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Guidelines for Professional Appearance

CSUB nursing students must follow CSUB and agency policy regarding uniform dress and professional behavior.


  • CSUB nursing students represent the University and the Department of Nursing when interacting with patients, their families, staff, and others in the health care environment.  The way students dress demonstrates respect for the University they represent and for the patients and families they serve.  Students purchase and wear the uniform of the Department throughout their clinical experience, unless the clinical instructor advises otherwise. While wearing the CSUB uniform, students are clearly recognized at the University and by the clinical agencies accommodating the student experience.  Professional attitudes and clothing reflect the same respectful behavior and professional attitudes even when the CSUB uniform is not required in the clinical area.  Information regarding uniform purchase is provided during orientation. Uniform purchase, including the polo shirt worn during community health experiences, is mandatory.   Students who fail to purchase their uniform in a timely fashion will be dropped from clinical courses.
  • The clinical uniform top is light blue and includes the monogrammed CSUB Department of Nursing logo (with optional first name).
  • This uniform’s pants are a regulation type of opaque white or light blue (the same color and fabric as the traditional top and lab jacket) with straight leg scrub pants, or knee to mid-calf length skirts. Only a regulation blue CSUB lab coat with the CSUB monogrammed Department of Nursing logo with optional student first name may be worn over the uniform.  Appropriate undergarments must be worn and must be covered by the uniform. Students may opt to wear a neutral-color long-sleeved or short-sleeved T-shirt under the uniform if desired.  No other color T-shirts will be accepted.
  • Students in Level III courses are assigned to community experiences and are required to wear the community uniform which is self-purchased straight leg khaki colored slacks/pants (no “skinny” pants/khaki jeans) or knee to mid-calf skirt with the specifically selected CSUB Nursing dark blue polo shirt ordered through the Department of Nursing or other appointed vendor.  Students may opt to wear a neutral-color long-sleeved or short-sleeved T-shirt under the uniform if desired. No other color T-shirts will be accepted.
  • Casual attire, such as shorts, jeans, flip-flops, or short midriff tops are not permissible in the clinical setting at any time. Faculty may have additional requirements for specific clinical areas. Please clear any exceptions to these items with your clinical faculty. 

Identification Badge

  • The CSUB Identification badge includes: student picture, student name and title “Nursing Student” in a minimum of 18-point font.  This complies with a Board of Registered Nursing requirement.  The identification badge must be worn above the waist.  The identification badge must be worn at all times during clinical hours at agencies, and in the CSUB Nursing Skills/SIM Lab(s) and Computer Lab(s).


  • Wear clean white, navy blue, gray, black or dark brown shoes with closed toe and heel, with nonskid soles. Be sure shoe laces are neutral-color.  Wear solid neutral-color socks that match shoes. 


  • Hair is neatly maintained, clean and kept off the collar. Hair is pulled back to prevent it from falling forward over the face while performing routine nursing duties.  Color should be those that occur in nature (no pink, purple, blue, etc.).  Men may choose a neatly trimmed mustache or beard.  Facial hair is maintained in short style to insure adequate seal for respiratory isolation masks/particulate respirators. No handle bar style mustaches or long beards are acceptable. 


  • Makeup is fresh and natural. Extremes in color, glitter, or amount are not acceptable. 


  • No acrylic nails, extenders, polish or long nails are permitted. Hands and nails are clean and free of any stains. 


  • All personal care products must be unscented or fragrance-free.


  • Sunglasses may be perceived as blocking interpersonal communication. Do not wear them indoors.

Jewelry and Body Accessories

  • The following jewelry is allowed: a) One small post earring (with no dangles) in each ear; b) One small ring; c) Small necklaces and neck chains inside the uniform; d) ankle chains that are not visible or audible; and e) small wrist watches with second hands.  No other jewelry and/or visible body piercing is allowed in the clinical area. (Please don’t assume because the pierced ornament is in your tongue that it is invisible. It is not acceptable professional dress).


  • No visible tattoos are permitted. Cover any tattoos that may be visible.  


  • Personal hygiene must be of high standards. Absence of body, mouth and clothes odor is necessary.
  • Do not chew gum or smokeless tobacco while in clinical areas.  Students may not smoke cigarettes or e-cigarettes, or vape while in uniform at any time. It is expected that patients will not experience any exposure to second-hand or third-hand smoke. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) have brought forth a resolution calling for smoke-free college campuses (you can find the resolution here). This call to action was issued to mobilize support among nurse educators for promoting tobacco-free policies at colleges and universities nationwide in an effort to promote healthy behaviors and save lives.


  • Requests for exceptions must be submitted to the faculty and/or agency in writing before the day of the clinical experience.     
  • The guidelines, established by CSUB students and faculty, will be enforced for all students in the Nursing program. Any student failing to comply will be asked to leave the clinical area and may not return until modifications are made. This action will result in an unexcused absence for the day.  Any desired deviation from this code must be presented to the Faculty for their consideration.  Students should be aware that additional dress restrictions and infection control policies might be required in specific departments of agencies or hospitals.