nasty email

  1. i received this letter in my email and thought i would share it with the rest of the board.
    it concerns the subject of nursing caps and it is from someone called

    "I would expect a nurse of your age to understand the history and
    symbolism of nursing caps. The capping ceremony we went through in
    school was a proud moment for all nurses. Now I am a male RN, and
    couldnt wear a cap but At least I recognize the history of the nursing
    profession, and if you are any kind of nurse. You should have enough
    pride in yourself and your chosen profession to understand this
    Maybe then you would be a nurse rather than just frustrated.
    know your heritage and be proud
    Thomas Livingston RN"

    mr livingston RN, symbolism aside, my question was WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CAPS??????

    surely they must have served some purpose at one time. since you are the self proclaimed historian why not enlighten me?

    i realize that your mail was intended to make me angry but it made me laugh. im sorry but im far too busy taking care of my patients and trying to keep on top of all these new drugs to research nursing traditions. please stop cluttering my mailbox with your opinions on what kind of nurse i am. you dont know anything about me or what i do.
    i might ask you what kind of PERSON you are to judge someone's professionalism or standard of practice by a post on a message board regarding caps?
    mr livingston RN, i am happy for your pride in your profession. i'll bet you would look mighty cute in a cap. be proud....wear one to work.
    ill thank you to address any further comments to me on the board rather than junk up my mail.
  2. 87 Comments

  3. by   Agnus
    I'm not sure what this is all about but I do know a bit about the history of the cap.

    It evolved from the middle ages. Look at some of the outlandish headdresses they wore. Nursing as you may know in the middle ages was the domain of relgious orders. Nuns of the early and mid 20 century wore habits. These habits were variation of dress that had been wore in the middle ages, evolved slightly, but originating in the middle ages (priest vestments are clearly simular to royal vestments of that period).
    Many orders of nuns were (are?) nurses. the word for nurse in German translates as, sick sister. So anyway, nuns wore these strange habits that included a headdress of some sort (varies with the order) They were nurses and usually they were the ones who trained civilian nurses (non nun). Headcoverings for women often were worn all the way to about 1960. (religion) Since nursing has such a close history to the church and the custom of women wearing head coverings (especially women in service positions) well, we had the cap. Every nursing school had it's own design for the cap. Some were organdy fluff (more like a maids cap) some like the flying nun. Head coverings were a sign of modesty and humility. They really had no pratical use.
    Often you did not get your cap when you first started school but only after you had been in school a certain length of time. (varies with school) You usually had a cermony where the cap was solomly placed on you head. It was usually a candle lit ceremony (Nightengale's lamp). This was considere an honnor and marked a milestone achievement in your training. Diffrent school sometimes put a black or colored stripe(s) on the cap. (black to morn Nightengale's passing) Colored was usually the school colors. It was a symbol of the nurse's athority. My mother called it the nurse's crown because as she saw it the nurse was about the only woman who had any power or athority (such as it was in those days) Mom felt it was the nurse who reall ruled in the hospital because it was she not the physician who spent her time at the beside and knew the patient.
    We got rid of it because it was impractical, hard to keep on your head, got in the way, caught on the curtains, was a symbol of humility and servitude. etc.
  4. by   jayna
    What is this cap business up to. And where will this leads to
  5. by   frustratedRN
    thank you so much

    i suspected it had something to do with nuns but i couldnt imagine what the connection would be.
    that was really interesting and informative...
  6. by   Dyno
    What did you say frustratedRN to receive such messages?
    Thomas is a little tense isn't he?
    I used to wear a cap (20 years ago) when I started nursing, thank goodness they are obselete now.
    Yes we had a ceremony, then got 'our stripe', really it was all abit much, but Agnus is right, the connection is with the nursing sisters or nuns of long ago. I guess by continuing to use it a hierarchy could be enforced.
    Lets just be thankful they are gone now, & no they didn't hold you hair in place & always got knocked off when you were cleaning under a bed.
  7. by   BBnurse34
    My school didn't use hats at all, not even at graduation. I would have liked to have one. Never would actually wear it, but would be fun to have.
  8. by   nur20
    As an instructor told me once: It's not what's on your head, it's what's in it!!
    Last edit by nur20 on Oct 15, '01
  9. by   radnurse2001
    I don't know who this coward teeituptom is but I wish he'd express the setiments on the board that he sent to me. I was deeply offended that this boy felt he could make a judgement on my nursing skills just because I don't agree with wearing a cap. He stated that neither frustratedrn or myself should be nurses at all. I don't think our profession needs that kind of immaturity. I also think he needs to come out from his hiding place and face all of us directly instead of hiding behind personal e-mails. I just communicated today with frustratedrn about this and was glad to find thiss thread. teeitup come join us on the board so we can get to know YOU better.

    Proud to be a Registered Nurse----

  10. by   MRed94
    We got our caps and stripes at my graduation ceremony in 1988, and the last time I saw it was in the box it came in the day after the ceremony.

    We didn't wear them once after the pictures were taken. I never saw the need for them.

    I do understand the symbolism, but I rejoiced more when we could take off the stupid smocks that designated us students.

    I don't think I could bring myself to wear that cap again, because it made us look like the flying nun.....

    I do think Thomas needs to get a life, if all he has to do is badger you about your irreverence, Frustrated.....

  11. by   KC CHICK
    Hey, now I feel left out!!!

    I don't care for nursing caps myself. Besides, they would serve absolutely NO purpose in the OR.

    Can I have my e-mail now Tom???

    Another Anne.
    Last edit by KC CHICK on Oct 15, '01
  12. by   spudflake
    We had capes and studded uniforms!! Our caps looked like a bird landed on our heads. Caps are all that has already ben stated PLUS dirt magnets. What a PIA to clean. I'm SOOOOO glad they are gone!! If Mr. Livingston, RN wants...I can send him mine
  13. by   willie2001
    I don't know who this teeituptom is but I got and E-mail from him also. He was casting judgment on me because I am from Iowa, not because of my opinion of nursing caps. I just blew it off, but now I see I'm not the only one. Talk about immaturity and ignorance!!!
  14. by   willie2001
    By the way, I don't wear a cap either. I don't know anyone who does. They are impractical in nursing practice today.