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Policy U3166: Nursing Student Uniform and Appearance

Purpose

To define the College of Nursing’s requirements and expectations for appropriate and professional appearance and to ensure safe practice in the clinical setting. Clinical site policies supersede this College of Nursing (CON) policy. These guidelines must also be followed for simulation experiences:

  1. Photo ID Name Badges
    The student uniform and name badges are to be worn only for clinical experiences and as authorized by the College of Nursing. For infection control purposes, students should wear a lab coat over the uniform while on campus prior to or after clinical sessions. Photo ID and Name Badges are required for all clinical activities, regardless of the uniform worn. Name badges are ordered on admission to the major. The first name is required on the name badge along with the identification “SDSU Nursing Student.” The CON pays for the first name badge. If the name badge is lost or damaged, the student is responsible for replacement and should contact Nursing Student Services Office at their location. Students should also wear their needle stick/exposure protocol tags. Other unique identifying tags may be required per clinical site.
  2. Required Accessories
    Required accessories to the student uniform are a watch with second-timing function, stethoscope and black ink pen.
  3. Hospital Clinical Clothing
    The hospital or inpatient agency clinical uniform for students consists of blue scrub pants, scrub top with official SDSU emblem and name badge. The pants should be no shorter than ankle length and they should not touch the ground (this may involve the need for alterations). A longer-than-knee length skirt, matching the blue uniform color, is allowed. Optional attire: a white short or long sleeve circle neck t-shirt worn under the scrub top, white lab coat with the official SDSU emblem, matching blue scrub jacket with official SDSU emblem. Uniform order forms are available from Nursing Student Services.
  4. Community Clinical Clothing
    For the Community Clinical, students will wear the designated blue polo shirt with the official SDSU emblem, khaki, navy or black dress-style slacks or longer-than-knee length skirt and name badge. The pants should be no shorter than ankle length and they should not touch the ground. Optional attire: a white short or long sleeve circle neck t-shirt worn under the polo top, white lab coat with the official SDSU emblem, matching blue scrub jacket with official SDSU emblem. Skin-tight pants or leggings are unacceptable clinical attire. Students should consult the faculty member in charge of the clinical experience concerning any uniform questions.
  5. Shoes for all Clinical Settings
    Clean, flat, protective professional nursing or athletic shoes with closed toes and backs are required. Examples of unacceptable shoes include, but are not limited to thin canvas shoes, slippers, boots, sandals and shoes with wooden soles. Community clinical faculty may make weather-related, site-specific exceptions to shoe requirements.
  6. Questions related to uniforms, shoes or appearance should be directed to the Director of Nursing Student Services or to the semester coordinator. Hospital regulations concerning uniforms will supersede SDSU uniform standards. For example, in some specialized areas, students will wear the designated uniform of that unit. Students should consult with the faculty member in charge of the clinical experience concerning any changes in clinical uniform.
  7. RN to B.S.N. students should wear professional attire when meeting with agency personnel and during population-based clinical experiences. Students must wear their SDSU student name tag. There is no specific uniform requirement for RN to B.S.N. students.
  8. Other General Regulations for Attire and Grooming
    Hair should be worn above the collar and off the face. Students may wear a black or white headband. Black or white head coverings worn for religious reasons are allowed. Up to two rings may be worn, in addition to medic-alert jewelry, but may need to be removed when safety or infection control is a concern. A clean-shaven or neatly trimmed beard or mustache is acceptable. Fingernails should be clean, short and neatly trimmed. The definition of "short" is that when you look from the palm side of the hand you should not see the fingernail. Un-chipped, clear finger nail polish is allowed, but artificial nails are not allowed. Body piercing jewelry should be removed when wearing the student uniform in acute, chronic and community care settings. If removal is not possible, the jewelry must be covered or replaced with a clear or flesh-colored plug. Ear piercing is the only exception to this rule. A maximum of two small stud earrings per ear may be worn. Dangling or hoop earrings are not permitted. Flesh colored plugs must be placed in the ear when a gauge has been removed. Tattoos should be covered as much as possible, with the exception of medic-alert tattoos, which should remain visible. In some clinical areas, long sleeves may be discouraged for infection control. Since many people are sensitive to environmental odors and pet hair, students should avoid fragrances such as perfume or aftershave, as well as tobacco smoke and pet dander.
  9. If a student is unable to comply with this dress code for any reason, he/she must talk to the clinical instructor or semester coordinator. Failure to comply with this policy may result in initiation of a Student Professional Performance Improvement Plan.

Revised & Approved: 4/23/12, 3/4/09, 3/12/13, 8/10/17, 1/2018, 3/25/19
Approved by Executive Committee: 2/2018