Nail Polish Tips

Can You Wear Nail Polish If You Are A Nurse?

Written by Tara

False nails should not be worn. Nail varnish and extensions harbour bacteria and prevent good hand hygiene. Health organisations should uphold clear local policies on uniforms and work-wear and their implications for infection control and health and safety.

Can nurses wear nail polish? In short, yes, nurses can wear nail polish. However, it depends on the healthcare facility/department they work for. Ultimately healthcare facilities implement their policies based on numerous factors.

Generally Why is nail polish not allowed for nurses? Such bans are based on studies showing that when the polish chips, infections can lodge inside the crevices. That’s enough reason to ban all nail polish, according to Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, CEO of the National League for Nursing. Patient safety should be the paramount concern, she says.

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Why can’t nurses wear acrylic nails?

Taking into consideration the risk of spreading germs, nurses in direct care positions are advised to not wear acrylic nails as they may aid in the collection of germs and bacteria, which may create a potential for germs and bacteria to spread from person to person.

Is nail polish allowed in healthcare?

The World Health Organization (WHO) and AORN recommend against healthcare workers wearing fingernail polish or artificial nails, in addition to keeping fingernails short, to prevent the spread of pathogens.

How long can nurses have their nails?

The CDC guidelines say that health care personnel should not wear artificial nails and should keep natural nails less than one quarter inch long if they care for patients at high risk of acquiring infections (e.g. patients in intensive care units or in transplant units).

Can female surgeons wear nail polish?

Can you wear nail polish as a surgeon? Although there are many anecdotal reports of surgeons wearing nail polish, it’s generally not allowed. Surgery is classified under direct patient care, meaning hygiene rules strongly pertain to it.

Can nurses have dipped nails?

Nurses cannot wear dip powder nails to work due to an increased risk of contracting and spreading infection. The CDC strongly discourages healthcare workers who provide direct patient care to wear artificial nails.

Can nurses wear makeup?

There is often confusion among newer nurses about how much makeup they should or shouldn’t wear. The best rule to go by is using moderation, as with anything in life. If a nurse is wearing excessive makeup, it is distracting for both the patient and other nurses.

Can nurses have dyed hair?

In the process, they’ve nixed rules that stated nurses can’t have unnatural hair colors or have visible tattoos.

Can nurses wear their hair down?

Wearing your hair down as a nurse can be a safety issue. In mental health facilities especially, nurses are cautioned to wear their hair up so the patients don’t pull on it or grab it. In dealing with other unstable, angry, violent, or confused patients, having your hair down can make it easy for it them to harm you.

Can healthcare workers wear gel nail polish?

Johns Hopkins Hospital policy allows gel nail polish for health care workers. (JHH Policy, 2019) CDC hand hygiene guidelines for nail polish are based on research from 2002 which does not include data on gel nails.

Can healthcare workers have fake nails?

Artificial fingernail enhancements contribute to nail changes that can increase the risk of colonization and transmission of pathogens to patients. Outbreaks of infections have been traced to the artificial fingernails of health care workers. For those reasons they are prohibited for anyone having patient contact.

Why is there no nail polish in the hospital?

Only some hospitals request that polish is removed strictly to check a patient’s nail bed, while others use different equipment. However, nail polish can also pose a challenge in this scenario as well. An oximeter is a tiny clip that is placed on your finger during surgery to measure your oxygen level.

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About the author


I am Tara, and I am addicted to nail polishes and other beauty related things!:) Join me on my ride to paradise!