Gallup poll: Nurses earn highest ethics rating to date

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What it's like training to become a nurse in age of COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of nurses, as they’ve become the face of sacrifice, bravery and care.

That could be why nurses earned a record 89% very high/high score this year on Gallup’s annual Honesty and Ethics poll.

Although medical doctors and pharmacists also saw their ratings increase, nurses remained the poll champs.

In fact, nurses have topped the poll every year but one since they were added in 1999. That year was 2001, “when firefighters were measured on a one-time basis shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and earned the highest score to date for any profession, 90%,” Lydia Saad wrote for Gallup.

Credit: Gallup

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Credit: Gallup

The latest results are based on a Dec. 1-17 Gallup poll in which Americans were asked to rate the honesty and ethics of 15 professions as very high, high, average, low or very low. Gallup first conducted the poll in 1976 and has updated it annually since 1990. Professions are often added to the list.

Nurses’ 89% rating is four points greater than their previous high score, recorded in 2019.

Medical doctors’ rating rose 12 points, to 77%, and bested their high of 70% earned in 2011 and 2012.

Pharmacists saw their rating rise seven points, to 71%, their highest score since 2012.

Although the ratings of some professions differed according to political affiliation, “Republicans and Democrats are in broad agreement that nurses, doctors, grade-school teachers and pharmacists have very high or high honesty and ethical standards, with majorities of both groups considering them such,” Saad wrote.

The Ethics and Honesty poll results are similar to Gallup’s annual Confidence in Institutions poll conducted in June and July, which found sharp increases in the percentage of Americans expressing high confidence in the medical system.