In Gallup's 2023 Honesty and Ethics poll, Americans' evaluations of almost all 23 professions have experienced a decline compared to previous years. Interestingly, only one profession, labor union leaders, has managed to maintain its standing since 2019. Surprisingly, a mere 25% of respondents consider their honesty and ethics to be "very high" or "high."
Nurses remain the most trusted profession, with 78% of U.S. adults currently believing nurses have high honesty and ethical standards. However, that is down seven percentage points from 2019 and 11 points from its peak in 2020.
“This is an incredible accolade for our nation’s Nurses,” said ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Given the considerable hardship and obstacles the Nurses we advocate for are facing, including unsafe work environments, severe burnout, and barriers to practice to name a few, this recognition is a true testament to the positive influence of Nurses on their patients and their undeniable impact on the health care system. It’s a tremendous honor to receive this special validation from the very public these Nurses serve. And it’s equally important for Nurses to hear this acclaim as it raises the morale of our Nurses – it couldn’t be more timely or appreciated. This is important.”
Gallup began measuring the honesty and ethics of various professions in 1976 with annual updates since 1990. Several professions have been included every year, while others have been asked on a rotating basis over time. The latest ethics ratings are from a Dec. 1-20, 2023, poll in which about 800 U.S. adults rated each of 23 professions.