School of Nursing

Uniform and Dress Code Requirements

Nurse in dress code scrubs

Students will maintain a neat and well-groomed appearance that is congruent with a professional culture and contributes to the patient and family experience of an orderly, clean, safe and professional atmosphere for care. Body odor should not be evident. Uniforms are required for patient care; students also must comply with the specific requirements of each clinical agency noted in the agency professional appearance policy. Students are required to wear uniforms in the simulation center, which includes the skills lab.

OHSU SON uniform requirements are for students to wear a scrub top and either pants or a skirt of the OHSU SON approved color, an OHSU ID badge (worn above the waist with outward facing photo), and a watch with a seconds indicator. Footwear must be clean with closed toes and closed heels. Leather shoes are preferred, but solid color athletic shoes with discreet trim may be worn. Neutral shoe colors such as white, tan, brown, gray or black are acceptable. Socks or stockings must be worn. Students are permitted to wear white, black or gray t-shirts or turtlenecks under scrub tops. No other colors are allowed, and no jackets or sweaters that cover up the scrub top are allowed. Scrub jackets in approved scrub color, worn over scrub top, are allowed. Headwear worn for religious or cultural purposes must be securely fastened for safety and infection control purposes.

Most agency professional appearance policies have similar requirements. Hair is clean, dry, neat and off the collars when in the clinical agencies, and beards and mustaches neatly trimmed. Dangling jewelry and loop earrings larger than a dime are not to be worn in direct patient contact areas as they pose a safety risk. Tattoos that may be seen as offensive are to be covered while in clinical. Many agencies have additional requirements that limit artificial nails and the use of body fragrances. For example, OHSU is a fragrance-free environment. For all OHSU clinical sites, the dress code requirements are noted in the professional appearance policy HC-SMM-101-POL Rev. 09072018 on the OHSU O2 intranet. 

Faculty may specify circumstances where professional street clothes may be worn when students are not giving direct care in the clinical agency. Excessively tight, revealing, or baggy clothes, including bare midriffs, and cleavage exposure are not acceptable. No jeans, short skirts, or sandals are allowed in the clinical agencies or simulation center. An example of acceptable professional street clothes would be dark slacks (no leggings) or skirt (knee length or longer) and a button-up top in solid colors with long or short sleeves. 

Each campus varies as to the color of the uniform required and where they may be purchased. In Portland and Monmouth, the uniform is dark green (may also be called hunter, forest or spruce green). In Ashland, students must wear navy blue.

Why do we have a dress code?

The dress code identifies you as an OHSU student, which contributes to transparency and safety when you are functioning in the clinical setting. It also serves as a sign of respect for the patient and organization (hospital, clinic, etc.). A nursing student’s appearance is a direct reflection of their attitude regarding the profession of nursing and is thus a reflection on the OHSU School of Nursing program. Because students are not employees of any of the clinical agencies where students are assigned for clinical experiences, faculty members have the discretion to decide what is considered appropriate uniform and professional attire and will counsel any student if necessary. Consequences for not abiding by the dress code may include student being sent home from clinical, simulation, or skills lab, and a possible academic alert. If a student is sent home, they may or may not be able to make up missed clinical hours. Make up of the clinical hours is at the discretion of the clinical instructor.

Places to find scrubs online:

    Equipment and Uniform Basics

    Purchase the following required equipment before the start of the term:

    • Adult-sized Manual Blood Pressure Cuff (Sphygmomanometer)
      • For example: Prestige Medical 79 (Approximate cost per Amazon: $20 range)
    • Stethoscope
      • Recommended: Littman Master Classic II or Littman Classic III ($90 range)
    • Simple Digital Oral Thermometer ($12 range) and Probe Covers ($10 for 100 covers range)
      • Should be able to read in F and C
    • Bandage Scissors ($6 range)
    • Pen Light ($8 range)
    • Protective Eyewear (safety glasses or goggles) ($8 range)
    • (Wrist) Watch that can read seconds
      • Ideally, waterproof

    Purchase required uniforms before the start of the term:

    • Students are required to wear a clean pair of scrubs every skills lab, simulation, or clinical occurrence. This may be several days per week.
    • The color of the scrubs must be dark green (may also be called spruce, forest, or hunter green- see picture).