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Celebrate National Nurses Week With Us!

by South University
April 26, 2018
An image of several South University nursing students.  The image has the National Nurses Week 2018 logo in the right corner.  It reads nurses inspire, innovate, influence.

Nurses serve as the frontline of the American healthcare system. Registered Nurses administer patients' medications and treatments, create plans for patient care, help perform diagnostic tests, teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses and injuries and so much more.

In fact, the roles and responsibilities of these caring and compassionate healthcare providers is rapidly expanding. Advanced practice nurses perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat common illnesses and injuries, manage chronic health problems and prescribe medication.

At South University, we truly admire the hard work and dedication of the students in our nursing programs, our nursing alumni and all of the other nurses who display a steadfast commitment to the patients they help each and every day. It's an honor to offer educational opportunities to help nurses grow and make a larger impact on their patients, communities and the healthcare industry as a whole.

We're always excited to observe National Nurses Week, sponsored by the American Nurses Association (ANA), each year from May 6 to May 12. This is a time for us to acknowledge the work of these caregivers and say thank you for everything they do for us throughout the year.

National Nurses Week 2018

The 2018 theme of National Nurses Week, "Inspire, Innovate, Influence," recognizes nurses' commitment to protecting, promoting and improving health care for all. "We take pride in the fact that the public has rated nursing as the most honest and ethical profession for the past 16 years," states the ANA. "It is only fitting that we take one week each year to celebrate our profession and the vital role nurses play in health care."

Thank a Nurse

Join in the celebration this National Nurses Week and help us honor the special nurses that have touched your lives. We encourage you — our students, alumni and other community members — to participate in the festivities by recognizing or thanking a nurse on our Facebook page during National Nurses Week (May 6-May 12, 2018).

Nurses—help us honor you by sharing your story, advice and accomplishments today. We want to hear your personal story about what you've accomplished and overcome, as well as well as what's keeping you motivated to pursue your education.

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The Evolution of Nurse Uniforms

by Jared Newnam
May 13, 2011

Nurses’ uniforms have undergone many changes since they emerged in the 1800s. From the days of floor-length dresses with aprons to today’s variety of colorful scrubs, the design of the uniforms has changed based on functionality, professionalism, and the role of the nurse.

Prior to the foundation of modern nursing in the 19th century, nuns provided nursing care to sick and injured people. So the first nurse uniforms were derived from the nun’s habit.

Florence Nightingale’s efforts during the Crimean War helped turn nursing into a respected occupation, and in the late 1800s, she established a nursing school. Thereafter, the nurse’s uniform began to look more professional in order to distinguish trained nurses from those who were not. It was actually one of Nightingale’s students who designed the first recognizable nurse’s uniform, which included a long dress with an apron and a frilly cap.

From the 1880s until World War I, the uniform changed very little. Not only designed for protection against illness, it was also considered an expression of feminine virtue. During World War I, it became clear that the former styles of nursing uniforms were no longer practical. As the war brought in a vast number of wounded, nurses needed to be fast and efficient. The bulky aprons started to disappear and skirts were shortened for better mobility. Meanwhile, military nurses also wore tippets – short, cape-like garments worn over the shoulders – with badges sewn on them to denote rank.

As the popularity of the nursing profession grew, uniforms would continue to change. By the 1950s, there was an increased need for uniforms which could be mass-produced and easily cleaned. Sleeves became shorter and caps varied from a pill box style to a pointed version. Eventually, uniforms would become even less complex. Open-neck shirts and pants surfaced in the 1960s as more men entered the nursing profession, and by the 1970s, disposable paper caps replaced cotton ones. By the late 1970s, hats started to disappear altogether.

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 are shirts or tunic-style tops and trouser combinations. The functional, easy-to-care-for clothing provides healthcare professionals with comfort and more mobility. Uniform options have also expanded with many colors, shapes, fabrics, and prints to choose from.

Nursing uniforms have come a long way over the centuries, but distinguishable features, functionality, and protection have been longstanding requirements for them.

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