Registered nurses in the province will soon be wearing white and black uniforms. The head of the Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union says members will be implementing a standardized look for the registered nurses in the province's hospitals, which she says will help patients identify nursing staff much easier.
The hospital scrubs currently worn by RNs are not exclusive to nursing staff; many other employees wear the medical get-up, including janitorial staff, cafeteria workers and laboratory technicians.
Debbie Forward said this makes for a confusing situation for many patients, adding that a standard look for RNs would best serve everyone.
"I've had many members of the public say to me, 'I was in the system, I talked to this individual about my issue only to find out it wasn't a nurse that I was speaking to,' and it's very frustrating," Forward said.
"And even our own members felt like they were in the system, becoming invisible. It really came from conversations about asking us as a union to do more to promote the role and the value of registered nurses, and one way to do that is making sure that people know who we are," she said.
The proposed uniform is a white top with black bottoms. According to Forward, staff in other provinces have been having success with this uniform. "We've heard many comments from our counterparts in Nova Scotia, for example, of public coming up to nurses and saying, 'You look fabulous. I can now see that you're registered nurses,'" she said.
"So I think that sense of respect and value within the system our members will get to a greater degree than what they're getting today."
Forward said the new standardized uniforms will be implemented by the end of 2014.