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January 6, 2021

Why nurses are the most-trusted professionals, according to Gallup

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    Nurses are the most honest and trusted professionals in America, according to a Gallup poll, marking the 19th year in a row the nursing profession has topped the list.

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    For the poll, Gallup conducted telephone interviews of a random sample of 1,018 participants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between December 1 and December 10, 2020. Respondents were asked to "rate the honesty and ethics" of 15 different professions as "very high, high, average, low, or very low."

    Poll details

    The Gallup poll found that medical professionals overall were highly thought of, with ratings for nurses, physicians, and pharmacists reaching new peaks this year. Still, nurses remained the "undisputed leader," earning a record "very high/high" score of 89% for honesty and ethics, four percentage points greater than their score last year.

    Meanwhile, doctors' honesty and ethics score rose by 12 percentage points, hitting 77% and surpassing the profession's previous record of 70%, recorded in 2011 and 2012. Similarly, pharmacists' honesty and ethics score increased by seven percentage points to 71%, their highest score since 2012.

    Conversely, at the low end of the poll, respondents felt car salespeople and members of Congress were the least honest professionals, with just 8% of people saying the honesty and ethics of either profession were "high" or "very high." 

    Here's what respondents said about the honesty and ethics of all the professions in the poll: 

    Ernest Grant, president of the American Nurses Association, said of the findings, "The world watched as nurses lost numerous patients and colleagues to a highly communicable, deadly virus while trying to protect and preserve their communities with limited resources and support. Therefore, nurses are undoubtedly deserving of the public's unwavering trust" (Carbajal, Becker's Hospital Review, 12/23/20; Gallup poll, 12/22/20).

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