Nurses maintain dominance atop ‘most trusted’ poll

( Nurses remain the most trusted of all professionals, according to an annual Gallup survey.

Of 22 professions, survey respondents ranked nurses as the most honest and ethical. Of 1,015 respondents, 85% rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high” or “high.” Meanwhile, 12% gave nurses an “average” rating and only 3% said “low” or “very low.”

The 85% positive rating is an all-time best for nurses, who have ranked atop the Gallup poll every year except one since their inclusion in 1999. The exception was 2001, when firefighters finished first in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Pharmacists placed second on the list, with 75% rating their honesty and ethical standards as “very high” or “high.” Medical doctors and engineers tied for third, at 70%.

Car salespeople came in last, with only 8% giving them “very high” or “high” marks. Members of Congress were next from the bottom, at 10%.

“This poll consistently shows that people connect with nurses and trust them to do the right thing,” American Nurses Association President Karen A. Daley, RN, PhD, MPH, FAAN, said in a news release. “Policymakers should do the same as they debate crucial budget decisions that will affect healthcare quality and access for millions of Americans.”

Along with physician and hospital associations, the ANA released a report in September that found up to 766,000 healthcare and related jobs could be lost by 2021 as a result of the 2% sequester of Medicare spending scheduled to go into effect in 2013.

Congressional Republicans are negotiating with Democrats and the White House on a compromise to avoid the sequester, although such a package still could affect Medicare. The ANA stated it “has warned against making hasty, large-scale Medicare spending cuts that could decrease the quality of care for patients as a deficit-reduction measure.”

The association “is working with coalitions representing healthcare professionals, consumers and other groups to prevent potential declines in quality and is urging nurses across the country to tell Congress to avoid harmful Medicare actions.”