Is Felicite supposed to be a nurse or does she just dress like one in A Simple Heart?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Felicite is a servant, not a nurse, who also serves as the babysitter to the children.  She is a good servant because she dresses well, she is inexpensive, and she is loyal.

Madame Aubain has been the envy of the neighborhood for 50 years because she has Felicite.

For a hundred francs a year, she cooked and did the housework, washed, ironed, mended, harnessed the horse, fattened the poultry, made the butter and remained faithful to her mistress.

Madame Aubain is “by no means an agreeable person” and she also has no money.  She married a man who also had no money who died, leaving her with two kids and a pile of debt. 

Felicite wears "an apron with a bib like those worn by hospital nurses" and is very economical and tidy.

Felicite started working for Madame Aubain after her fiancé left her to marry a rich older woman to avoid the army.  Madame Aubain liked her because she was “so willing and so modest in her requirements” even though she barely knows how to cook.  Still, Felicite is happy and enjoys taking care of the children.