Nurses Top Ethical Standards Survey for 17th Consecutive Year


Annual poll evaluates Americans’ opinions on various professions

More than four in five Americans (84%) rated the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as “very high” or “high,” earning them the top spot among a diverse list of professions for the 17th consecutive year.

Since 2002, nurses have taken home the top spot in this Gallup poll. Since being added to the poll in 1999, in fact, nurses have sat atop the results every year but 2001, when in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, firefighters overtook the top spot.

Out of 20 listed professions, only five received ratings of ‘high’ or ‘very high’ ethical standards from more than 50 percent of respondents. Aside from nurses at 84 percent, also highly regarded were:

  • Medical doctors (67 percent)
  • Pharmacists (66 percent)
  • High school teachers (60 percent)
  • Police officers (54 percent)

Current events in our country have an obvious effect on the rankings from year-to-year, as journalists, clergy members, police officers, and stockbrokers, among others, have seen wild swings in approval in various years. These factors make the unwavering consistency of the nursing profession all the more impressive.


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Rob Senior
Rob Senior

Rob has 15 years of experience writing and editing for healthcare. He previously worked for ADVANCE from 2002 to 2012.

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