As National Nurses Week kicks off May 6, we take a look back at one of the most beloved, and hated, garments in health care: the nurse's cap, with a tip of the hat to Medscape, which ran a series on the subject for its registered members.

Once a universal symbol of nursing, the nurse’s cap has all but vanished from the profession. Many say it was long overdue, but there are some nurses who proudly remember their white dress and starched cap.

Enjoy these pictures from the archives of Hospitals & Health Networks.


The staff nurses at Huntington Hospital on Long Island in a 1936 issue of Hospitals.


Nurses at Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, receive instructions in playing children's games in a March 1936 issue of Hospitals. Many nurses had little to no training with children, Children's Memorial made a point to train its nurses to interact with children. 

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A 1967 Flex-straw advertisement in Hospitals magazine, featuring a nurse in her nurse cap, and another from that year in an ad for bed sore control pads.