School of Nursing

Nursing Uniform Requirements

The purpose of the USM School of Nursing (SON) uniform and appearance policy is to facilitate safe patient care by faculty and student in the clinical setting, to provide identification in the clinical setting, and to support professional learning through following institutionally determined dress codes.

This uniform is required in most laboratory settings in the School of Nursing and most clinical experiences. Exceptions to the policy will be conveyed by the faculty according to the experience. Hospital policy may stipulate additional restrictions which will be conveyed to the student at the beginning of a clinical experience. For instance, USM SON does not have a policy requiring the covering of tattoos or restrictions on piercings but individual facilities may require us to follow their dress code policies.

Uniform Requirements

Uniforms will fit appropriately to allow for safe patient care and professional appearance. Faculty and students will display an ID badge and the School of Nursing patch/emblem whenever in the clinical setting. It is important that all clothing worn in the clinical setting are washable and laundered regularly. 


  • Scrubs
    • Color must be solid white or solid royal blue tops, pants or skirts.
    • Head coverings, if worn, will be of similar color and material to scrubs. 
    • Style or fit of the scrubs may vary by student, so long as they cover appropriately and provide a professional appearance.
    • At least 2 sets of scrubs are needed but 3 or 4 sets are recommended. In any given semester, students will attend a lab and/or clinical at least twice per week.
    • Scrubs may be purchased at any store or online, so long as they meet the above requirements.  
  • School of Nursing Emblem
    • The University of Southern Maine School of Nursing emblem must be worn on the left sleeve of the visible outer layer of uniform in all clinical settings.
    • The emblem can be purchased at the USM bookstore or Uniforms Express in South Portland.
  • Fleece Vest (optional)
    • If a student chooses to wear a fleece vest over their scrubs the color must be royal blue, navy blue or black in color.
    • The vest must include the University of Southern Maine insignia.
    • Outer layers will be removed before providing patient care.
  • Extra Layers
    • For extra warmth or comfort, a layer may be worn under the scrub top which is of a matching blue or white or black solid color.
  • Shoes
    • Footwear must be at least 75% white or black.
    • Shoes must protect and cover the full foot and be secure.
  • Stethoscope

    • Personal stethoscopes are not required but are recommended.

    • Students can purchase any basic type of stethoscope that is comfortable to them from any retailer.

Name Badges

  • Name badges must be worn in all laboratory and clinical settings.
  • Name badges must be white with dark blue or navy print and read as follows:   
    • First line = Student First & Last Name
    • Second Line = USM Nursing Student.
  • Badges are available for purchase at uniform shops, office supply stores, and online. 


Faculty and students will be responsible for self-monitoring and providing guidance to others as needed to maintain our responsibility to the patients in the clinical setting.   

  • Scented Products and Odors
    • To facilitate patient care and avoid allergic reactions in others, faculty and students will use only unscented body and hair products without perfume or cologne.
    • Being without the scent of perfumes, body odor, strong food smells or cigarette smoke is an important consideration as nurses interact closely with others. 
  • Tattoos & Piercings
    • USM SON does not have a policy requiring the covering of tattoos or restrictions on piercings but individual facilities may require us to follow their dress code policies.
  • Hair and Nails
    • Hair must be well restrained and/or trimmed.
    • Nails are to be kept natural, short and clean. Polish, gel, shellac and artificial nails are not allowed.
  • View additional information about Guidelines for the prevention of hospital-acquired infections



 Revised 04/21/2019