Tuesday, April 09, 2013


One of my Facebook friends posted her LPN school graduation photo, so I challenged all my nursey friends to post theirs.  I've heard several comments -- that I look like I'm in middle school, that my hair hasn't changed, and the like.  I, of course, notice immediately that this is pre-braces.  And that I only got to wear my pin a time or two after graduation before it went down the laundry shoot at the hospital, still attached to my scrubs.  I never saw it again.  I remember that I loved this top, and wore it all the time, but never after graduation.  I spent the next twenty years in scrubs.  And I never wore my cap again, though I do still have it.

One of my younger Facebook friends said that her class voted not to have caps, then another chimed in with a similar comment.  I think that's sad.  Granted, mine is put away, and I never wore it again, but still, those caps were a HUGE thing for us while we were in school.  First, student nurses looked forward to the capping ceremony, where they recited Florence Nightingale, and lit candles.  That was after the first year of clinicals.  I was so sad that ours was the first class that didn't get a capping ceremony.  We felt really cheated.  As I recall, they just handed out our caps in class.

Nonetheless, we had arrived.   Once you had a cap, you were looked upon with some respect by the other student nurses.  Caps set you apart, because each school had a different cap.  Mine had a circle with an IC in it -- for Indiana Central (since renamed, rendering the IC obsolete).  You could recognize alumni by their caps.  And when we went to clinicals, we felt just a little closer to being a Real Nurse.

So, I don't know why the schools don't give out caps anymore, but then again, I do.  No one wears them.  Their time has passed, just like the white hose and the starched whites.  It's more than a little sad to us Old Nurses, so I hope that my Facebook friends keep putting up their graduation pictures, to remind us of the time past.

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