Nurses rank as most trusted profession for 15th straight year

Healthcare providers have taken the top three spots on a poll rating honesty and ethical standards among different professions.

The results of Gallup's annual honesty and ethical standards poll, released Monday, show nurses clinching the top spot for the 15th year in a row, with 84% of respondents saying they rate nurses' ethical standards and honest as very high or high. Nurses have topped the list every year since 1999 except for one — firefighters took the top spot in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"Trust plays an important role in the relationship between nurses and the patients we serve," said Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN, president of the American Nurses Association. “Based on this survey, no other profession is held in as high regard by the public. And given nursing's frontline perspective on healthcare delivery, we offer a point of view that is unmatched."

Pharmacists rank second on this year's list, with a 67% “very high or high” rating. Medical doctors were ranked third, with a 65% positive rating.

The poll showed that Americans' ratings for college professors, clergy members and journalists have fallen over the past year, with 47%, 44% and 23% positive ratings, respectively. Members of Congress ranked last on the list, lower than insurance and car salespeople, with 59% of respondents rating their honesty and ethical standards as low or very low.