The public continues to rate registered nurses as the most trusted profession, according to this year's Gallup survey which ranks professions based on their honesty and ethical standards.
Nurses have been voted the most ethical and honest profession in America in Gallup's annual survey for 13 of the past 14 years.
This year, 85 percent of Americans rated nurses' honesty and ethical standards as "very high" or "high," which is the highest rating for RNs since nurses were first included in the poll in 1999.
Since the profession's first appearance, nurses have received the highest ranking each year except in 2001, when firefighters ranked first after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Nurses consistently capture patient and public trust by performing in accordance with a Code of Ethics for Nurses that supports the best interests of patients, families, and communities, according to the American Nurses Association, which adds nurses often are the strongest advocates for patients who are vulnerable and in need of support.
Registered nurses are increasingly being recognized as leaders in transforming the healthcare system to meet the burgeoning demand for prevention, wellness, and primary care services with a focus on improving quality and managing costs. In addition to their clinical expertise, they are being sought out to serve in a variety of leadership posts on bodies developing policy recommendations related to a wide-range of healthcare policy issues.
Meanwhile, along with physician and hospital associations, 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 percent sequester of Medicare spending being debated as part of Congress' broader "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
ANA has warned against making hasty, large-scale Medicare spending cuts that could decrease the quality of care for patients as a deficit-reduction measure. ANA 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.
Additionally, as states develop health insurance exchanges, ANA and its state nurses associations are advocating for nurses to serve as members of governing boards for state exchanges and for the recognition of qualified nurses to fully participate in Qualified Health Plans.
"This poll consistently shows that people connect with nurses and trust them to do the right thing," says ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN. "Policymakers should do the same as they debate crucial budget decisions that will affect healthcare quality and access for millions of Americans."