Nurses seem to have a lock on the #1 spot in Gallup’s annual Most Honest and Ethical Professions Poll. Since 2001, the American public has rated them the highest among a host of professionals, including medical doctors, grade-school teachers, and pharmacists.
The profession’s two-decade record in Gallup’s top spot directly reflects the trust the American public has in nurses and the work they continue to do to earn that trust. In their responses to the poll, 81 percent of Americans rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high” or “high.” The second highest-rated profession, medical doctors, was rated 14 percentage points behind nursing.
“2021 was an incredibly difficult year for individual nurses, and the nursing profession. Many suffered greatly while playing a critical role in the colossal response and recovery efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
—Ernest Grant, President, American Nurses Association
“I want to congratulate every nurse across the nation for earning this well-deserved recognition,” said ANA President Ernest Grant, PHD, RN, FAAN. “The fact that this is the 20th year in a row that the American public has voted nurses #1 is a testament to your consistent professionalism, despite the challenges of the persistent pandemic. We are all indebted to you and will continue to acknowledge and honor your courage, commitment, and expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic and well beyond.”
The trust Americans have in nurses is due to their holistic approach to providing high-quality, patient-centered care to individuals, families, and communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on nurses, reinforcing the critical contributions they make to our health care system, while also highlighting the devasting impact it has had on their mental health and well-being.
Grant underlined the “dire” urgency of the staffing crisis and urged private and public sectors to consult with nurses and take action: “I am deeply concerned about not only the impact of the pandemic on the mental health and well-being of individual nurses, but on the health of the entire nursing profession. The pandemic has exacerbated a long-standing nursing shortage, especially in areas experiencing high numbers of COVID-19 cases. The long-term repercussions and consequences for the profession, the entire health care delivery system, and ultimately, on the health of the nation are potentially dire.”
“It is imperative that the federal and private sectors work with nurses and seek their input to provide solutions that lead to action to solve this crisis and do so with a sense of urgency,” Grant said. “On behalf of the nation’s nurses, ANA continues to work with Congress, the Administration, and key stakeholders to identify and address long and short-term solutions to the shortage.”
During 2022, the American Nurses Association (ANA), which represents the interests of the nation’s 4.3 million registered nurses, will continue to educate the public about who nurses are, what they do and how they contribute their vast knowledge and indisputable expertise in every health care setting during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.