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Honesty & Ethics in Professions: Where Does Nursing Fall?

December 29, 2015

Honesty and ethics are two of the most important components of any profession. However, some professionals tend to exhibit these characteristics more than others do. According to a Gallup poll conducted in December of 2014, Americans rate nurses the highest when it comes to honesty and adherence to ethical standards. 


About the Study

Since 1976, Gallup has been conducting studies in which American people were asked to rank the honesty and ethical standards of people in various professions as very low, low, average, high or very high. Although it was conducted less frequently in its earlier years, this study has been conducted annually since 1990. 

Nurses have been included in this study since 1999. Each year, with the exception of 2001, they have topped the list. Since 2005, at least 80 percent of Americans have rated the ethics and honesty of nurses as high or very high. 

2014 Results

In 2014, 80 percent of Americans rated the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as high or very high. No other profession was rated as highly by the American public. 

These results indicate that, as a group, nurses are viewed as some of the most honest and ethical professionals in the country. They are seen as trustworthy, dedicated and moral. 

Other Professions with High Ratings

After nurses, the professions with the highest honesty and ethical standards ratings are medical doctors and pharmacists. Both medical doctors' and pharmacists' honesty and ethical standards were rated as high by 65 percent of American people surveyed. 

Although surveyed individuals were not asked to provide reasoning for their responses, analysts have suggested that the three top rated 2014 professions were all in the healthcare industry partly because of their heroic actions during the recent Ebola outbreaks. However, because of the dedication and compassion nurses exhibit on a daily basis, it is likely that they will continue to receive high ratings in future surveys.

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