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Americans Trust Nurses More Than Any Profession

Americans Trust Nurses More Than Any Profession

According to the annual Gallup poll , Americans trust nurses more than any other profession for the twenty-second consecutive year.

Nurses are viewed as having “very high” or “high” ethical and honesty standards by 79% of U.S. adults, 15 points higher than any other profession and significantly higher than professionals such as business executives, who are highly trusted by just 12% of Americans.

“Nurses have earned the trust of the American people by putting patient safety above all else,” says Katie Murphy, a practicing ICU nurse and president of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. “The public has seen nurses give everything to their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic while fiercely advocating for improvements to care quality and access.”

Murphy says it is past time that hospital executives show nurses the same respect and trust as the public. “The public trusts that they will receive the care they need in their most vulnerable moments. To provide that care, nurses need hospital executives to prioritize bedside staffing and resources above corporate profits.”

Even as nurses feel the public’s trust and stand once again as the nation’s most ethical profession, they face enormous challenges in doing their job.

According to the 2022 State of Nursing in Massachusetts survey, more than 8 in 10 registered nurses said the quality of patient care in hospitals had worsened significantly over the previous two years. They described being emotionally exhausted, increasingly disengaged, and more likely to leave the profession or reduce their hours.

  • 33% of nurses in the Spring 2022 survey reported planning to leave nursing sooner than initially planned. Among newer nurses with 0 to 5 years of experience, 37% were planning to go sooner – the highest percentage of any group.
  • 82% of Massachusetts nurses who will leave nursing sooner because of the pandemic report not having enough time with their patients.
  • 69% of nurses say their most significant obstacle to care is understaffing/having too many patients.

In December, the MNA issued a statement detailing four critical priorities for Governor Healey’s Administration:

  • Protecting healthcare access
  • Addressing the hospital staffing crisis
  • Investing in public healthcare services
  • Eliminating healthcare inequities

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the existing fault lines in our broken healthcare system,” Murphy says. “With the public’s full support of nurses, now is the time to make lasting, structural improvements that will benefit patients, caregivers, and all our communities.”