May 8, 2006, 9:31 pm

National Nurses Week – Time To Bring Out the Cap!

Young me

Here we find a rare photo of Graduate Nursicus

This particular specimen is from the late Jurassic era, circa 1978.

Note the navy blue shag carpet, so typical of the time period.

Note the smiling specimen, the epitome of naivete with absolutely no clue of what fate had in store for her.

Yeah, that’s me at age 20 just before our pinning ceremony. I had just met my future husband two weeks before and was engaged two weeks after this photo was taken.

My dad painted the picture behind me and I just now, after all these years noticed that it is crooked!

And I bet I didn’t bend over too far in that skirt.

But it was the first time I had appeared all in white with my cap proudly atop my not-quite-Olympic-skater wedge.

It was the most exciting day of my life.


Now, I only wear my cap once or twice a year during National Nurses Week, as a tribute to nursing in general and as a salute to the nurses that came before me.

Many months ago I blogged on how differently the patients treat you when you are wearing the cap. I expect that I will find that I am treated with respect by my patients and their families.

I expect my colleagues to laugh until they cry and tease me unmercifully and call me “Nancy Nurse” and all sorts of fun things the entire time I wear it.

Bring it on!

I have lived for that symbol of nursing since I was nine years old.

New Me

Alas, the original cap is gone, as is the cap I used a few years ago for my commemoration duties.

Thank goodness for eBay, where I managed to find a reasonable facimile of my school cap (Ohlone College, I am proud to say).

I very carefully placed the stripes with my glue gun.

Then I thought, hey! I’ll take a pic for the blog!

So much for blogging anonymously.

I bought a disposable digital camera with deletion ability and a timer so that I could take my own photos when who should arrive, but my wonderful hubby!

Who refused to shoot more than one shot. I took the rest.

He took this shot. It’s the only one out of the 25 that is printable.

Translation: it is the only one of the 25 that does not make me look as if I have bovine qualities.

I would kill to have Photoshop right about now.

Can you say “airbrush”?


I could say that I intend to blog about nursing for the rest of the week, but I blog about nursing every week!

So this week remember to thank a nurse, hug a nurse, kiss a nurse or in my case give a nurse one of the new MacPro Powerbooks.

Not that I’m hinting or anything, but Steve Jobs, if you’re reading…

(Call me!)


  • Carrie

    May 8, 2006 at 10:53 pm

    From one nurse to another – thanks for being a great nurse and happy nurses’ week! 🙂

    I’m new to blogging on this site, and my blog isn’t just about my life as a nurse but also my life as a person outside of nursing, but I’m really enjoying reading everyone else’s blogs! I love all of your formatting, pictures, etc…really creative! 🙂

    I graduated from a second degree nursing program last May, and one of the disappointing things was that we no longer get caps upon graduating. When I started nursing school, I’d thought the caps were a bit silly, but as time went on, I started to really wish they still at least presented them as part of the pinning ceremony! I did still get a pin, however, which was great. 🙂 My first degree is in piano performance, so I played the piano for our pinning ceremony. Wonderful to be able to join my two “lives.” 🙂

    Once again – thanks for being a great nurse! Love the pics and stories!

    Take care!
    Carrie 🙂 (NeoNurseChic)

  • Ada

    May 8, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    The painting in the first photo isn’t crooked — it’s parallel with the floor. The entire photo’s crooked. (Not that it detracts from your young and eager nurse-like qualities.)


  • Jodi

    May 8, 2006 at 11:00 pm

    You look so cute! Just like I pictured you in my head. Maybe I’m psychic!
    No cap for me 🙁
    You make me want one. 🙂

  • Kim

    May 8, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    Oh Ada, you are right!!!! Maybe that’s why it never hit me before…..must have been crooked in the scanner!

  • Julie

    May 8, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    Hey Kim, you haven’t changed a bit!

  • Karen

    May 8, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    Happy Nurses’ Week!

    Great photos – super cute! I want a cap, now, too. : )

  • babe

    May 9, 2006 at 12:05 am

    Hey! no white hose nylons?

  • John Cowart

    May 9, 2006 at 12:58 am

    The smile has stayed the same; everything else has improved.

    Our oldest daughter is a nurse too but she lost the photos of her pinning ceremony in a move. Ginny & I had two other graduations that same week so we gave her all the photos to keep. I’m glad you saved your photos.

  • Penny

    May 9, 2006 at 6:15 am

    Aw, my mom was an RN, graduated in the early 1960s, when the cap was perched high atop a perfectly spherical bubble bouffant. And she had a beautiful wool cape from nursing school too–I wonder what happened to that! The picture is lovely, NO PHOTOSHOP REQUIRED. Hey, and this is also “Teacher Appreciation Week”–did they put the two in the same week on purpose?

  • lois grebowski

    May 9, 2006 at 6:42 am

    Love the pic. Great to finally put a face with the blog! I have a niece in nursing school and I recommended your blog to her. BTW, you don’t need photoshop! YOU LOOK GREAT! Keep bloggin’!!!!

  • difficult patient

    May 9, 2006 at 8:29 am

    Consider yourself hugged, Kim–I love the photos!

  • Susan

    May 9, 2006 at 8:52 am

    Happy Nurse’s Week, buddy! You have inspired me – I may just wear my cap to work this weekend.

  • Chele

    May 9, 2006 at 9:49 am

    Happy Nurses Week! My nursing instructors 10 yrs ago felt too progressive for caps so alas…we didn’t get any. We didn’t even get pinned. And I have to admit, I feel very ripped off. You look wonderful…then and now!

  • ltaylor

    May 9, 2006 at 11:24 am

    I agree with the above poster – everything improved! You are so genuine and compassionate. My local ER has some great nurses and you would fit right in! Take care & Happy Nurses Week to all! L

  • kenju

    May 9, 2006 at 11:47 am

    Airbrush? Sheesh! You are as cute as a bug in a rug!

  • Deb

    May 9, 2006 at 5:45 pm

    “Graduate Nursicus”, made me LOL!!!!

  • TC

    May 9, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    Look at that bright-eyed, eager, young nurse! You wear your cap well. My mom graduated in 1957 and has the cap and the CAPE(yes, the nurse’s cape, navy blue on the outside, red on the inside, very handsome). Pinning was one of the best nights of my life. Happy Nurses Week, y’all.

  • Michael Weiss

    May 9, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    As a chronic patient who understands that physicians may Give the orders – but Nurses EXECUTE them – I thank you and all nurses who have helped me.

    I have documented my experiences in print and on my Blog and the main thrust of my 150+ hospitalizations is that the health care system needs to adjusted so that it is more in line with the comments, needs and experiences of patients and nurses – and Blogs like yours (and mine I guess) will help accomplish that


  • Delia

    May 9, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    Glue gun? Now i know you’re not used to wearing the cap! True cap pros use lubricating jelly instead! 😉

    Happy Nurses Week to all of us! 😀

  • Alisha

    May 10, 2006 at 6:30 pm

    Hello Kim,
    Thank you so much for your BLOG! I am a new nurse (at 39 – my second career) I have been nothing but inspired by you. The first entry that I read was the one regarding charting – you are a girl after mine own heart. I too believe that a well done chart is a peice of art. Deep down I’ve always had a desire for the medical field and my mom always dreamed of becoming a nurse (I tell her to this day she should just go for it – 61 isn’t too old). My aunt, 2 cousins and sister-in-law are all nurses. We all enjoy our profession. I thought that I would send this note of appreciation during nurses week. Have good one!

  • dribear

    May 10, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    So that is what Kim looks like! Just as sweet as I imagined.


  • Teresa

    May 11, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    You are such a wonderful representative for the nursing profession. Great post on the National Nurse blog. If Steve sends you the Macbook Pro, put in a good word for me!

  • susan

    July 9, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    hi I will soon be graduating from nursing and would like to have a cap. Could you give me the dimensions of your cap and location of the buttons, so I can make my own. I can’t be a nurse without my graduation picture with no cap!
    thanks hope to hear from you
    Susan from Canada

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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