Nursing for the sick was a family obligation back then, so nurses were but family members. In some cases, though, where the sick has no family or is a settler from another land, a self-appointed nurse will attend to his medical, physical and emotional needs.
In both circumstances, clothing designed for sanitary purposes is the last thing that would come to mind. And in more organized nursing care facilities, which were basically monasteries and nuns were the nurses, the nursing uniforms were but their habits.
(via Everlasting Blort)