I find the words “men’s fashion” in nursing rather intriguing. I’m a T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, so “fashion” isn’t something I generally pay much attention to. That said, as a so-called “male nurse,” I’ve found there hasn’t been much to choose from in the way of scrubs and shoes for men.
Over the last few years or so, men’s scrubs have come a long way. There now are many different solid colors and a few “masculine” prints available. But whenever I need new shoes for work, I go to the nurse uniform store hoping they’ll have more than one style of men’s shoes to choose from. It never happens. I’m beginning to believe that the “Big White Boat Shoe” is the only style of men’s nursing shoe in existence—and it makes you look like the Good Humor Man! The good thing for male nurses is that professional-looking, clean sneakers are now acceptable to wear.
Here are a few things that I think make male and female nurses look good as well as professional:
First, I feel solid colors are more acceptable for men. There are some really busy print scrub tops that I think can be distracting sometimes. However, on the peds floors, cute prints are totally acceptable because of their fun nature.
Many hospitals are trying to bring back the clean white scrubs look for their nurses. I believe this is an attempt to project that clean image that many laypeople identify nurses with. While I agree in principle with what this look says, as a nurse I feel it’s just not what I would call “street savvy.” All nurses who wear clean whites to work know that it’s just a matter of time before some type of body fluid gets on them. Yes, we all do our best “gowning up” to avoid this, but it inevitably happens. Then those clean whites aren’t projecting that “clean” image, if you know what I mean!
Another thing is: If you’re a guy, don’t mix and match your scrubs. If you’re wearing a blue top, wear the blue pants to match. Sports logo themed scrubs are good conversation pieces, and they offer men something different than just the solid scrubs.
Many nurses now have tattoos, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you do, try your best to cover them up while you’re at work. Also, big hanging necklaces or earrings are more appropriate outside the workplace. Again, a professional image is what we’re trying to project, and unfortunately, people make snap judgments on how you look. Sad but true.
Outside the hospital, dress however you want. When you go to work, dress appropriately and professionally so you can project that strong, confident appearance that nurses should be identified with.