Silly question--what to wear for class

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What is the expected dress code for nursing classes? I realize that it's uniforms for clinicals and such, but what about other times? Professional, regular street clothes? TIA!


450 Posts

Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

Before I started, I thought, "Professional program deserves professional dress!" So I went out and got a nice little pencil skirt and a button-front shirt and some closed-toe shoes for my first day. Everybody else my age wore tank tops and flip flops. I wish I could say I kept up with the professional dress, but when nobody else started to slip :mad: Mostly I wear jeans and t-shirts now. Other programs are different, though..the other university in town requires khaki pants and the school's navy polo shirt for class. I'd check with my school first :wink2:


neat casual is what I go with. We have a uni shirt so I try to wear that with either jeans or skirt.

:-) Zoe


89 Posts

For lecture classes and lab we wear whatever we want. For clinical we wear our ugly white uniform :barf01:. For clinical preperation we wear professional dress clothes. But trust me, your school will cover all of this....probably at length :rolleyes:.


55 Posts

Specializes in LTC and Home Health.

I also planned on professional dress when I started school in May, but it only took a week before I was going for comfort. Taking semester 1 & 2 of BSN program in 12 weeks doesn't lend itself to anything but comfort.

The other day I looked around and noticed we all looked "tore up" - no makeup, sweats, hair all over, but the saddest part? It was MONDAY! Such is our life this summer. Anyway, nothing skimpy or low cut, but comfort is the way to go. Wouldn't worry too much because at some point you'll no doubt have uniforms for clinical days and, in our case, the days before clincals (have to wear them to pick pt at hospital) so at this point a lot of students wear scrubs/uniforms 4 days a week. You'll find out a lot once you start.

Good Luck,


Thanks! I didn't want to show up to orientation overdressed, but I didn't want to be underdressed either!


55 Posts

Specializes in LTC and Home Health.

Can't go wrong with business casual. I think slacks and button up top look nice, professional and make a good first impression without being over or underdressed. You can always alter your look later.

You will see a lot of varety of attire but, in our program, there are a lot of young people in shorts and tanks, sundresses, and jeans day to day but, first day especially, most seemed to make the extra effort. I say that because we just looked at pics yesterday and the guy in the suit on first day is wearing a hawaiian shirt and shorts on day 64. Most others were more business casual than business so I'd stick there for first day.


llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

I agree that the business casual look is the way to go at first ... and then expect to dress more casually as school progresses. However, I would recommend to NOT be the worst dressed in your class. While you don't want to stand out as being over-dressed, it is to your advantage to be among those who looks just a liittle more put together than most people. You want to make a good impression on the faculty and appearing "pulled together" will help you do that. It might not get you a better grade, but it might get you a more enthusiastic job recommendation when you need it.


411 Posts

I might add that taking the time to get dressed, put on some makeup, and generally look more put together helps me to feel more put together. I also want to leave a good impression on my professors. They have to go to the trouble od dressing business-slightly-more-than-casual, I never feel respectful showing up in flip flops and rolled up sweat pants. I value their time and honestly, I care a whole lot more about their impressions of me than I do my classmates.

Then again, I'm old. :rolleyes:


13 Posts

At my school, we may have all tried a bit harder the first few days, during orientation and all. But in the end, we were mainly in sweats or worse for most lecture and lab classes (unless for some reason our uniform scrubs were required). I felt like students tended to look professional at clinicals - made an effort to look pulled together. Certainly, though, this spring before I graduated I didn't take much time to get ready for lecture classes and I fit right in!

Specializes in LTC.

I usually dress from casual to dressy, but I've never came to class dressed in sweats and t-shirts. In the fall I usually wear jeans with heals and a nice dressy top, during the summer I mainly wore dresses with strappy, sandals. I love to dress and look nice even if I'm going to class. This have always been me. I do believe its a personal preference so don't feel obligated to dress up.


303 Posts

Specializes in None.

LOL for me it depends, sometimes Im come in with sweats, shirt and flip flops. Sometimes ironed jeans, button-down shirt, and loafers, just depends. We are required to dress biz casual with lab coat to pick up patients, uniforms during clinicals, and professional clothing during conferences, seminars', etc

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