In the period from the 1950's to the 1980's, dress and hat designs began to change. Hats that was introduced with ranking identifiers began to be de-emphasized, because some felt the system led to low morale among trainees. The hat was very feminine and not very versatile. Later it became more conservative in style but many hospitals were no longer requiring hats. In the late 1970's, hospitals were determined to attract more male trainees, inevitably hats all but disappeared in the US Hospitals that still required hats started to use disposable, cotton hats. These hats were simple folded paper which were more comfortable and helped to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

As hospitals larger larger with more patients and faster paces, uniforms became less starched and complex. Dress designs were less form fitting so many uniforms Dropped the apron for a bib style in the front and open necks began to appear as did wash and wear fabric. The new trend in nursing fashion to appear on the scene were scrubs. When hospitals began to employ aids and candy-stripers, the nursing staff did not wish to appear in uniform as these untrained staffers were required to do. To the dismay of some, uniforms began to look more like regular clothing or in some cases, like doctors, coats. This was when uniform scrubs became very popular and could be seen in hospitals all over the world for they were comfortable and easier to work in. Some nurses were objectionable, still preferring to wear their traditional nursing uniforms as this look is still as good as the modern uniform scrubs.

Nurses are divided between scrubs and nursing uniforms. There are those who prefer the new scrubs stating their dislike for the old nurse uniforms as being to confining, starchy, and hard to work in. But the nurses who liked the old nurse uniforms argue that nurses who wear scrubs are seen by the patients as cleaning staff, aides and are hard to identify as nurses. The choice is entirely up to the healthcare professional of what to wear, as some people prefer the comfort of the uniform scrubs and others prefer the look of the traditional nursing uniforms. Both are accepted as appropriate attire for a nurse and the dress code between hospitals is very similar. Often, the general public prefers to see uniform scrubs as they create a more relaxed and casual feel, which is great when you are trying to reassure scared patients. Uniform scrubs are especially liked on children's wards as you can get them in various colors and cartoon characters. Scrub tops can often be found in bright colors, which are designed to cheer patients up. Staying in the hospital is never an ideal situation but seeing the fun and colorful uniforms can add a bit of cheer. Nursing scrubs are more convenient to buy as they can be bought in unisex styles and come in many different sizes to fit all shapes. Nursing is a stressful, intense job and nurses should be as comfortable as possible when working. This is why uniform scrubs are ideal. They allow you to do your job, to the best of your ability, while being functional, fashionable and comfortable.