Gallup Poll: Nursing Rated as Most Honest and Ethical Profession

Nurse holding stethoscope

During a time when Americans’ confidence in many U.S. institutions has declined, the public’s trust in nurses remains unmatched.

For the 16th year in a row, the public rated nursing as the most honest and ethical profession in America, with an 82 percent rating of high/very high, according to a recently released Gallup survey. Nurses have claimed the top spot since 1999, the first year they were included in the survey, with the exception of 2001, when firefighters were voted No. 1 in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Gallup survey paints a positive portrait of how nurses are perceived compared to other professions. For example, the public gave a 56 percent rating for police officers, a 18 percent rating for lawyers, a 16 percent rating for business executives, and a 11 percent rating for Members of Congress, among many professions represented in the survey.

As written elsewhere, these numbers are important because they contextualize and complement findings that show that patients benefit when nurses are leading and working to the full scope of their education. A 2014 study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that patients with heart disease were almost 50 percent more likely to receive optimal care when their care was coordinated by teams led by nurses. Nurse-led teams not only ensured that patients received all recommended care in the hospital, but also identified helpful community resources and served as a liaison with families and care providers after patients were discharged from the hospital.

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