Pre-Licensure Clinical Dress Code

The dress code policy for students is the policy established by The Ohio State University Hospitals for its employees.  All students must adhere to the dress code policy when a uniform is needed for clinical study.  Personal appearance must demonstrate neatness, cleanliness, and good hygiene. Extremes in appearance or accessory attire potentially interfering with patient care or perception are not acceptable. Anyone in violation of this policy will be required to leave the clinical unit.

  1. Student identification badge must be worn at all times.
    1. Identification badges are to be clearly visible, above the waist.
    2. Student photographs on identification badges must be worn face out, with no defacement (pins, stickers).
    3. When caring for inmates in any patient care area, employees may tape over (cover) their last name.
    4. Lanyards to hold your identification badge may be worn meeting the following criteria:
      1. Must be breakaway, for your protection.
      2. No more than five professional pins may be worn at one time.
      3. The Lanyard must not interfere with patient care.
      4. The lanyard should be cleaned when visibly soiled.
      5. If lanyards are worn they should be secured by means to prevent them from coming into direct contact with the patient or near the patient environment.
      6. Identification badge holders may be worn meeting the following criteria:
        1. Must be solid in color or with hospital logo.
  2. Hair must be clean, neatly groomed and controlled.
    1. Long hair must be secured away from the face.
    2. Hair decorations must be kept plain and simple.
    3. Extreme styles and colors are not permitted.
    4. Facial hair must be kept neat and well-trimmed.
    5. Fashion headscarves or skullcaps are not permitted.
    6. Hairbands are permitted if they are white, or match scrubs or hair color.
  3. Nails must be neat, clean, and support the functional use of hands and fingers.
    1. Artificial fingernails are prohibited for all staff who touch or transport patients.
    2. Nail polish/gel/dip and decorative designs are prohibited.
    3. Length of natural nails will be kept at less than ¼ inch long.
  4. Jewelry must be plain and inconspicuous. Jewelry must not interfere with patient care or present a hazard to the student.
    1. Up to two pairs of small post earrings that do not dangle from the earlobes are permitted.
    2. No necklaces are permitted.
    3. Bracelets or armbands are not permitted unless they are a Medical Alert bracelet.
    4. Only one ring or ring set is allowed.
    5. A form fitting wrist watch/fitness band is permitted.
    6. Facial piercing jewelry (i.e. eyebrow, nose, tongue, lip, etc.) is prohibited.
    7. Exception: If a nose ring is worn for religious purposes, the student must supply the instructor with proper documentation to support this.
  1. Fragrances must be minimally evident. With some patient care populations, fragrances (purfume/cologne/after shave/strong scents) may not be worn. Please do wear deodorant or antiperspirant.
  2. All tattoos must be covered.
  3. Footwear should be clean, appropriate for clothing, protective and fit securely.
    1. Shoes should be non-permeable entirely white or black.
    2. Shoes must have a closed toe and closed heel.
    3. Canvas shoes or “crocs” with holes are not permitted in patient care areas.
    4. Shoes and shoelaces must be kept clean. Shoelaces must be white or match shoes.
    5. Students must wear hose or socks at all times
  1. Uniform accessories:
    1. Buttons, hats, pins (or other types of insignia) are prohibited.
    2. Organizational belt/adjustable belt pack (“fanny packs”) must be a solid color, reasonable size, washable, and free of logos.
    3. Cloth stethoscope covers or decorative items attached to stethoscope are not permitted.
    4. Cell phones may only be used to access clinically related applications out of sight of patients &/or family. Personal cell phone use for calls, texting, or accessing social media/non-clinically related data, apps or websites is not be used during clinical.
    5. Pens worn around the neck are prohibited.
  1. Uniform/Clothing Standards:
    1. Undergarments must be worn and inconspicuous under uniform or clothing.
    2. Clothing must be clean and neatly pressed.
    3. Faded/yellowish, discolored or ripped clothing is not acceptable.
    4. All clothing should fit loosely (not skin tight), be non-see through, with no visible cleavage or low rise pants that show the top of the buttocks. No spandex/ tight fitting leggings allowed.
    5. Tops:
      1. True Red scrub top is to be worn in the clinical area.
      2. A white mock turtleneck, turtleneck or tee shirt, (long or short sleeves) may be worn under the scrub top. No tee-shirt writing may be visible under scrub top.
      3. The crest of the College of Nursing is a part of the uniform. It is worn on the upper left-hand quadrant of the uniform.  The crest must be sewn on or held in place with Velcro.  Using safety pins is not appropriate. Crests are not required on lab jackets.
      4. It is strongly suggested that you stand in front of a mirror and raise your hands over your head. If your abdomen is exposed by this movement, your attire is inappropriate — the pants are hanging too low and/or the top is too short.
    6. Pants:
      1. True Red scrub ankle length pants must be worn in the clinical area.
      2. Scrub pant bottoms are not permitted to drag on floor.
      3. Flared hems are permitted; however, the pants must be hemmed.
    7. Scrub Jackets/Lab Coats:
      1. White scrub jackets/coats may be worn.
      2. Scrub jackets must be removed when it can potentially interfere with patient care, for example, sterile dressing changes.
      3. No sweatshirts or hooded sweatshirts (hoodies) may be worn. Fleece fabrics have been linked to microbial contamination in the clinical setting, and therefore are prohibited.
    8. Skirts
      1. If a student wishes to wear long skirts to clinical it has been recommended that they order True Red XX large pants from the vendor and alter the material into a skirt.
      2. Length must be at the knee or longer.
      3. Must wear pantyhose with skirts.
    9. Scarfs:
      1. A white, black or red head scarf may be worn as part of the nursing uniform for religious purposes.

Special note: If you are working with a preceptor outside of a clinical area, ask about the expected dress code for the site. For example, if you are a male and the male preceptor wears a tie, you should plan to wear one as well. It is important to present yourself and the College of Nursing in the best possible professional manner.

Students who have clinical experience on units where patients are being treated with radiation therapy may obtain a radiation badge. The radiation badge requisition form should be obtained from the nurse manager on the assigned unit. Students should return the completed form to the nurse manager who will forward it to the Radiation Safety Department. It takes approximately one week to receive the badge from the Department of Radiology.