their laundry with a washing machine and using a dryer, which meant that uniforms had to be very modest for easy washing.
In 1970, the nursing caps had been disappeared from daily use on the job.
The nursing uniforms started to look more like regular clothing with a few nurses swapping brittle, white pant suits for the conventional uniform dress.
However, at the beginning of 1980 Open-neck shirts and simple uni-gender pants gained, even more, popularity as more men started to enter the nursing profession.
During the era of the 1990s, operation theater nurses were moved from white uniforms to scrubs, which was definitely easier to wash and sterilize.
Today the standard nurse uniform has been replaced with scrubs in most hospitals in Europe and U.S.
Scrubs are now offered many various colors, fabric, shapes and prints, and the nurses can pick the one they want to wear.