Monday, August 10, 2015

Student Nurses Commandments C. 1960

These "directives" were from the Halifax Infirmary School of Nursing sometime in the 1960's.

1. Thou shalt never appear untidy.

2. Neither shall thy hair touch thy collar scorning the ordained hairnet.

3.Thou shalt not - when on duty - friendly calls by phone receive.

4.Thou shall sleep in the darkness of thy room in my own bed  by 10:00 PM. What the heck was that about? Nor shalt thou study by flashlight or converse in low whispers lest by this thou shall disturb the sleep of thy royal roommate.

5. Thou shall not appear on duty artificially adorned nor shalt though gird thy fingers and arms with miscellaneous jewelry, nor display in thy pocket a colored handkerchief.

6. Thou shalt with interns maintain a strictly professional mien.

7. Neither shalt thou harbor the filthy weed. and thou shalt not in the residence partake of the company of Lady Nicotine.

8. Thou shalt not in the morning thy room leave untidy. Nor shall thy cupboard be compared to a bazaar.

9. Thy bed thou shalt strip on the third day of the week. Thou shalt leave it unmade 'till sundown, then thou shalt carefully replace the linen squaring the corners as is thy duty to thy knowledge.

10. Nor shalt though be tardy for breakfast.


  1. Yeah, OFRN, it does make more and more sense how controlling that (those) that you can, could make up for having no power over so many things that you can’t ( lack of research, clinical knowledge, proven treatments). Ensuring that student nurses changed their bed on the third day ( never the second or fifth), could give one a tiny sense of control, even if it robbed others of even rudimentary decision-making about the basics of personal appearance and personal care. Even when I joined in, there were some old crusty instructors with little self-esteem except what they could steal from the young, impressionable students.

    1. Diploma nursing school instructors were a breed of their own. I doubt the verbal abuse or humiliation of students would be tolerated in an academic setting. We actually had a wall of shame right next to the auditorium where nursing student misdeeds were posted for all to see. Things like "Nancy thought you could irrigate a Foley with a TB syringe. HAHA..How did that work out.

      When true cures for serious illness were few and far between, old nurses set up rigid rules and routines for a false sense of control and security. Who could forget the no ice water for cardiac patients or no razor rule for patients on heparin or coumadin? We had lots of baseless rules for patients on IVs that I should write a post on. I'm tickled that you are enjoying some of my older posts that I've long forgotten about.