(Originally published in the May 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - "National Nursing Week" special advertising feature)
TOPIC - It’s right here... in black and white
This spring, spotting a nurse in Nova Scotia is about to get a whole lot easier thanks to the roll out of new, standardized uniforms. Nurses in acute care institutions across the province have already started wearing their new uniform of white tops and black bottoms, and more are following suit, every day.
In 2011, the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union negotiated a distinctive uniform for its members as part of collective bargaining. Now that all the details have been ironed out, the practical and easily-recognizable uniforms are arriving in nurses’ hands.
“Patients and their families should be able to easily identify who is providing their care,” said Janet Hazelton, NSNU president. “With the number of people coming and going in scrubs these days, we felt it would be helpful if our member nurses in acute care could be more easily seen.”
Nova Scotians support this move. In research conducted earlier this year, 74 per cent of those surveyed agreed it would be less confusing for patients if nurses wore a distinct uniform. And 82 per cent of those who supported the introduction of uniforms did so because they believe it’s hard to tell nurses from other members of the health care team.
Nurses were involved in the selection of the uniform colour. They chose the white and black combination from a number of other colour options in an online member vote carried out in the fall. In addition to the colours, uniforms will also include a silkscreen designation indicating Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse or Nurse Practitioner.
While most nurses will be wearing the white and black uniforms, some will not. This includes some nurses working in long-term care, nurses in the community who may require discretion and nurses represented by other unions.
NSNU represents more than 6,500 RNs, LPNs and NPs across Nova Scotia in hospitals, long- term care facilities, adult residential centres, VON branches and Canadian Blood Services Centres.
*For more National Nursing Week stories, check out: http://www.ns.dailybusinessbuzz.ca/Industry-Spotlight/National-Nursing-Week-23617