Gallop: Nurses The Most Trusted US Professionals 20th Year In A Row


By Gabrielle Masson

Americans said nurses are the most honest and ethical professionals for the 20th consecutive year, according to an annual Gallup poll.

Eighty-one percent of poll respondents said nurses have "high" or "very high" ethics and honesty. This is compared to last year, when a record-high 89 percent of respondents gave nurses a "high" or "very high" honesty and ethics score.

Physicians came in second, with 67 percent of respondents ranking them as having high ethics and honesty. Grade-school teachers (64 percent), pharmacists (63 percent) and military officers (61 percent) round out the top five most revered professions.

The least revered professions are lobbyists, car salespeople and members of Congress -- with less than 10% of Americans perceiving them as having high/very high ethics. However, when one factors in those who rate each profession's ethics as low or very low, members of Congress and lobbyists are clearly the worst rated. More than six in 10 Americans view the ethics of these political actors negatively, whereas roughly four in 10 see car salespeople this way; a plurality view car salespeople as average.

Nurses have topped the list all but once since being added to Gallup's annual rating of professions in 1999. That was in 2001, when they were displaced by firefighters -- who earned an all-time-high honesty score of 90% when they were included on a one-time basis in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Three hundred forty-three New York City firefighters lost their lives on 9/11 trying to rescue people from the World Trade Center towers.

Pandemic Image-Surge for Medical Professions Subsides

The ratings of the four highest-rated lines of work in 2021 are down by eight to 11 points from 2020, essentially returning to their pre-pandemic normal levels after rallying in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three of the top four -- nurses, medical doctors and pharmacists -- are medical professions that enjoyed boosted ratings in 2020, likely because of their service to the public during the pandemic. The 2020 rating for nurses was the highest for any profession other than firefighters in 2001, while doctors' rating was the highest ever for that profession.


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