The Next Shift is a new series of stories written by experienced RNs to provide advice that can help guide the next generation of nurses. The series is presented by The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future.
I have been a nurse for 51 years and still am active in the profession. I have worked in med/surg and infection control, as a supervisor and an educator. There once were strict rules about personal neatness. Today, I see nurses in the hospital setting whose hair hangs over their patients, work stations, food, etc. Hair carries bacteria and should be confined in a ponytail or with a headband or clips. I have seen nurses walking on their pant hems, which spreads germs. Professionalism is shown by your appearance. The neater you look, the more your patient or client will value your expertise, trust your opinions and really feel that you care.