NARRATOR: Oh hi, hi, hello there! And welcome to the video documentary on history of formal education for nurses. I’ll be your host, Myrna [inaudible]. Today I’ll be taking you on the journey of the historical changes that had made nursing education what it is today. Some of you nursing students’ maybe surprise to find out that nursing school wasn’t always this way.
Now we’re going to take a journey and follow the nursing’s unit, just like yourself little Debbie Nickerson to her journey of Nursing Education.
Instructor: Good morning ladies, it’s your first day as nursing students I just thought we would go over. So rule of basic conduct 101, number one; thou shall conduct oneself in a manner begetting our nurse always. Thou shall be absolutely no [inaudible] or fluctuation or the light, it is strictly forbidden. Thou shall not wear pants, you shall not smoke, drink, dance, swear, lie, gossip, having slouch or anything that I would find disrespectful. Thou shall eat; sleep and breath the snow of perfection for you are all becoming nurses. All right, first topic is this –
Debbie: Hi, oh sorry I’m late.
Instructor: And you might be newbie.
Debbie: Debbie Nickerson, I’m a nursing student.
Instructor: Well, come on here then. Let’s have a look at you, shall we? Your appearance is a disgrace. I have not been so appalled in 15 years. What are you wearing? This can trap him, you and then lipstick and the eye makeup and your pony tail is horribly – oh, nurses do not look like this, do you hear me Nickerson? Nurses never look like this, you are prim, you are proper, you are refined. The church is your head, carry is your calling. Do you understand me? Better. Because if you want me to be a nurse young lady, you have to shape up your act.
Narrator: Oh my, my, my, my, who little Debbie didn’t realize the high expectations that nursing school had. Traditionally nursing education always had very strong ties with the Roman Catholic Church. Before the times of Florence Nightingale, nursing was taken on only in religious orders or in convent by young female nuns. And a strict code of ethics was enforced like the one we saw in this past scenario. Many people considered nursing to be a manifestation of convention or religion. And others said, nursing was born in the church. A nurse was expect to posses religious goodness, trust, discipline and more importantly than all, obedience.
Next let’s see how worldly little Debbie adjust to her new changes in nursing school.
Instructor: [Inaudible] do then shower?
The nursing uniform originated from nun’s habit. The uniform was invariably clean, white and pressed. In the 1870s’ the nursing uniforms resembled those of domestic servant with caps and baby prints. As you can see here, the nursing costumes changed overtime. A nurse’s cap was mandatory, throughout nursing history. The cap signified the respective Roman Catholic religion. The cap changed shape and design many times over the decades. Some caps have colored bands to indicate the level of the nurses training, a first year nursing student would have a white band, a second year student would have a big band and a graduate student would have a black band.
Nowadays modern nursing uniforms are very different with colors and prints and pants. There are many guesses as why the uniforms changed so dramatically, some people say the nurses wanted to identify with the doctors, another medical professionals.