“This is it,” whispered Terry Haines, her blue eyes dancing with excitement.
The double doors leading into University Hospital’s auditorium opened. The house lights dimmed. A graduate nurse signaled. It was time for the sixty girls clustered outside to light their lamps, their symbols of dedication to the ideals of Florence Nightingale. The long awaited capping ceremony was about to begin.
There was a last minute rustle of crisp white bibs and aprons, worn over blue uniforms. Pam Warren reached out to tuck back one stray lock of Terry’s shining russet hair. Other roommates gave each other similar checks. Every hairdo must be in perfect order, worn safely above the collar. Television nurses might wear flowing tresses; real nurses, never.
by Virginia B. McDonnell, R.N. (1966)