Traditional white nurses' caps identified the wearer as a nurse. The number, placement and color of the stripes on the cap signified the student nurse's year in school, the school's colors and recognition of her graduation from nursing school as a registered nurse. Student nurses typically had small stripes in blues, greens or pinks on the left side of their hats, one for each year in the nursing program. Upon graduation, registered nurses added a black band across the entire width of the cap; some schools retained the colored stripes when the black stripe was added, others removed them.
Things You'll Need
White starched nursing cap
Ribbon strips in school colors, 1/4 inch wide by 4 inches long
Craft or fabric glue
Black velvet or satin ribbon, 1/2 inch wide by 10 inches long
Measure the short side of the nurse's cap from the bottom to the corner on the left side. Cut three strips of colored ribbon of that measurement.
Glue a strip of pre-cut colored ribbon on the left front corner of the nurse's cap to indicate that the student is in first year of nursing. Allow the glue to dry completely before wearing the cap.
Glue a second piece of the colored ribbon next to the first to mark the student's second year of nursing school. Allow glue to dry completely. Repeat with the third piece of ribbon for the third year.
Measure the width across the front of the cap. Cut the black ribbon to fit. Glue the ribbon across the front of the cap from side to side at the top edge of the cap to signify the wearer's status as a registered nurse (RN).