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Numbers Don’t Lie: Nursing Most Trusted Profession Again

By: Rob Senior

A global pandemic, constant disruptions, and staffing shortages – none of them were enough to stop the nursing profession from being named “America’s Most Trusted” for a 20th consecutive year.

The American public rated nurses the highest in Gallup’s annual Most Honest and Ethical Professions Poll among a host of professionals, including medical doctors, grade-school teachers, and pharmacists.

It’s the same spot nurses have held since 2003. But this year’s placement is especially meaningful to a profession that’s seen both its brightest and darkest hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the outset of the pandemic, nurses were toasted nightly with entire cities of people stopping and applauding at 7 p.m. each night for their tireless frontline work. But as time went on, many nurses began to experience burnout; the product of long hours, short staffing, and a public that seemed at times reluctant to heed their calls for measures to curb or slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Hopefully, a 20th consecutive acknowledgement as “America’s Most Trusted Profession” will serve as a boost to nurses everywhere at the start of what may be another challenging year.

“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.”

According 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.

“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.”


The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the American Nurses Association, the Editorial Advisory Board members, or the Publisher, Editors and staff of American Nurse Journal. This has not been peer reviewed.

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