Can Nurses Wear Nail Polish?



A gorgeous manicure topped with perfectly applied nail polish is a great way to express your individuality and style.

But what if you work in the medical profession? Can nurses wear nail polish? Isn’t it just like any other person wearing nail polish to work? 

Well actually, no, it’s not. And that is why there are strict rules in place governing what nurses may wear while at work. 

If you are a newcomer to the nursing profession and not sure of the protocol, don’t worry. We researched so that you can be sure to look your very best while observing the regulations.

What This Article Covers:

Can Nurses Wear Nail Polish To Work?

The use of nail polish, as well as the wearing of artificial nails and other nail adornments, is strictly banned in the majority of healthcare facilities. 

This is because nail polish and acrylics can chip off, and long nails, whether natural or artificial tips, could be harboring germs beneath.

For this reason, the overwhelming majority of nurses are required to avoid the use of nail polish, extensions, and nail art. Nails also have to be trimmed, neat, and clean to prevent the risk of injury to patients as well as the risk of bacterial infections. 

The ban on nail polish usually includes gel polish manicures too, because even though they are long-lasting, they can still chip with wear and tear.

Are There Alternatives For Nurses?

An alternative for nurses is to wear nails short and bare, but buffed to a high shine. This will not conflict with any regulations, nor put patients at risk.

Because it is vital that you keep your hands and nails clean and well-groomed at all times, we offer a range of products that will keep your nails neat and clean as well as beautiful. 

Besides nail polishes, we also have the very best grooming essentials for hands, feet, and body. As well as several nail and cuticle treatments to keep your nails healthy and always looking their best. 

should nurses wear nail polish

Why Do Nurses Have Rules About Nail Polish?

So why do nurses have these all nail polish rules anyway? Why can’t they just wear what they want? The main reason for these rules is to safeguard the health of patients. 

Nurses’ choices of nail adornment could impact the health of countless people, who already are not in an optimal state of health. Long, painted nails can cause injury, and be a breeding ground for germs.

Do All Countries Have The Same Rules For Nail Polish?

One thing is for certain. Most people, regardless of occupation or age, like to keep their hands and nails looking attractive. And there are nail products and polishes to suit almost any situation. 

So why do females use nail polish? Why does anyone wear it? Nail polish can be an extension of your style personality. It makes your hands look younger and more attractive. And with so many wonderful nail polish colors to choose from, the possibilities are endless. 

are there the best nail polish for nurses

The different countries all have their unique societal norms, as well as their own regulations regarding what people in the healthcare professions may wear on their hands and nails.

Nail Polish Regulations Abroad

Some US healthcare facilities might allow nurses to wear clear nail polish. Others might allow color polish as long as nails are kept short. 

But it can be difficult to ensure that there is no chipping of the nail polish in a hands-on and sometimes frenetic environment. So, most do not allow polish of any kind. And nails are always to be kept clean and groomed.

In the UK, the rules about nail polish and adornment are very strict. The nursing guidelines state that nails should be free from any polish, and should be well-trimmed.

In Australia, nurses are required to keep their nails short, less than 0,5 cm in length, and completely free of polish. All types of nails including gel and shellac are banned for nurses in Australia.

Do The Rules Differ Depending On The Field Of Nursing?

There are different branches of healthcare, and within the field of nursing, there are also different departments. Some of these may have less stringent rules about this issue. 

But there are branches of nursing where the risk of infection due to long nails or artificial nails is of particular importance. For example, nurses who deal with direct patient care, or surgical theater nurses.

While some facilities may allow shellac nails because they can resist chipping and breaking for longer, this is very rare. 

Is Nursing The Only Occupation To Have Rules About Nail Polish?

Nursing and other branches of healthcare are not the only occupations where you may have to be more subdued in your nail accessorizing choices. 

Even if they are not hard and fast rules, there will be accepted norms and guidelines for what you may wear. For example, can waitresses wear nail polish? Or other food handlers such as chefs and kitchen hands? It may depend on the management and type of restaurant, but it would usually be discouraged. 

best nail polish for nurses and waitresses

When it comes to the workplace, most types of nail polish and nail art or extensions are permissible. However, you wouldn’t wear bright colors and funky nail art in the corporate world, would you? 

Just as you may have to temper your choices in the corporate environment, so too do you have to be careful in other occupations. 

And what about competitive sports? What is the best nail polish for swimmers? Once again, it would depend on the sporting events that the swimmer engages in, and the rules of their sports organization. Although the wear and tear of nail polish subjected to lots of water may be of more relevance here.

What About Nail Extensions and Fake Nails?

Have you ever been scheduled for an operation and wondered, “Can I wear nail polish during surgery”? Or “Do I Need To Remove My Nail Extensions”? The same reasoning applies here. 

Long nails and nail extensions may look fabulous, but underneath those nails, germs could be lurking. And in a hospital or other healthcare facility, this cannot be encouraged.

As a patient, your nail extensions and polish would affect a smaller group of people. But as a  nurse, you’ll be working with thousands of patients in your career. And if working in a busy hospital, hundreds of thousands. 

What Is The Best Nail Polish For Nurses To Wear?

Are you in a field of nursing or a healthcare facility that allows clear polish? 

If you are looking for the best quality, safest clear nail polish, look no further. Our Breathable Treatment and Shine Clear Polish is the one for you.

What are the best nail polish for nurses

And if you are not permitted to wear polish but instead want to keep your hands and nails beautifully groomed, we have all the essential nail treatments you need.  

In Conclusion

Your occupation can affect what you may wear, including what you wear on your nails. And this is especially true of nursing. But this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. 

There are many alternatives, and you just need to find the one that suits your particular needs. Our range of nail polishes is made in the USA and includes an exciting array of nail polish colors. All our products are vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without any harmful ingredients. 

We pride ourselves on providing you with a wide choice of products that are top quality as well as safe to use.

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