When Did Nurses Stop Wearing White Uniforms and Start Wearing Scrubs?

When Did Nurses Stop Wearing White Uniforms and Start Wearing Scrubs?

For centuries, nurses wore white dresses, pinafores and nurse caps as they served their community. This traditional uniform was established in the 1800's, long before the first World War and was designed to represent femininity more than it was designed for practicality. Over the years, the uniform underwent many changes as it adapted to the roles of nurses until the 1980's when it became almost entirely about its practicality. 

Nowadays, our nurses and healthcare workers are blessed with the practical design of scrubs (although, we know that not all scrubs feel like a blessing to wear). Scrubs were an exciting development for Nurses as they were less expensive, more comfortable and so much easier to work in compared to any uniform they had ever worn in the past.

Scrubs have become such a core uniform in the health and wellness industries that they are now available in many different colours and designs. We love that there is so much choice, however sometimes, it just makes it harder to choose. So we are here to help break it down a bit further for you.

What colour scrubs are nurses allowed to wear? Is any colour scrub ok?

White: White is far less common for nurses these days that you almost never see any nurse in white scrubs. As we like to say, black (and navy) is the new white!

Black: Black is one of the most popular scrub colours. Many surgeons, medical students and private practices wear black scrubs. They are classy and clean. Just what you want in a uniform.

Womens Black Scrubs

Navy: Navy is an absolute crowd favourite. In many hospitals, black is reserved for senior staff. For this reason, navy is the go to colour for anyone looking for an alternative to black. Black and Navy are also commonly worn by Doctors which means that nurses often wear colour to differentiate themselves.

Womens Navy Scrubs

Teal/Green: The perfect way for nurses to differentiate themselves and also feel bright and happy in their scrubs is to wear teal or green. We also find that this colour is popular for paramedics and surgeons.

Pink and Purple: These bright and fun colours would get anyone excited for work in the morning. They are typically less formal and generally not as common for medical students or in hospital settings. We see these colours worn mostly in children's health, veterinary surgeries and beauty clinics.

Grey/Charcoal: Reception staff wear a lot of charcoal and grey as this is a colour that does not stand out and is generally not worn by doctors or nurses.

Burgundy/Maroon: Another fun and vibrant choice for many healthcare professionals.

The best part, nursing uniforms are tax deductible so you don't need to worry about choosing what is best for you with price tags in mind. Uniforms that are specific to your industry can be claimed on your tax return each year.

Fun 'take outs' from this Blog:

1. When did nurses stop wearing white? 

In the 1980's, nurses uniforms began to change from the traditional white colour to light blue and other pale colours prior to their evolution to scrubs.

2. When did nurses start wearing scrubs?

In the 1990's nurses started wearing scrubs.

3. What colours are nurses scrubs now?

Nurses aren't limited to any colour now. Depending in the industry, nurses can wear whatever colour they like.

4. Where can nurses buy coloured scrubs?

Fit Right Medical Scrubs is the perfect place to purchase your next set of scrubs. They are designed for women, by women with the comfort of our nurses at the forefront of our minds.

5. How many different coloured scrubs do FRMS stock?

11 different colours!

6. Are nursing uniforms tax deductible?

YES. Uniforms that are specific to your industry are tax deductible for nurses and healthcare professionals.