Dress Code for nursing students?

  1. Our nursing school is on a medical sciences campus. We have toyed off and on with the idea of a dress code for our nursing students, but haven't instituted one. This year, many of our students are coming in with very inappropriate dress, so we are back toying with the dress code issue. Do any of the nursing school require scrubs in the classroom and/or skills lab? One of our arguments (amonst the faculty) is the degree of the dress code - from jeans & shorts to scrubs. We are trying to find out how others have solved this problem - or have you?
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   CHATSDALE
    usually there is no dress code for classrooms and a prescribed uniform for clinicals lll anyone have any different exiperences
  4. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    For class: as long as they are dressed appropriately. No shirts that are suggestive or abusive language.

    Clinical: they wear solid blue scrub set with the school crest on their upper arm, name tag and hair tied up if length permits, no perfume, no jewelry and no long or artificial nails, no nail polish, facial piercing only if culturally and no other piercings visible.

    I can scan you a copy and send one via your email address, let me know.
  5. by   suzy253
    Yes, we do have a dress code -- it was instituted a long time ago and could use updating a bit.

    Basically, no inappropriate garments, i.e. tube tops, very short t-shirts, shirts/pants with inappropriate writing/sayings on them. pretty much a clean, casual look. No dangle earrings--only small hoops or posts allowed. Couldn't even wear jeans--but that's being changed. Went back to the late 60's and early 70's with the huge bell-bottoms that dragged on the ground and got all messed up. When we go to the hospitals to pick up our clinical information we have to be dressed appropriately as well and wear our lab coats. Can't wear clogs or open back shoes in clinical, long hair has to be up, no perfume/cologne. Some students just didn't get it and were told over and over and over again about the earrings, etc. arrrggghhh.
  6. by   VickyRN
    We have no dress code on campus (this is campus-wide and we cannot make exclusion for nursing). Thus, some of our students come to class looking like Britney Thankfully, only a few of them do this. Off campus and in clinical sites is another story. Hair has to be off the collar, no loop earrings, only one small earring stud allowed. No gaudy makeup or strong odors (no perfume, smell of cigarettes). Only wedding band and watch, no other jewelry. No body piercings, including tongue rings. (Sometimes you have to line them up and inspect them before clinicals.) No visible tatoos. (One of our students had to wear a small ace bandage over her wrist the entire time she was in clinical to "hide" a small tatoo.) NO FAKE NAILS!!! (Petri-dish for microbes--yuch!) Any skin lesions (especially herpetic lesions such as fever blisters) need to be reported to instructor before clinical (student may be infectuous and should not be allowed on site). Lab jacket with school name tag must be worn in transit and school clinical uniform with name tag must be worn while in clinical. One clinical site also requires a badge with photo. The uniform must be neat, clean, pressed. Only white nursing shoes, no colors allowed at all. Faculty and adjunct should also abide by the clinical dress code. However, enforcing this with adjunct faculty can be a problem.
  7. by   justjenny
    Quote from NPTeacher
    ...This year, many of our students are coming in with very inappropriate dress, so we are back toying with the dress code issue. Do any of the nursing school require scrubs in the classroom and/or skills lab? One of our arguments (amonst the faculty) is the degree of the dress code - from jeans & shorts to scrubs...
    I hope that you don't mind a student commenting on this issue.
    In my opinion, a dress code for classes/Lab that is not campus wide would be very unfair to the Nursing students and is sure to upset/anger many students.

    In a college setting, please remember that the students are adults and are to be treated as such. Of course there are those who choose to gain attention by dressing inappropriately or having piercings, etc. but that is their right to do so, and truly is not harming anyone in the process.

    Of course we have a STRICT dress code for clinicals - the reputation of the school to outside facilities is extremely important.

    In addition, I personally would feel angered by such a policy in my school because I am not only a taxpayer supporting the school, but also a student paying, in part, to keep that school in existence.

    No, I do not dress like "Britney" or any other rock star.
    I simply concentrate on the reason I am in Nursing School - and is not NOT to get fashion ideas from the "twenty somethings"


    Jenny
    ADN Dec 2005
  8. by   wonderbee
    Since technically our community college doesn't have a nursing "school" but rather a nursing "department", except for clinical and community experiences, we follow the dress code of the entire college which is basically anything goes. This is South Florida and it's not unusual to see students dressed in shorts and flip-flops. It's hot down here.
  9. by   VickyRN
    Quote from justjenny
    I hope that you don't mind a student commenting on this issue.
    In my opinion, a dress code for classes/Lab that is not campus wide would be very unfair to the Nursing students and is sure to upset/anger many students.

    In a college setting, please remember that the students are adults and are to be treated as such. Of course there are those who choose to gain attention by dressing inappropriately or having piercings, etc. but that is their right to do so, and truly is not harming anyone in the process.

    Of course we have a STRICT dress code for clinicals - the reputation of the school to outside facilities is extremely important.

    In addition, I personally would feel angered by such a policy in my school because I am not only a taxpayer supporting the school, but also a student paying, in part, to keep that school in existence.

    No, I do not dress like "Britney" or any other rock star.
    I simply concentrate on the reason I am in Nursing School - and is not NOT to get fashion ideas from the "twenty somethings"


    Jenny
    ADN Dec 2005
    Just remember one thing, if you dress professionally in class you make a much better impression to your nursing instructors. Yes, first impressions do matter. Just a little unsolicited advice from the "other side" of the desk. 'Nuff said....
  10. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from justjenny
    In a college setting, please remember that the students are adults and are to be treated as such. Of course there are those who choose to gain attention by dressing inappropriately or having piercings, etc. but that is their right to do so, and truly is not harming anyone in the process.

    Of course we have a STRICT dress code for clinicals - the reputation of the school to outside facilities is extremely important.

    In addition, I personally would feel angered by such a policy in my school because I am not only a taxpayer supporting the school, but also a student paying, in part, to keep that school in existence.

    No, I do not dress like "Britney" or any other rock star.
    I simply concentrate on the reason I am in Nursing School - and is not NOT to get fashion ideas from the "twenty somethings"

    While inappropriate dress does not hurt anyone, as you say, it does, in fact, hinder other people's perception of you (not you, but the student).

    When I started nursing school, I was 18. I personally, am not into tattoos. Maybe because I always thought my profession was not one that would accept that type of look. I was into 'grunge' and alternative music at the tome. So, the best I could do to express myself was to wear my cool concert T-shirts, flannels and combat boots. Let me just say, I showed my age (as everyone was mucjh older than me). I also went to a hospital based 'school of nursing', that was run by a Catholic hospital, so I needed to keep that in mind. They probably would have said something to me, even in the classroom, if I wore piercings or tattoos. Obviously, clinical was another story.

    As a future educator, now I am in agreement with the 'other side' on this issue.
  11. by   PennyLane
    I would be extremely offended if my school instituted a dress code. As Jenny said, we are all adults, and should be treated as such. My first college didn't have a dress code, why should nursing school be any different? We can wear jeans, shorts, sandals, or whatever else we want to class. In lab we are required to wear our lab coat and closed-toe shoes.

    I also go to a school that's part of a larger university that includes a medical school, dental school, law school, etc. If they wanted to institute a dress code, then it had better be for the whole school or you'd have a lot of p'd off nursing students! Personally I like the fact that you can usually tell the law students from the nursing students based on the way they dress! (Law students are dressed to the nines, while we generally wear jeans.)

    At clinical, of course, we have a uniform and a dress code. If we have to go pick up our pt assignments the day before, we must look professional.
  12. by   NPTeacher
    Some very interesting comments. You can sure tell which ones are the students and which are the teachers! I might add that our school is on an academic medical campus. So our students encounter patients, families and other professionals daily as they go to the library, cafeteria, bookstore, etc. Many of the schools on our campus currently have a dress code. The dental students and dental hygene students all wear scrubs, PT students wear scrubs, pharmacy male students wear coat and tie, female pharmacy students wear skirt, blouse, blazer and heels. Only the medical and nursing students currently do not have an in-class dress code. Unfortunately, only the nursing students tend to appear in inappropriate attire. Guess they are trying to attract the attention of the medical students! We are attempted MANY times to remind them that they are now in a professional school and we expect them to dress and act professionally. Yes, I agree that they are all adults - I just wish that they would represent themselves accordingly, as when they are moving about on campus, they are representing the School of Nursing and the nursing profession.
  13. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    when i was in lpn school, we students had to wear our white uniform to class & clinicals everyday. we had to wear our hair up with either a white or burgundy scroungy thingy for shoulder length or longer hair. we could only wear white or burgundy sweaters as well. we had to wear polished white nursing shoes only, no white sneakers allowed. we had to wear our white & burgundy nurses' cap during our geriatrics rotation. the administration at the technical school were very strict about almost everything there...but for good reasons. despite the class consisting of adult student nurses....they knew some people would try & buck the system. those who did not comply were given warning & progressive discipline....some students were shocked for being dismissed from the program for inappropriate dressing. my philosophy is...when in rome, do as the romans. i knew going into the school what their policies/regulations were & decided to live with them so that i could obtain the very thing i wanted the most...my nursing education so that i could become a nurse! i don't understand this thing about being an individual when people apply to & accept going to an institution & then become upset when they're asked to make concessions for the good of the program. my lpn school may have been a bit strict...but i did & still do see & agree with the reasoning behind their dress code.

    however, in my bsn program, we student nurses wore anything we wanted to class & even got away with wearing almost anything during clinicals....as long as it was white & had the school logo on the sleeve to identify us a students. i've seen students come to clinical with hipster white scrub pants & short white tee shirts for tops...exposing belly piercing. i've seen people wear clogs with & w/out backs. i've seen sneakers worn, large hooped earrings as well as small hooped earrings, nail polish of various colors, other body piercings (facial). i've seen all sorts of hair styles that were inappropriate...but nothing was ever said by administration despite there being a 'dress code' in our student handbook. it was up to the clinical instructors to try & enforce them (the optimal word being try). whenever one did try to enforce the dress code, the students would tell them that no one abides by them & when that instructor checks with administration...they're basically told to just let it go (especially when it came to the 'favorites students'). all of these nursing students were adult students & should know what's proper & what's not. dress code is a guideline as to what is expected at any institution & i don't think students should stretch them the way some have. that old saying rings true with many students today....give a person an inch & they'll take a mile.

    i have nothing against students wearing shorts & flip-flops to class...epecially when it's hot & there's no air conditioning...that's appropriate attire. i do have issues with students wearing 'body armor' such as facial piercing (eyebrow, lips, cheeks, tongue, etc) to clinicals. what one decides to wear after clinicals is another issue because they're on their own time. but when representing a school or institution....people should abide by the policies & procedures of said school & or institution.
    cheers!
    moe
  14. by   SKM-NURSIEPOOH
    Quote from npteacher
    some very interesting comments. you can sure tell which ones are the students and which are the teachers! i might add that our school is on an academic medical campus. so our students encounter patients, families and other professionals daily as they go to the library, cafeteria, bookstore, etc. many of the schools on our campus currently have a dress code. the dental students and dental hygene students all wear scrubs, pt students wear scrubs, pharmacy male students wear coat and tie, female pharmacy students wear skirt, blouse, blazer and heels. only the medical and nursing students currently do not have an in-class dress code. unfortunately, only the nursing students tend to appear in inappropriate attire. guess they are trying to attract the attention of the medical students! we are attempted many times to remind them that they are now in a professional school and we expect them to dress and act professionally. yes, i agree that they are all adults - i just wish that they would represent themselves accordingly, as when they are moving about on campus, they are representing the school of nursing and the nursing profession.
    and will add that it's been my observation that graduate nursing students always dress appropriately whether in class or on the clinical floors. they're almost always treated as colleagues & not just students by the instructors as well.

    one can sum it up to them already being professional nurses returning for more education. i just wish the undergrad students would take notice & learn something from the graduate nursing students.

    cheers!
    moe

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