This Just In! Nurses are #1 with Americans

This Just In! Nurses are #1 with Americans

The annual Gallup Honesty and Ethics Poll was just released and the results show the most trusted profession, ranked #1 for an astounding 17th consecutive year!, is—drum roll, please—nursing.

When a sampling of random Americans were phoned and asked to “please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields,” more than 84% rated nurses as “high” or “very high.” (Other ratings they could have chosen were “average,” “low,” or “very low.”)

Gallup has sampled the public’s views since 1976, and while the professions change from year to year, nurses have outpaced all others since 1999 when the role was first included. That is, nearly every year, because there was one time when nurses didn’t top the list. That happened in 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when firefighters were included for the first and only time and scored highest. Gallup conducts the telephone survey in late November and releases the results in December.

Health care professions usually dominate the top of the list, and this year is no different. The most trusted groups after nurses were medical doctors, scoring 67%, and pharmacists, coming in right behind at 66%. The lowest rankings for honesty and trustworthiness go to telemarketers and sadly, members of Congress, tied for last place at 8%.

What is it that makes nurses so esteemed for their ethics and honesty? There are many theories, ranging from degree of intimacy (we stand naked—both literally and metaphorically—before nurses) and the fact that nursing is a female dominated profession. The Gallup data suggest that women, on the whole and on average, are seen as more trustworthy than men.

(Estimates are that 90% of nurses are female, according to the American Nurses Association, but that percentage is dropping as more men enter the field.)

Additionally, nurses have a code of ethics to uphold, and they study that topic seriously in nursing school to prepare for difficult ethical dilemmas with life and death consequences. Their licensure also compels them to do what’s right for the patient, not just what’s expedient or in their own (or their employer’s) best interest.

In the end, though, trust is based on personal experience. With nurses making up the largest portion of the health care workforce, almost everyone has had a relationship with a nurse, either as a patient, family member, or friend. They’ve most likely seen that nurses are always there, and always for you, as caregivers and patient advocates.

“Every day and across every health care setting, we are on the frontlines providing care to millions of people,” says ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Nurses’ contributions to health care delivery, public health challenges, natural disaster relief efforts, research, education, and much more, are unmatched and invaluable.”

Unmatched they are! We would like to congratulation to all the extraordinary nurses for ranking at the highest level for your ethical standards. We know that nurses have many super powers—trustworthiness is maybe the greatest one.

Nurses: Again the Most Trusted Professionals Says Gallup Poll

Nurses: Again the Most Trusted Professionals Says Gallup Poll

Once again, the annual Gallup poll has recognized nursing as the most honest and trusted profession.

This is the 16th consecutive year nurses have held onto the top spot, and they have been number one in each year since the poll started in 1999 except for one. In 2001, firefighters were included on the list, and with their overwhelming bravery in response to 9/11 attacks, they earned the top spot.

In the yearly telephone poll, a random selection of citizens are asked to rate the professions they find most trustworthy. Of the top five professions rated for ethics and honesty, the medical field is well represented with nurses (no. 1), medical doctors (no. 3), and pharmacists (no. 5). Rounding out the top five are military officers (no. 2) and grade school teachers (no. 3).

Of the respondents, 82 percent rated nurses as “high” or “very high” for honesty and ethical standards (choices included those two plus “average,” “low,” and “very low”). Military officers had a 71 percent rating in the same category. Overall, the Gallup poll rated 22 professions including police officers, bankers, television reporters, car salespeople, lobbyists, lawyers, and clergy. Lobbyists took the bottom spot with only 8 percent of respondents rating their honesty and ethical standards as “high” or “very high.”

This year’s poll was conducted in early December, with a total of 1,049 respondents. The respondents were a mix of political parties, which reflected larger party-based gaps for some professions, but not nursing.

The Gallup poll reflects a worldwide sense of trust in nurses. Britain’s Ipsos MORI Veracity Index 2017 (from a social research institute) also ranked nurses as number one most trusted profession by respondents.

Nurses know the poll is a public acknowledgment of the caring, life-saving work they do every single day. Congratulations to all the nurses out there—the ethical standards you follow every day are noticed by the people you care for those who love them.