Some nursing schools supply scrubs; some don't. Your task will be to determine what the school policy is for the nursing school you choose. Here are the three most common scenarios as well as some common places to find scrubs, in the event you need to buy your own.
Nursing School Provides Scrubs
This may sound like a great option, but, as they say, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Expect to pay for your school-supplied uniforms with no option to bargain shop. Some schools only provide one or two sets of scrubs, so expect to do a lot of laundry or else shell out the extra money for additional sets of uniforms. Usually when the school provides the uniform, the school name is either embroidered on the scrubs or some kind of school patch is sewn onto them. As you might expect, school-mandated uniforms tend to be the least stylish.
Purchase a Specific Uniform on Your Own
Some nursing schools require a specific color or style of scrubs, allowing you purchase them independently. However, you may be limited to only one vendor if style choices are limited. If the sole criteria is a standard color, you'll be able to shop for a good bargain and likely save a lot of money. Make sure to buy at least enough sets to cover all your clinical days without having to do laundry — plus at least one extra set for last minute coffee spills or to keep in your car trunk for unforeseen fiascoes during clinicals.
Match Your Clinical Facility's Uniform
Some nursing students are required to match the scrubs of the facilities where they perform their clinicals. This could mean multiple purchases if you rotate to different sites. Fortunately, this is a pretty rare occurrence. If this is your school's policy, find out how long your rotation is before investing in a large wardrobe of that facility's color of scrubs.
Where to Buy Scrubs
If you buy your own scrubs, you'll be amazed at how many places you can find them. Not only do conventional brick and mortar uniform shop or online retail sites carry them, but most major stores such as Walmart now carry large selections. You can also find them at some dollar stores and flea markets, as well as thrift stores.
You'll find that scrubs come in many shapes and sizes, whether the styles are mandated or elective. Have fun buying, and possibly saving money on, your uniforms — you'll be wearing them for a significant part of your days to come!
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