Meetings » Guidelines

Guidelines for Professional Attire

National Student Nurses’ Association

Make a Great Impression!


NSNA meetings are a great opportunity to meet and mingle with nursing leaders, fellow students, and prospective employers. It is also a perfect opportunity for NSNA members to display their professionalism - in what they say, how they say it, and how they look!

The 2005-06 NSNA Board of Directors developed a Code of Conduct for NSNA Meetings. Item five under Meeting Etiquette states that “Professional business attire or business casual attire is acceptable style of dress for professional meetings.” The following suggestions are provided as guidelines for professional business and business casual attire.

Professional Business Attire



Suit or jacket and pants or skirt

Suit - or jacket and slacks

(Skirt length - knee length or below);

Shirt - traditional shirt with collar

Tailored dress; Blouse


Shoes - comfortable low heeled pumps, loafers or boots

Socks (of course)

Simple Jewelry

Dress Shoes & Matching Belt




Business Casual Attire

Yes, Business Casual

Not considered Business Casual

Shirt with collar or polo style

T-Shirts and jeans


Shorts or mini-skirts

Chinos or Dockers - pressed

Bare midriffs or low-cut garments (back or front)


Flip flops, sneakers, or sandals

Blazer or sweater

Athletic wear or leggings

Loafers or lace-up shoes


Accessories can add a special touch of color, texture, and pattern to your outfit and are considered a complementary part of both business professional and business casual attire. Also, if you wear fragrance, keeping it light and minimal is recommended in a professional setting to be considerate of others you meet with who may be sensitive to chemicals.

Remember to shake hands, smile, and introduce yourself to new friends and old acquaintances. Exchange business cards (however, remember to use caution when giving out personal information such as home address, phone number, and e-mail address) and keep a file of contacts for future networking.

At the end of the convention, you’ll be ready to schedule the many interviews you’ll want to make with exhibitors; accept speaking engagements at state and school chapters; and attend meetings of professional nursing organizations. You’ve made a lasting first impression on your peers and the many business and nursing professionals you have met. You are on your way to a very successful nursing career!


Need more information? Enter “professional attire” or “business casual attire” on any search engine for a plethora of links and resources.