When nursing first started, women wore kerchiefs to cover their hair. These kerchiefs were worn for practical reasons, and evolved into the nursing caps that are now recognized the world over. The starched white caps, perched on the top of the head, used to help identify nurses, including where the nurse went to school and what rank she held. Every school had its own cap, some simple and some quite elaborate, even with wings and peaks.
The cap meant a lot to the nursing students and nurses. By graduation, the coveted, but impractical, cap was worn with pride. These caps, white and starched, couldn't be washed every day. Since they were worn every day by the nurses, they harbored bacteria that could spread.
But there are other reasons why caps went out of fashion:
If you ask, most nurses would likely tell you they are glad they don't have to wear a cap. However some do remain wistful, remembering how the cap united nurses by symbolizing the accomplishment of completing nursing school and working together in this important profession.
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