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Yes, in 2021 we can continue to cite nurses as the most trusted professionals in the United States. It should come as little surprise that the events of 2020 elevated trust in nurses to a record high. This year, not only did nurses top the results of the annual Gallup Poll for 2020; their position rose by 4 percentage points since the 2019 poll.

According to the December 1-17 poll, Americans were asked to rate various professions with regard to honesty and ethical standards. Respondents gave nurses an 89% “high or very high” trust rating, securing the position of nursing at the top of the list. Doctors took second place, at 77%, grade school teachers, at 75%, were in third place, and pharmacists—who are on an upswing after falling in the rankings after 2012—drew 71%, making them the fourth most trusted profession.

ANA president President Ernest Grant, PHD, RN, FAAN said of the new poll, “I am extremely proud of my fellow nurses. Nurses have been tested in every way imaginable during 2020. The world watched as nurses lost numerous patients and colleagues to a highly communicable, deadly virus while trying to protect and preserve their communities with limited resources and support. Nevertheless, through it all, nurses have consistently proven they are resilient, selfless, and compassionate, risking their health and safety for the common good. Therefore, nurses are undoubtedly deserving of the public’s unwavering trust.”

The usual suspects haunted the lower end of the trust spectrum for 2020. Professions receiving a high trust rating from fewer than 30% of those polled included bankers (29%), journalists (28%), and lawyers (21%). Perennial objects of mistrust populated the bottom of the graph: members of Congress and car salespeople tied for an 8% trust ranking.

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The December 2020 poll asked a random sample of over 1000 people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in different fields, with options ranging from very high, high, average, low, or very low. Here were the overall results:

2020 Gallup poll shows nurses are still the most trusted professionals.
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For full details on this year’s poll, visit the story on Gallup News.

Koren Thomas

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