Nurses voted most honest, ethical for 20th straight year

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Profession beat out doctors for top spot on annual Gallup poll

Nurses once again top Gallup’s annual Honesty and Ethics poll. This is the 20th straight year Americans ranked the profession as No. 1.

Medical doctors finished second, but a full 14 percentage points behind nurses. Grade school teachers, pharmacists and military officers, in that order, rounded out the top five.

ExploreGallup poll: Nurses earn highest ethics rating in 2020

Gallup conducted the annual survey Dec. 1-16, during which Americans were asked to rate the honesty and ethics of 22 occupations as very high, high, average, low or very low.

Gallup first conducted its Honesty and Ethics poll in 1976 and has updated it each year since 1990. A handful of professions have been on the list every year, while others have been added periodically.

Nurses were added in 1999 and have been No. 1 every year but 2001, when firefighters claimed that spot in the aftermath of 9/11. Last year, nurses earned a record 89% very high/high score.

Here is how the top five scored:

Nurses

  • very high/high: 81%
  • average: 16%
  • low/very low: 3%

Medical doctors

  • very high/high: 67%
  • average: 25%
  • low/very low: 8%

Grade school teachers

  • very high/high: 64%
  • average: 25%
  • low/very low: 11%
ExploreSurvey: Nurses don’t want to be heroes

Pharmacists

  • very high/high: 63%
  • average: 30%
  • low/very low: 6%

Military officers

  • very high/high: 61%
  • average: 31%
  • low/very low: 8%

The bottom five professions on the poll were state officeholders, advertising practitioners, members of Congress, car salesmen and, in last place, lobbyists.

You can see how all 22 professions fared on gallup.com.

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