Dress Code & Uniforms

Dress Code/Appearance

All students will be asked to follow the rules of the hospital in regards to their dress code. Some sites will not permit jewelry, body piercings, etc. Students must comply with the site request and remove any items during clinical rotations. If you arrive at the facility in unacceptable unacceptable attire, you will be asked to leave the facility. Please direct any questions to your instructor or the manager of the unit you will be working on.


You will wear your student uniform to your clinical site at all times, including preparation time when you pick up patient information and your clinical days. Your uniform must be clean and worn in a manner wherein you are easily identified as a UW nursing student. The uniform consists of:

  • UW deep purple medical scrub top and bottom
  • 2 UW School of Nursing emblems: the emblem must be fastened (sewn or glued) onto the upper left sleeve, just below the shoulder of both the jacket and the purple scrub top
  • UW School of Nursing nametag
  • White, short professional jacket (may be worn with name badge over street clothes during preparation time ONLY; when wearing purple scrubs, may be taken off during clinical day as needed)
  • An easy-to-read watch with a second hand
  • Low, rubber-heeled, closed-toe shoes that are easily cleaned and reserved for clinical only. Dress codes for most clinical agencies do not permit clogs or sandals.

All components of your uniform should be lightweight, easily and quickly laundered, and reserved for clinical rotations only. Instructors at clinical sites may require other dress requirements for that site. Purchasing information is provided below.


Appearance must be professional. Your uniform should be clean and worn in a manner wherein you are easily identified as a UW nursing student. Hair, jewelry and other accessories must be worn in a fashion to avoid causing safety risks to yourself and/or patients. You must adhere to the clinical dress code of each site. Some of the clinical agencies will not allow any body piercings.


The Learning Lab and your clinical sites should be considered "fragrance free" so that those with hypersensitivities may be protected.  Fragrances may include perfumes, hair gels, and certain deodorants.


Your stethoscope must have a diaphragm and bell, and dual capability for children and adults: must be 22 to 27 inches in length.

Examples of reliable stethoscopes:

  • Tycos Harvey Elite Cardiology Stethoscope
  • Littman Cardiology III
  • Hewlett Packard RappASrt-Sprague

The University Bookstore regularly carries these models, but you may purchase your stethoscope through other sources if you like. You may also purchase other brands as long as you follow these general guidelines:

  • Ask about the warranty of the stethoscope (5 years is typical)
  • Check the feasibility of replacing parts in the event breakage occurs
  • Both ends of the tubing on the stethoscope should fit comfortably and snugly in the canals of your ears
  • Adjust and place the ear tips in your ears pointing toward your nose. Test for auscultation by tapping gently with your finger on the diaphragm to elicit sounds
  • The color of the stethoscope is your choice
  • Be aware of advertisements that offer a markedly reduced rate. Some are not very durable
  • Scrutinize each advertisement carefully

Purchasing Information

The white professional jacket for women and men is available through the University Bookstore South Campus Branch, various uniform stores, through catalogs and the internet. Lab jackets should be lightweight and launder easily. Buy where you feel comfortable.

Scrubs with the required shade of purple are purchased through the UW Bookstore South Campus Branch. However, some students do not find the brand sold here satisfactory. You are therefore free to purchase the scrubs where you like, but you must match the UW purple color.

The UW School of Nursing emblem is sold exclusively through the University Bookstore; please purchase TWO emblems: one for the uniform jacket; one for the purple scrubs.

Order your nametag early, as it will take a few days to be made.