Nurses Rated Most Trustworthy Profession

Nursing is ranked the most honest and ethical profession for the 16th consecutive year according to a survey by Gallup. Americans’ ratings of the honesty and ethical standards of 22 occupations finds nurses at the top of the list. More than eight in 10 (82%) Americans describe nurses’ ethics as “very high” or “high.” In contrast, about six in 10 Americans rate members of Congress (60%) and lobbyists (58%) as “very low” or “low” when it comes to honesty and ethical standards.

Military officers and grade school teachers were second and third.

In contrast, members of Congress, car salespeople and lobbyists rank among the least trustworthy professions.

Americans’ Ratings of Honesty and Ethical Standards in Professions
Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields — very high, high, average, low, or very low?
Very high/High Average Very low/Low
% % %
Nurses 82 16 2
Military officers 71 24 3
Grade school teachers 66 27 5
Medical doctors 65 31 4
Pharmacists 62 32 6
Police officers 56 32 12
Day care providers 46 43 7
Judges 43 41 15
Clergy 42 41 13
Auto mechanics 32 53 14
Nursing home operators 26 48 22
Bankers 25 54 21
Newspaper reporters 25 39 35
Local officeholders 24 53 20
TV reporters 23 39 37
State officeholders 19 47 33
Lawyers 18 53 28
Business executives 16 54 28
Advertising practitioners 12 49 34
Members of Congress 11 29 60
Car salespeople 10 48 39
Lobbyists 8 31 58
GALLUP, DEC. 4-11, 2017

Nurses have surpassed all other professions every year but one since Gallup first asked about them in 1999. In 2001, Gallup included firefighters on the list after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and 90% of the public rated their honesty and ethical standards as “high” or “very high.”

Overall, a majority of Americans in the Dec. 4-11 poll rated six professions as “high” or “very high” for honesty and ethical standards. In addition to nurses, that list includes military officers, grade school teachers, medical doctors, police officers and pharmacists. The honesty rating of pharmacists, although still high on an absolute basis, dropped five points since last year and is at its lowest point since 1994, possibly reflecting the current nationwide opioid crisis.