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September 2015   Comments

Editor’s Note: We received several e-mails and phone calls about the cover of the June issue. Two of those e-mails, representing some of the different viewpoints, are published here.

The great debate about whether to standardize/formalize nursing attire continues. I found that the cover photo (June) depicted an unprofessional image (no disrespect intended to the knowledge level of the person in the photograph). With her sagging uniform pants, paired with the well-worn warm-up jacket, this nurse looked like someone at home who is ready for bed.

We can do better as a professional body. Research clearly demonstrates that patients in an acute care setting want to be able to identify the RNs. Research also shows that patients who are middle aged and elderly are the most likely to prefer a standard uniform for nurses. Coincidentally, the largest segments of the current population are middle aged and elderly.

Yes, we are in the 21st century, but moving to a standard uniform does not mean we are drifting back to the Dark Ages. Because other professionals who provide critical services must be clearly identified, so should RNs. This requirement should be communicated clearly to all those considering the nursing profession. If they don’t like the restriction, it is not the profession for them.

We have let the attire pendulum swing a little too far, allowing nurses to wear whatever they want. Standardizing uniforms is not an insult to our intelligence, as some have suggested. Allowing nurses in direct care the freedom to express themselves to the point of becoming non-identifiable, and confusing those to whom we have a legal and ethical responsibility to care for, is wrong.

– Colleen Guay, BN, RN
Quispamsis, N.B.

I want to commend you on your choice of photos on the cover and in the feature article. I dislike seeing photos in the magazine that seem to have been sourced from a photo bank. It is refreshing to see photos of nurses as they are, looking like real people — professional but not pristine. Well done!

– Silvana Rotili, RN(EC)
Ottawa, Ont.

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