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Nursing Professional Attire: Probing Patient Preferences to Inform Implementation

Clavelle, Joanne T. DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE; Goodwin, Miki PhD, RN, PHN; Tivis, Laura J. PhD

Journal of Nursing Administration: March 2013 - Volume 43 - Issue 3 - p 172–177
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e318283dc78

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to increase understanding of patient perceptions of nursing professional image, appearance, and identification to inform implementation of professional clinical attire.

BACKGROUND: There is growing evidence of patient preference for and organizational implementation of professional clinical attire.

METHODS: A total of 350 randomly selected inpatients were surveyed using the professional image and patient preferences survey prior to a revision of the dress code for nursing.

RESULTS: Patients gave high scores for nursing image, appearance, and identification, with no support for color-coded uniforms.

CONCLUSIONS: Organizations should assess patient perceptions before implementation of a dress code for nursing.

Author Affiliations: Vice President, Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer (Dr Clavelle); Director, Center for Nursing Evidence-Based Practice, Research, and Innovation (Dr Goodwin); Director, Nursing Research (Dr Tivis), St Luke’s Health System, Treasure Valley, Boise, Idaho.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Clavelle, St Luke’s Health System, Treasure Valley, 190 Bannock Street, Boise, ID 83712 (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.