What Nurses and CNAs Wear, Scrub Colors Decoded

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By Triage Healthcare Staffing

February 8, 2023

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Decoding Scrub Style: What Nurses and CNAs Wear, Scrub Colors Explained

Triage Healthcare Staffing provided this article.

As travelers, it’s not uncommon to have a selection of scrubs, all in a rainbow of colors. And while it’s easy to ask your recruiter what color is required, sometimes they have old or outdated information. For instance, some hospitals or units will tell recruiters that nurses need to wear a specific color, only to find out that the rules don’t apply to travelers.

That’s why we asked travelers to share their experiences. And boy, did they. Nearly 2000 healthcare travelers—most of them nurses—gave us valuable feedback on what color they wore during their assignments.

What We Asked In the Survey

To get the most out of the survey, we asked the following questions:

  • What kind of traveler are you?
  • Hospital/facility name?
  • City, state
  • Department
  • Scrub color
  • Was the department strict on color?
  • What year was this valid?

What Are Safe Scrub Colors to Buy?

Based on the responses, most travelers would do well to have a pair or two of navy blue scrubs—nearly a third of all nurses reported that they wore navy scrubs. Royal blue was the shade for 13% of nurses. Having a set or two of blue scrubs seems like a decent bet when you’re a traveler.

Other well-represented colors were light blue, Caribbean blue, black, gray, and galaxy blue. A few unlucky folks had to wear all-white scrubs—yikes. We’re glad we’re not doing that laundry.

How Strict Are the Units?

Sometimes your recruiter will get information from the facility that a certain color is required, only for the traveler to arrive and see that travelers are exempt. Recruiters can only go off the info they receive, which is why we asked how strict the unit was when it came down to scrub color. About 60% said their units were strict, but that means the other 40% were able to wear any color they already owned.

Let’s Get to the Good Stuff—How to Access the Scrub Color Survey?

What good is this info if you can’t access it? That’s why we’ve taken all the information and put it into an easily accessible database. Check out the what color scrubs nurses wear database and the search by the facility. The information is sorted by alphabetical order by the facility. And because some facilities might even vary scrub color by department or have more than one location, we’ve asked that too.

Using a Scrub Allowance—Yay or Nay?

Some travel companies will write a scrub allowance into your contract if you need a specific color. While there’s nothing wrong with that, here’s the real deal. Scrub and other allowances (and even lavish gifts) seem like a great perk, but the funds are actually taken out of your contract’s bill rate—and you never even realize it’s happening. In most cases, it’s better to forgo these allowances and let your recruiter know that you want that money added to your hourly rate throughout your contract.

Want to Submit Your Facility?

Have a facility or unit that’s not on our list? Fill out our short survey, and we’ll get your facility added. 

Are you looking for a travel nurse agency that’s committed to treating you with respect and integrity? Check out our list of travel nurse jobs, and we’ll connect you with a Triage recruiter.

Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

Travel Nurse Guide: Step-by-Step (now offered in a PDF Downloadable version!)

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