Five facts about nurse uniforms

In our new ‘five facts’ series, we’ve rounded up five facts about hospital nurse uniforms.

Delve in to find out about the history of these uniforms and how they’ve evolved over the years, just as the nursing profession itself has changed and responded to different eras.


In the last four decades, nurse uniforms have advanced at a rapid rate. The iconic white uniforms having been replaced by the now more familiar blue and green scrub suits.

In the Nineteenth Century surgeons wore their own clothes to work. Nurses wore tailored gowns, which were initially similar to servant uniforms but with deeper pockets, white aprons and starched white caps.

It was the First World War that led to the most significant changes in nurse uniforms. This era brought with it the need for a more functional design that would allow nurses to treat patients more quickly.

One of our bestselling nurse uniforms from Dickies

The introduction of medical scrubs in the 1960s (sometimes referred to as ‘theatre blues’) replaced traditional nurses’ uniforms. The scrub’s simple design was intended to be easy to clean, cheap to replace, and minimise the places contaminants could hide.

One of our bestselling hospital nurse uniforms is from Dickies. It comes as a multi-pocket top and drawstring trousers (as above).

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