An Ultimate Guidebook to CNA Dress Code

CNA dress code

In this article...

What to wear: An employee chooses. How to dress: His employer chose.

Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Do you long to wear the scrubs and uniforms worn by your favorite Grey’s Anatomy characters? Do you wonder why everyone is wearing a particular color of scrub? Are you looking for a perfect guidebook to read more about the CNA dress code?

Dressing code in the medical field is an important part of the profession. Doctors and nurses establish their professionalism by their dress code.

Besides professionalism, a proper dress code also helps in building good patient relationships. Whether you are a nursing assistant or RN, your dressing style should match your work culture and ethics.

If you’re considering a career in nursing, learning how to dress and present yourself is crucial. You should master the right dressing style from the time you go for your CNA interview to the first day on the job. This article covers the various kinds of dress codes applicable to CNAs.

What to Wear During Your CNA Interview

To start your career in the nursing field, the first step is to clear the CNA job interview. Wearing suitable attire for your interview day is just as crucial for other educational and training preparations. Although nurses are usually seen wearing scrubs in medical organizations, that should not be your interview attire.

Never forget that the first impression is a lasting one!

Here are some top dressing tips to help you leave your best first impression.

Dress According to the Company’s Dress Code

Dress According to the Company's Dress Code

It is always wise to go to an interview after thorough background research about the company. Once your interview is scheduled, you should know if the company has any dress code before attending it. Some companies will prefer that you come wearing a specific dress code.

In most companies, the standard dress code is to wear formal. For men, the best interview attire is a suit with a tie. For women, a button-down skirt paired with a blouse should suffice.

Accessories and Makeup

Men usually have less worry about makeup and accessories. But one thing to keep in mind is whether to keep a beard or not. Many companies across the state usually have no beard policy. For accessories, you can wear a nice watch to level up your look.

For women, remember to keep your makeup and accessories minimal. Keep your makeup minimal (A no makeup, makeup look is best!). After all, you are not competing in a beauty contest!

As for accessories, a watch will be your best match. You may pair up minimal jewelry like a small pair of earrings, and a plain pendant.

An important thing to note is to avoid any piercing or tattoo. If you have any piercings or tattoos, conceal them for the interview. When working as a CNA, it is advisable to always conceal tattoos and piercings.

The Perfect Shoe to Match

A pair of shoes can make or break your whole outfit! To complete your look for the interview you must accentuate your clothes with a nice pair of shoes. For men, a brown or black shoe with matching socks is appropriate. Wearing formal low heel shoes or flat bellies is appropriate for women.

Styling your Hair

To complete your look, the perfect hairstyle is of utmost importance. For women with long hair, they should tie their hair in a sleek ponytail. They should use a black plain rubber band to make the ponytail. If you have short hair, the best option is to wear it down.

Avoid using glittery, fancy, or long clips and rubber bands. Men may avoid using products if they style their hair at a professional salon.

To complete your whole look, wear your most confident smile.

With all these guidelines, you may curate the most professional CNA interview needs. 

After the CNA interview, you will receive your letter of acceptance in a medical organization. The next CNA dress code for you to maintain will be in your work location. It is best to know the general CNA dress codes known as of this writing.

CNA Dress Code in Medical Organization

A plain white uniform skirt with nursing caps and hoses was the standard dress code for nurses in the past. But over time, the dress code has changed. 

CNAs, LPNs, RNs have different dress codes in most medical organizations. The change in dress code is thought to bring more “teaming and unity” to the nursing community. 

Today, the most widely used CNA dress code is scrubs and shoes. It’s important to not go to work with body piercings and tattoos. You are normally not allowed to have nail extensions, it might hamper your work and can raise safety concerns.

Patients have their views on the dress codes of medical staff, too. A study done in Geisinger Medical Center in is a hospital in central northeast Pennsylvania in 2014 conducted an evidence-based practice (EBP) to bring changes in their dress code. EBP is the combination of judicious use of best nursing clinical practice and patient values to make the best decision.

Based on their survey,  57% of patients find it challenging to differentiate between different nurses, and 74% of them believe that wearing the same uniform is more professional. Solid-colored scrubs were preferred by 59% of patients, and navy blue was voted the most professional color for nurses by 95% of people.

Wrapping up

Working as a CNA is more than just being presentable through your appearance. But a major part of your job requires you to look your best. Wearing the proper scrub in a professional way emphasizes your patient interaction.

Emphasizing the dress code may seem trivial, but it can create a long-lasting impression from your CNA certification exam to your career. If you are preparing to enter the nursing world, start with practicing our free CNA practice test papers

Remember the most important thing you can wear is your smile and confidence! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common color for scrubs?

The most common color of scrubs in medical organizations is blue because it is thought to create a relaxing aura and calmness. It also helps people trust you more which can help with better patient interaction.  

Can CNAs wear whatever scrubs they want?

CNAs must wear scrubs depending on their workplace. Most hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical organizations have specific CNA dress codes prescribed.

Can CNAs wear their hair down?

If your hair length is short you may wear it down, but it is advisable to tie your hair. 

Can CNAs accessorize their uniforms?


Minimal accessories such as a wristwatch and stud earrings are usually acceptable, but avoid excessive jewelry or anything that could pose a safety risk.

Do CNAs need to maintain a certain level of hygiene and grooming?


Yes, CNAs are expected to maintain good personal hygiene and grooming standards to ensure a professional appearance and prevent the spread of infection.

What should CNAs do if they’re unsure about the dress code at their workplace?


It’s best to consult the employee handbook or speak with a supervisor to clarify any uncertainties regarding the dress code policy.

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