Epaulettes will be used to spot new nurses at Northampton General Hospital

Husband and wife Gabriela and Catalin Neagu model the new epaulettes.

Husband and wife Gabriela and Catalin Neagu model the new epaulettes.

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Patients and visitors at NGH are being urged to give nurses a friendly smile if they notice new white epaulettes on their uniforms.

That’s because the shoulder decorations will be usedto mark out new starters at NGH.

And hospital bosses want to make sure people know they are not quite as familiar with the hospital as some colleagues and deserving of some extra understanding.

They will be worn by all nurses who are newly qualified, returning to practice, or appointed from overseas and awaiting their NMC registration (or PIN) .

An NGH spokeswoman said the idea came from staff feedback.

She said: “We want to make sure all of our staff are welcomed and integrated into our nursing teams, even more important when they’e used to another healthcare system or feeling a little unsure of a new role.

“This group of staff is now wearing a staff nurse uniform with white epaulettes until they receive their NMC registration when they will shed their epaulettes and have a name badge that states that they are a Staff Nurse.”