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Nursing & Health Professions | Professional Attire and Conduct

Professional Attire and Conduct

When in the clinical area, students represent Trinity Washington University, as well as the Trinity Nursing Program.  Students preparing for a nursing career bear the responsibility to conduct themselves and dress in a manner that reflects professionalism.  Proper attire and appearance enhances both the student’s credibility and that of the University with clients, their families, and agency personnel.   A professional and neat appearance is expected and required for all clinical and University related experiences.  The following information outlines the expectations for professional attire and conduct in the clinical and laboratory settings.

  • Professional conduct is expected at all times.  This includes not talking loudly, not chewing gum and no transaction of personal business in the clinical area, except for emergency situations.
  •  Students who appear in a clinical setting who are inappropriately attired or groomed may be sent home and the absence treated as an unexcused clinical absence.
  • Students should consider the impact of cosmetics and decorative hair styles/colors upon patient, staff and other individuals.  The clinical agencies and faculty have the discretion to require modification of these factors when students are in the clinical setting.
  • Body piercing & tattoos are discouraged. If tattoos do exist, they must be covered when possible. Cases of permanent cosmetics will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Faculty have the responsibility and reserve the right to judge the appropriateness of a student’s attire, and may modify the uniform policy in accordance with agency guidelines and standards.
  • Proper attention to hygiene is mandatory.  This is more than common courtesy.  In order to convey respect to clients and colleagues and because of health laws, isolation and aseptic techniques, students must maintain good personal hygiene.  Students must:
    • Observe proper bathing habits
    • Use deodorant products to prevent odor
    • Avoid any use of colognes or perfumes
  •  Please note that all noise-making devices (pagers, cell phones, etc.) must be turned off during class, laboratory and clinical sessions.

Uniform Policy

An official Trinity uniform, a white lab coat with the Trinity patch, and the Trinity name pin is available at the Trinity Bookstore.  The uniform, name pin, and lab coat is required in institutional and community settings where street clothes are not permitted and where the clinical agency does not require a specific alternate uniform (i.e. in pediatric settings).

Students should visit the bookstore at least four-six weeks prior to beginning nursing classes, to allow for sufficient time for the proper uniform size to be ordered, and the name pin to be ready.

The lab coat should be worn during all campus laboratory experiences and in designated clinical courses.

Uniforms should be fitted appropriately and not tight or too loosely fitted.  Faculty and clinical agency staff reserve the right to deny the student access to the clinical experience if dressed inappropriately.

Students should use good judgment wearing the uniform outside of the clinical setting. Remember that the uniform has been worn in a contaminated environment.

To insure client safety and prevent the transmission of microorganisms, the following should not be worn in institutional and community settings.

  • bracelets, chains, necklaces
  • dangle, hoop or large earrings
  • rings with stones
  • no type of button or pin may be worn other than the Trinity name pin

Due to limited space for students’ belongings, avoid carrying purses or other valuables to clinical settings.

No waist or fanny packs may be worn due to the probability of cross contamination and the transmission of nosocomial infections

Students who need to cover their hair for religious reasons should consult with the faculty member to ensure that the cover selected meets safety and infection control standards.

The Basic Uniform

  •  Shirt or Top:    Purple scrub top monogrammed with “Trinity Nursing Program” on left side
  • Pants:  Purple scrub bottoms
  • Jacket: White lab jacket with “Trinity Nursing Program” patch on left shoulder (lab jacket must be worn when in the campus laboratory)
  • Shoes:  White leather; closed heel and toe; no canvas sneakers or clogs; polished, clean, and in good repair
  • Hose/Socks:              Neutral colored stockings or white colored socks, worn at all times
  • Name Pin:                 Trinity Nursing Student name pin with, worn on lab jacket or scrub top
  • ID Badge:                  Trinity Washington University Photo ID Badge
  • Watch:                      Plain watch with second hand
  • Bandage Scissors:      Regulation bandage scissors are optional;  Scissors should be regularly cleaned
  • Jewelry:
    • Wedding bands only (no stones)
    • Watch with a second hand
    • One pair of stud earrings
    • No other jewelry may be worn
  • Perfume or After Shave:  No perfumed scents; lotions; or body sprays
  • Hair:
    • Women – Hair must be neatly arranged, either short or pulled back and away from the face; discreet hair accessories only
    • Men – Beards and mustaches must be clean, trimmed and well groomed
  •  Sweater:  Washable white cardigan or white lab coat with Trinity patch
  • Nails:  Short (fingertip length); well-manicured.  No polish, acrylics or tips

 Community Settings

  •  Women:
    • Tailored polo tops, pants, dresses, and skirts; The length of dresses and skirts must be at least to the knee, reasonable and discreet; One pair of small stud earrings
  • Men:
    • Tailored trouser and shirts or polo shirts; shirt & tie when required;
    • Beards and/or mustaches should be neatly trimmed
  •  Women & Men:
    • No jeans, sweatpants, stirrup pants, or scrub pants or tops
    • No exposed midriffs
    • Sturdy, closed-toe and heel shoes; clean, polished and in good repair
    • Neatly arranged hair, off the face or tied back (discreet hair accessories only)
    • Stockings or socks worn at all times
    • Trinity name pin and identification should be worn at all times (no other type of pin may be worn
    • Wedding bands only
    • A watch with a second hand
    • No chains, necklaces, bracelets, dangle or hoop earrings
    • Short nails, clear polish only (no artificial nails or tips)



For more information about Trinity's School of Nursing and Health Professions, please contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 492-6882 or via e-mail at

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