It's an eerie feeling when everyone else is dressing up as you for Halloween. No one's saying nurse Halloween costumes are realistic, or appropriate. But they sure are popular. Even in the 21st century, "nurse" occasionally makes it to the Top 10 list of most popular Halloween costumes. And Romper has tagged it as No. 8 on the list of "Halloween costumes that will honestly never go out of style." "There are so many different ways to put a fun, festive twist on a nurse costume," it explained. "You can go with basic nurse, sexy nurse, zombie nurse, evil nurse..."
When you put on the "basic nurse" costume every time you leave for work, though, you may want to try something different for Halloween. Need ideas? Here are five Halloween costumes perfect for nurses:
Rosie the Riveter
Make a nod to an earlier generation of strong, bold women with Rosie the Riveter get-up. Rosie was the poster woman for a "We Can Do It!" campaign to recruit women workers during World War II. To duplicate her iconic look, you can go for the full dark blue work coverall, or simplify with a blue, button-down work shirt or even scrubs. If you don't have a polka dot bandanna handy for your hair, buy material inexpensively at a big box store. Pausing to pose and flex your muscles is optional but appreciated.
Need a costume in a hurry? You don't have to give up the nurse theme if you dress as a Smarty Pants, borrowing this idea from RN Network. "Buy a bag of Smarties, grab some scotch tape and stick a bunch of the candy rolls to your pants," the network explained. "Just avoid sitting on them or you'll end up with chalky crumbs everywhere (though you probably won't be sitting much anyway). If candy isn't OK for work, write the word 'smarty' on pieces of paper and tape them to your scrub pants."
All it takes to dress as the board game "Operation!" is access to a color printer, scissors, and fabric glue. This is one of the few medical-theme costumes that won't make anyone queasy. "All you need to do is cut out images and stick them to your body. Seriously, it's that easy," Nurse Buff advised.
Group Halloween costume for nurses
Especially if some on the unit are shy about dressing for Halloween, a group costume for nurses is a great idea. NursesRx suggested a banana split as a Halloween costume for nurses who work at the same nurse's station because it's simple to make, won't impact patient care and can be expanded if more people join in.
The instructions: "Wear a white T-shirt or scrub top," NursesRx instructed. "Take a large piece of fabric for each person — one yellow, one pink and one brown — and cut a circle about two-feet in diameter. Cut long, teardrop edges (so it looks like ice cream dripping at the edges), and then cut a hole in the center for your head. Wear the ice cream scoop like a poncho over your scrubs. You can add extras like sprinkles with beads or fabric if you want."
To complete the effect, cut a giant banana shape from cardboard and spray-paint it yellow. Put it at the nurse's station as a backdrop. When you're all sitting in front of it (or posing for a selfie with other staff or patients), the banana split picture is complete.
Ready for work
Minion or Lady Minion from "Despicable Me"
Yeah, some of the most popular costumes of 2019 are out for nurses. Sorry, no "Sexy 'Mr. Rogers'" in the ICU. But you can still be trendy and appropriate with a Minion outfit. It's a subtle reminder that nurses are zany, work tirelessly, and sometimes speak their own language. And pediatric patients will recognize you with glee.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.