In Nurses We Trust

Nurses outrank all other professions in Gallup Organization's annual honesty and ethics survey.

    • December 6, 2010

In a new Gallup poll, eight in 10 Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as high or very high, making nursing the top-ranked profession for the 11th time in the last 12 years. Medical professionals accounted for three of the top five spots in Gallup’s annual “Honesty and Ethics” survey, with military officers, druggists or pharmacists, grade school teachers and medical doctors occupying the second through fifth rankings.

Not only did nurses lead the field, they led by a significant margin, finishing 8 percentage points ahead of the next closest profession. That wide margin has also been a constant in the survey in recent years: Nurses finished first by 17 points in 2009 and first by 14 points in 2008.

Nurses were first included in Gallup’s annual survey in 1999, and have captured the top spot every year since, except once. In 2001, Gallup added firefighters to the list on a one-time basis to gauge public support for the profession in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They finished first at 90 percent, with nurses occupying the second spot at 84 percent, that year.

Bringing up the rear in the survey this year were lobbyists (7 percent high or very high), car salespeople (7 percent) and Members of Congress (9 percent).

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 19-21, 2010, with a random sample of 1,037 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.