Dress Code & Uniform Policy

Nursing students represent the George Washington University and the School of Nursing. B.S.N. students are expected to be neatly dressed and groomed at all times. Appearance must conform to the highest standards of cleanliness, professionalism and safety. Uniforms are to be worn only when commuting to and from your clinical site and the B.S.N. skills lab/simulation areas.

Students are required to have their GWorld card on them at all times while on campus. 

B.S.N. clinical uniforms embroidered with the GW logo must be purchased directly from Flynn O'Hara Uniforms. The B.S.N. clinical coordinator can provide you with uniform ordering forms and other uniform information. No substitutions or variations will be allowed. 

In addition to the GW Nursing Dress Code and Uniform Policy listed below, students are expected to adhere to any additional requirements from the University or GW Nursing for specific areas of campus. Please see the site-specific requirements for clinical in the "Clinical Attire" section below. The lab requirements can be found in the "Didactic/Laboratory/Simulation Attire" section.

Failure to adhere to the following standards constitutes an infraction and will be treated as a breach under the policies described under Professional Comportment in the student handbooks.

Didactic/Laboratory/Simulation Attire

Students must wear publicly acceptable attire in the classroom setting. Clothing should be clean and in good repair. Skirts, shorts and dresses, when worn, must be knee-length or longer.

Clothing that exposes areas of the chest, abdomen, midriff, back or underwear is unacceptable. Non-religious headwear and dark glasses (unless accompanied by a provider's note) are to be removed in classrooms and in the laboratory.

Students are required to wear navy blue scrubs (top and bottom) without the GW Nursing logo and closed-toe shoes in the nursing laboratory. Each student is responsible for maintaining their lab uniform and lab coat in a clean and professional manner. Students who already hold an RN license are not required to purchase uniforms.

Clinical Attire

Students are required to wear their name badges, identifying them as B.S.N. students from the George Washington University, during all clinical experiences. GW Nursing will provide each student with one name badge. Students are responsible for the cost of replacement if the badge is lost or broken. Students must have a stethoscope and a watch with a sweeping second-hand or digital second indicator in all clinical settings.

All uniforms should be clean and pressed at all times. The B.S.N. uniform should never be worn in settings other than clinical agencies or the nursing simulation laboratory. Sweaters or cover-ups that obscure the uniform are prohibited. Undergarments must never be visible, and female students must wear a bra. Students are responsible for maintaining the B.S.N. uniform in a clean and professional manner.

Personal Appearance

Students in clinical settings must adhere to the guidelines below regarding personal appearance.

Good personal hygiene is the responsibility of each student and is respectful of patients and colleagues in the clinical environment. Students are expected to bathe regularly, to conduct proper oral hygiene, and to use deodorant to prevent offensive body odors. Scented soaps, lotions, perfumes and colognes may offend or elicit allergic responses among patients and clinical staff and should be avoided while students are engaged in clinical settings.

Makeup may be worn in moderation, applied lightly and in a non-threatening manner. Scented products and products containing glitters should be avoided.

Artificial nails/nail tips are strictly prohibited in all clinical environments. Nails must be natural, maintained at a length no longer than the finger-tip, and kept free of debris and polish.

Mustaches and beards are permitted but must be clean, trimmed and well-groomed. Hair must be neatly styled and groomed. Hair longer than collar length must be pulled back from the face and secured neatly in a manner to prevent hair from falling in the face (tight pony tail, braid or bun). Hair color must be consistent with colors natural to humans. Decorative clips, bows, bun pins and other ornate hair accessories are not permitted in clinical settings.

Religious headwear is permitted and should be unobtrusive and securely fashioned. Caps, hats, bandanas and other headwear are not permitted in clinical settings.

Jewelry is a potential source of contamination in the clinical setting. Students must wear a watch with a sweeping second-hand or a digital second indicator. Engagement rings and wedding bands may be worn when in accordance with the clinical site’s policies. Other rings are prohibited. One pierced post-style (stud) earrings in each earlobe are permitted. All other visible body piercings are not permitted and must be removed prior to entering the clinical site. Students are not permitted to wear bracelets (with the exception of a Medic Alert bracelet), chains, necklaces, drop earrings or rings with stones in clinical environments.

Buttons, pins, ribbons, bracelets, pendants or other items supporting political, social, philanthropic or athletic causes are prohibited at all times.

Your clinical instructor will provide information regarding agency policy about tattoos.

Personal Items
Refrain from carrying purses, backpacks/shoulder bags, waist packs or valuables to clinical settings, as agencies may not be able to provide storage space for students’ belongings.

Each agency has its own dress code and students are required to adhere to the dress code of the assigned agency. However, even if the agency allows staff to wear jeans, shorts, mini-skirts, t-shirts or sweatshirts, it is never acceptable for B.S.N. students to wear these items during a clinical experience.