Historically a nun wears a habit specific to her order, a uniform significantly different from the normal clothing of the women in her culture. This practice has greatly diminished in modern times. Buddhist nuns also shave their heads.
The nun who is elevated to manage and operate the nunnery or convent where the nuns live communally may be called an abbess or Mother Superior, and the head of multiple convents of the same order is known as the Superior General.
Nuns do various kinds of work, nursing the sick, teaching children, looking after the poor, and in many cases simply withdrawing from the world to pray or meditate.