"No habit, no vocation." -Anonymous
My sister-in-law set out to be a nurse shortly after graduation from high school. She had to live in a dorm and follow very strict rules of conduct - the students lived like nuns in those days. She studied with the Sisters of St. Joseph at their nursing school in Downtown St. Paul at the time. The students - all women - wore nurses uniforms, which were in fact rather matronly. Just like high school girls with their uniforms, the women somehow shortened the skirt length and found a way to show off their cute little shapes, if they could get away with it. Point is, nursing schools were strict and the students lived liked postulants in a religious community to some extent. My sister-in-law quickly became a nursing school drop out.
Like the nuns, the nurses eventually abandoned their habits/uniforms. No more cute little uniforms and sexy nurses caps. Just like the nuns, they modified at first. The first thing to go was the cap - naturally, since all women got rid of hats and head coverings in those days. Then they modified the dress, permitting ill-fitted, polyester, white pant-suit uniforms - which yellowed and greyed from frequent tumble drying and became somewhat transparent. Shiver. At least when they wore dresses they also wore slips... but I digress. The horror of worn-polyester may actually be the reason why the nurses began wearing ugly, flowery-scrubs which look more like children's pajamas than anything resembling a uniform...
"We're dealing with sick people here, you understand.
Dangerously sick people!" - Nurse Diesel
Anyway - cut to the chase - last week a commenter critical of nuns who no longer wear a veil or a habit wrote, "No religious habit, no vocation." In other words, the habit makes the nun. Perhaps the same could be said of nurses, "No uniform or cap, no vocation."
No wonder health care is such a mess.