Nurses Still Viewed as Most Ethical Professionals

The medical professionals garnered the highest rating for honesty and ethics in recent Gallup polling, though they’ve seen a drop from earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nurses again are No. 1 in Americans’ assessment of honesty and ethics among a range of professions, according to recent polling from Gallup.

Nurses, who have held the top spot in the poll for more than two decades, were seen as having “high” or “very high” standards by 79% of U.S. adults – down from a peak of 89% in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but still considerably higher than any of the other professions included in the survey.

Two other medical professions, medical doctors (62%) and pharmacists (58%), ranked next-highest among the 18 professions included in polling conducted in late 2022. All three medical professions had increased in standing in 2020, but have since dropped below pre-pandemic levels. Medical doctors and pharmacists dropped by 5 percentage points each from 2021 to 2022, the steepest decline among professions that were included in both 2021 and 2022. The 58% rating for pharmacists is the lowest since they were first included in the survey in 1981.

Beyond the health care industry, the most trusted professions in the survey included high school teachers (53%) and police officers (50%). On the other hand, car salespeople, members of Congress and telemarketers had the lowest ratings, with only 10% or less of U.S. adults holding their standards in high regard.

The ethical reputations of various professions reflect deep partisan divides, as well.

Democrats and left-leaning independents expressed much higher faith in the ethics of high school teachers, for example, with 73% responding “high” or “very high” compared with 37% of Republicans and right-leaning independents, according to Gallup.

Democrats and those similarly minded also showed higher trust in journalists by 32 percentage points (41% to 9%), and higher trust in labor union leaders by 26 points (38% to 12%). Partisan gaps also were observed in a 2019 poll from nonpartisan data center USAFacts and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, with Democrats reportedly more than twice as likely as Republicans to trust the media, at 23% to 11%.

Meanwhile, the recent Gallup polling showed 62% of Republicans and right-leaning independents rated police officers favorably, compared with 38% of Democrats and left-leaning voters.

Neither party found members of Congress trustworthy, with just 10% of participants on the left side of the spectrum and 8% on the right indicating they had a high or very high level of faith in lawmakers’ ethics. USAFacts and The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found in 2020 that members of Congress ranked last among 14 sources people turned to for information about the government at least once a day, with just 9% of respondents relying on members of the body with such frequency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *