How you dress as a nurse influences how your patients and colleagues perceive you. You might find it difficult to pay much attention to your appearance when you have a busy work schedule, but it’s important to dress in a way that makes you look competent and professional. Looking your best will also boost your confidence and help you feel good about yourself in the workplace.
Here are some style and fashion tips for busy nurses.
Choose scrubs that suit you
Most nursing professionals are required to wear scrubs during work hours. This includes trainee nurses, registered nurses, and senior nurses such as those with a DNP. Scrubs aren’t considered particularly trendy, but they are universally flattering and you can wear scrubs fashionably. First and foremost, make sure that your scrubs are the right size and fit your body comfortably.
You may have the option to choose scrubs in different colors and patterns. Pick scrubs in a color that will complement your looks and skin tone. You can also enhance your nursing scrubs with simple accessories and jewelry. However, be mindful of what you’re wearing and always follow your hospital’s dress code policy.
Keep your nails well groomed
According to advice on normalnurselife.com, most hospitals and healthcare facilities ban nurses from wearing acrylics or nail polish. They explain how these “restrictions are generally imposed to ensure the safety of patients and to reduce the risk of infection.” If your nursing role allows you to wear nail varnish, then choose a shade that is natural and elegant without being distracting.
All nurses should keep their nails short and well groomed. You can wear gloves to protect your hands and nails while you are working with patients and administering medical treatment. Keep the skin on your hands hydrated by applying a moisturizer regularly. This will help to prevent cracks and cuts that could pose a risk to the health of you and your patients.
Wear simple jewelry
Most nurses are allowed to wear jewelry at work. Wearing jewelry can be a great way to accessorize your scrubs and inject some personality and style into your outfit. However, you must follow your hospital’s policy on accessories and avoid wearing anything that could cause a health risk.
Stick to simple jewelry and avoid wearing anything large or heavy. Make sure that your accessories will not distract your patients when you are talking to them. For example, statement necklaces, bright colors, and long chains should be avoided.
Practice stylish nurse hairstyles
It is common practice for nurses to wear their hair up while working. Having your hair down can be unsanitary and cause a health risk, so you should keep it tied up and out of your face.
Your hair says a lot about your character and you want to find a hairstyle that works for you. Fortunately, there are lots of stylish nurse hairstyles that will look great throughout your shift. Ideally, you want a style that looks elegant, quick and easy to do, and durable—you don’t want to be adjusting your hair constantly while you’re working.
French braids, high ponytails, fishtail plaits, and top-knot buns are all great options for nurses. Check out this blog by Nurse Buff for more ideas and hair tutorials. Practice different hairstyles in your spare time and find a style that suits you.
Buy comfortable shoes
Nurses spend a lot of time on their feet, so comfortable footwear is a must. If you wear unsupportive shoes, then you risk causing joint issues and other painful health problems. Most nurses choose to wear high-quality sneakers, clogs, or other comfortable walking shoes made out of leather or rubber.
Nursing shoes might not be the most trendy, but some options on the market are both stylish and functional. Read reviews online or ask your nursing colleagues for their recommendations on the best nursing shoes.
Don’t forget your socks
Many nurses wear compression stockings to improve blood circulation and reduce leg fatigue during long shifts. Compression stockings put gentle pressure on the feet, calves, and ankles to help prevent blood-pooling and varicose veins. It is recommended that all healthcare professionals invest in a quality pair of compression stockings.
Compression stockings come in both knee-high and thigh-high designs. You can also choose a variety of colors and patterns to express your personality in the workplace.
Apply make-up in moderation
There is nothing wrong with nurses wearing make-up while working. Applying make-up can enhance your natural looks and boost your confidence and self-esteem in the workplace. If you choose to wear make-up, then try to keep it natural and simple. Remember that you don’t want to distract patients or appear unprofessional.
You should choose long-lasting make-up that will stay in place throughout your shift. Nurse Advisor recommends opting for waterproof clump-free mascara and a tinted lip balm. Invest in premium make-up that will enhance your features and still look fabulous at the end of your shift.
Keep your scrubs clean
This might seem obvious, but you won’t look your best and feel stylish in your scrubs if you don’t keep them clean. It is normal for nursing scrubs to get marks on them throughout the day and you might want to bring a spare pair into work so you can change during your shift if necessary.
Apply a pre-treatment to any marks on your scrubs before you put them in the washing machine to ensure that stains are removed effectively. Hanging your scrubs to air dry rather than putting them in a clothes dryer should also help to keep them looking new. Taking good care of your scrubs will keep them in pristine condition and help you look more stylish and professional in the workplace.
Many nurses layer their scrubs with other clothing, especially during the colder months. Layering your outfit will help you stay warm on your shift and it can also make you look more stylish. For instance, you can wear a long-sleeved t-shirt under your scrubs or wear a cardigan or lab coat on top.
Try to choose clothes in the same color as your scrubs, or pick neutral shades that will complement your scrubs. Avoid anything too bold and make sure that you maintain a clean and professional appearance.
Take care of your body
Working as a nurse can be stressful and you must take good care of your body if you want to look and feel your best. Here are some self-care tips for nurses:
Eat a nutritious diet
Make sure you eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Try to avoid processed foods and keep sweet treats to a minimum. You also need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Eating nutritious meals and snacks will keep your energy levels consistent and reduce your risk of health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Move your body
Nursing is a physical job and nurses must be fit to meet the physical demands of the role. Ideally, nurses should do strength training exercises regularly to build their muscles and stamina. Not only will this make you more effective in your role, but it can also reduce stress-related stress and anxiety.
Balancing a nursing schedule with a fitness routine can be difficult, but you should try to get the recommended amount of exercise each week. You can incorporate exercise into your daily schedule by walking to work instead of driving, booking workout classes after your shift, or starting a physical hobby e.g. tennis or swimming.
Get enough sleep
Nursing is physically and emotionally draining and nurses must prioritize sleep. Getting enough quality sleep is crucial to your health and wellbeing, and also to the health of your patients. Aim to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night and take short naps in the day if you are feeling tired.
If you struggle to get to sleep, then avoid caffeine later in the day and don’t use electronics for at least an hour before bed.
Relax & unwind
Everyone needs to make time to unwind, especially nurses who are working in such a demanding field. Schedule downtime into your daily schedule to relax and de-stress. This will allow you to switch off from your work responsibilities and enjoy a well-deserved break.
You can de-stress after a nursing shift by writing in a journal, socializing with family and friends, practicing meditation, or treating yourself to some pampering.
Nursing professionals rarely have much freedom over their outfits, as most nurses have to wear scrubs and follow a strict dress code policy. However, you can still take pride in your appearance and look great when you’re working as a nurse.
Choose scrubs that fit well and suit you, accessorize with simple jewelry, and experiment with stylish nurse hairstyles that are both elegant and practical. Don’t forget that your goal should be to dress in a way that communicates your confidence and professionalism, so avoid wearing anything that will distract your patients.