Can Nurses Wear Nail Polish or Not?

Can nurses wear nail polish

The policies regarding the use of nail polish depend upon the particular department the nurse works for. These policies vary from different healthcare facilities, states, and countries.

Read the section below to know more about nail polish and acrylics use for nurses!

But can nurses wear nail polish in certain situations? Let’s find that out.

Having perfect painted nails is a dream of every woman. Nails reflect how well-groomed you are, they add a touch of elegance and sophistication.

However, for nurses, the use of nail polish is strictly banned in a majority of healthcare facilities.

The healthcare facilities which allow their nurses to wear nail polish or acrylics are very rare. Mostly, there are restrictions and sometimes even a complete ban on the use of nail polish.

As already mentioned above, the use of nail polish depends on the department in which a nurse works.

For example, if a nurse does not work directly for patient care, she may be allowed to wear minimal nails. But, if a nurse works in a department where direct patient care is required, she may be completely restricted to wear nail polish.

These restrictions are generally imposed to ensure the safety of patients and to maintain a complete hand sanitization to prevent any infection.

Due to these reasons, nurses are generally required to keep their nails short and free from any nail polish or artificial nails.

Here’s a quick video for you where Miki Rai shares her own experiences with acrylic nails working as a nurse.

Video made by Miki Rai

Whether did you watched the video or not, let’s keep on going with the subject “Can Nurses Wear Nail Polish?”.

As a matter of fact, it is not about allowing or banning nail polish, it is all about hand hygiene.

In almost all healthcare facilities, nurses are instructed to wash their hands very often using soaps and hand sanitizers in order to kill the germs and bacteria from their hands before coming in contact with the patients.

The main reason why nail polish or acrylics are banned, they chip and breaks off and also have harmful bacteria beneath them.

To address this issue, some healthcare facilities allow the nurses to wear nail polish that doesn’t chip off or break easily but still keep their nails trimmed.

However, as noted above, it solely depends on the policies and guidelines of the healthcare facility and the government.

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Additionally, the good news is, there are no such restrictions on wearing nail polish on toes because feet are always covered with stockings and shoes.

So, it is fine to paint your toenails.

However, make sure to comply with the guidelines of your facility.

Now you know the answer to whether can nurses wear nail polish or not, so it’s time to find out why is that.

See also: Can Nurses Wear Wedding Rings?

Why use of nail polish is banned for nurses?

Why use of nail polish is banned for nurses

There are three main reasons behind the banning of nail polish and acrylics for nurses.

1. Chipped off nail polish / broken acrylics

The first major reason is, some low-quality nail polish gets chipped off a couple of days after the application.

Similar is the case with artificial nails. These are the main health concerns of the hospitals.

2. Nails accessories may carry harmful germs

Germ collection is another reason to ban nail polish.

Depending upon the quality, nail polish and acrylics may carry deadly germs and viruses inside them which can be harmful to the patients.

There are fair chances of infection and can also spread from person to person.

3. May be a distraction or can cause difficulties while working

Many healthcare facilities ban the use of long artificial nails and bright nail polish because it acts as a distraction and also doesn’t look modest.

Further, longer nails make it difficult to use the tools nurses use very frequently.

That’s why nurses are advised to keep their nails as short as possible.

Also, some departments allow them to wear long-lasting neutral-colored nail polish.

Can nurses wear gel nail polish?

On a general basis, gel nails and acrylic are strictly banned in almost all healthcare facilities because it is believed that these can carry many harmful bacteria.

So, wearing gel nails as a nurse is a direct no-no.

See also: Can Nurses Have Colored Hair?

Can nurses wear shellac nail polish?

Can nurses wear shellac nail polish

Shellac nail polish is not like the acrylic nails and it lasts for much longer than the regular nail polish.

Shellac nails or manicures are cured under UV lamps and hence, stays for longer.

Due to this reason, some hospitals allow the nurses to wear shellac nails instead of gel nails because they can resist chipping and breaking and hence, are not that risky.

While some healthcare facilities put them in the category of artificial nails and ban their use completely.

Can nurses wear nails polish in the UK?

In the UK, nurses are strictly warned about wearing fake nails and nail polish.

For the first time, it happened because a poll suggested that there were chances of contamination and infection due to the nail polish and extensions worn by nurses.

Because of this, the United Kingdom guidelines state that nails should be free from any paint and should be well-trimmed.

Can nurses wear nail polish in Australia?

Healthcare guidelines are a bit strict in Australia.

The nurses are asked to keep their nails short about less than 0,5 cm in length.

And the nails should be completely natural and free from nail paints.

All types of nails including gel, shellac, and SNS are banned in Australia.

The reason is the same, painted, chipped, or fake nails harbor harmful bacteria that can outbreak infections.

So, if you’re a nurse in Australia, make sure you follow the protocol and comply with the guidelines of the facility you work in.

See also: Can Nurses Have Tattoos in Australia?

Conclusion: Can nurses wear nail polish?

After knowing and understanding the reason behind the ban of nail polish for nurses, it can be concluded that the use of nail paints, extensions, acrylics depends upon in which department the nurse is operating and what are the hand-hygiene guidelines of the healthcare facility or the state government.

It is advised that, before getting your nails painted, check out your guidelines by contacting your department.

As a nurse, it is your responsibility to prioritize the health of your patients and keep yourself and your surroundings safe and clean.

See also: Responsibility of a Nurse With Examples

No matter if your department allows you to wear nail polish or not, you should always keep your nails short and trimmed, and free from harmful chemicals.

You can always do whatever you want on vacations but don’t forget to remove the varnishes before getting back to work.

Moreover, always follow the policies set by your organization.

Now you know all about whether can nurses wear nail polish or not.

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.