Nursing Sisters' Veils
Some nurses' caps resembled, in modified form, the nun's coif, to signify the respected tradition of Roman Catholic nursing and service to humanity. The coif was certainly the choice for military nurses who served in both world wars in the twentieth century. In France, nursing orders often served in military as well as civilian hospitals, a custom that gave rise, in later years, to the practice of calling all nurses who served in the military, "nursing sisters". Many Canadian nursing sisters wore a large white starched cloth, folded over their heads like a nun's coif. The classic nurse's hospital cap with turned back winged brim that most people recognize is a very modified form of the nun's coif (1999.267.29; 1999.267.7; 1999.267.46; 1999.267.13).