Americans trust nurses the most out of 23 major professions, new poll finds: ‘At the forefront’


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In nurses, Americans trust — even more so than doctors.

That’s according to Gallup’s 2023 Honesty and Ethics poll, which ranked 23 major professions by the level of trust U.S. adults place in them.

Nurses hold the top spot as the most trusted profession, with 78% of Americans who took part stating that they adhere to “very high” or “high” standards for honesty and ethics, according to a press release from Gallup. 

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This is the 22nd consecutive year that nurses have been ranked as the most trustworthy.

Overall, nurses’ trust ranking has dipped by 7 percentage points since 2019, but is still higher than dentists (59% trust rating in 2023) and medical doctors (56% trust ranking).

Nurses hold the top spot as the most trusted profession, with 78% of Americans stating that they “very high” or “high” standards for honesty and ethics, according to a press release from Gallup.  (iStock)

Lower in the health care trust rankings were pharmacists (55%), psychiatrists (36%) and chiropractors (33%).

Pharmacists saw a record-low trust ranking this year, the poll found.

Honesty and ethics rating

Overall, nurses’ trust ranking has dipped by 7 percentage points since 2019, but is still higher than dentists (59% trust rating in 2023) and medical doctors (56% trust ranking). (Gallup)

College graduates reported higher levels of trust for most of the professions.

In health care, the biggest disparities were for dentists (70% among college graduates and 53% for those who did not graduate), psychiatrists (47% versus 31%), pharmacists (64% versus 50%) and medical doctors (64% versus 52%).

Trust by college education

College graduates reported higher levels of trust in regard to most of the professions, the Gallup poll found. (Gallup)

Gallup has been conducting this poll since 1976, with annual updates starting in 1990, the release stated.

For this most recent ranking, researchers polled about 800 U.S. adults between Dec. 1 and Dec. 20, 2023.

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Annette Wysocki, PhD, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Nursing, who was not involved in the poll, noted that nurses play a “crucial role” as the health care providers who spend the most time with patients.

“They not only provide extraordinary clinical care, but nurses also act as advocate, intermediary and counselor.”

“In moments of vulnerability, patients disclose details to nurses that they’ve never shared with any other health care provider and trust that nurses will advocate for them,” Wysocki told Fox News Digital.

“With the highest level of interaction among all health care professionals involved in a patient’s care, nurses become the patient’s voice and adeptly navigate health care systems to ensure the best outcomes for them,” Wysocki went on. 

“Thus, research demonstrates that baccalaureate-prepared nurses lower the odds of hospital mortality by 25%.”

Male nurse

“In moments of vulnerability, patients disclose details to nurses that they’ve never shared with any other health care provider and trust that nurses will advocate for them,” a nurse told Fox News Digital. (iStock)

Regina Foley, chief nurse executive at Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey, also provided an external reaction to Gallup’s findings.

“Nurses are at the forefront of patient care, which allows for deep and meaningful connections with patients,” she told Fox News Digital.

“With clear competence and remarkable compassion, our nurses are there for our patients in their darkest, most challenging hours.”

“They not only provide extraordinary clinical care, but nurses also act as advocate, intermediary and counselor,” Foley also said.

“With clear competence and remarkable compassion, our nurses are there for our patients in their darkest, most challenging hours.”

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“Given the crucial role they play in a patient’s care, well-being, education and recovery, it is no surprise that nursing has been consistently recognized as the most trusted profession,” she added.

Lisbeth Votruba, an RN with AvaSure, a Michigan-based company that offers real-time patient monitoring and virtual nursing services, is a third-generation nurse and is proud of the profession’s trustworthiness.

Nurse with child

“In the past, nurses did not have influence to match that level of trust,” a nurse told Fox News Digital. “I see trends to show this is changing.” (iStock)

“In the past, nurses did not have influence to match that level of trust,” Votruba told Fox News Digital.  

“I see trends to show this is changing. Many of the IT-focused health care conferences are adding a nursing track for the first time in 2024,” she said.

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“There are more and more nurses like myself, who sit on the senior leadership team of technology companies to be sure the voices of nurses and patients are heard as technology is being designed.”

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