Uniforms Nurses Have Actually Been Forced To Wear Throughout History


Nursing is a very special type of job that takes a very special type of person.

Florence Nightingale said of this time-honored profession: “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.”

In the early days of nursing, it was one of the few professions a woman was allowed to pursue. Since then, many aspects of nursing have changed  like these rules for nurses  the most visible of which is the uniform itself.

Scroll through the images below to see just how different today’s colorful scrubs are from the huge dresses, aprons, and caps nurses used to wear!

What do you think of this incredible nurse uniform evolution? Let us know in the comments!




In the 19th century, nursing was still considered a “street profession” and most nurses wore servants’ uniforms, which consisted of a full black or printed gown with a cap and an apron.

By the 1900s, pioneers like Florence Nightingale were showing the world how important educated nurses are to health and length of life, especially for soldiers.

Trained nurses began to wear lighter-colored gowns with white aprons and caps to indicate that they were nurses.




Since the 1990s, the traditional nurse uniform has been replaced with scrubs in most hospitals and healthcare facilities in the U.S. and Europe.

Scrubs now come in many different colors, shapes, fabrics, and prints, with many nurses allowed to choose which one they want to wear on any given day.

Today, the name tag is the only way you can tell a difference between a nurse, a surgeon, and a doctor.