Why do nurses wear trousers instead of stockings, like they used to?

Why do nurses wear trousers instead of stockings, like they used to?

By Josephine Reid

The evolution of the nurse's uniform proves to be long and progressive. Without going down the entire timeline of a nurse's uniform scrubs, we can look at the 1960's, where sleeves were constantly changing, the hem of the nursing uniforms also got higher. The 60's version of the uniform scrubs can now be considered as standard uniform in the modern nursing profession. The sleeves were sleek, the shorter apron has patch pockets, and the neckline remained modest with rounded collar secured by a button.

Although colored nursing uniforms have been in the industry for quite some time, the white uniforms were still widely used. From the 60's to about 1975 uniforms scrubs were made from cotton poplin, and nurses possibly wore the white duty nursing dress with black oxfords or optional white oxfords as authorized. They could've also wore the uniform with a green cardigan sweater, cap, and white stockings.

This then ushered in uniform pants, which were especially worn in the field, became a thing of the past as pantsuits were authorized also as duty uniforms in medical facilities, in 1978. They said nursing uniforms came with a beret, pins, and nameplate. This pantsuit became controversial when wearing the particular uniform which was made optional for those who want to buy and wear the uniform!

Over the years, nurses' responsibilities have changed, but not as dramatically as their uniforms. Back in the 1920's, for instance, nurses were affiliated with religious duties, which explains having to be completely covered with long skirts and adorned headwear.

Fun Fact: In the 1970's, the nurses' uniform at many hospitals were sleek and modern looking compared to earlier iterations.

Over the decades, nurses' uniform scrubs have based on the working conditions, the progression of women's roles and more.

I'm Josephine Reid and I work at Dressamed.com headquarters in Los Angeles. I have a B.S. in Retail Merchandising and Business from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. I like to keep a beautiful balance of a creativity and business mindset.