February 23, 2024

Nurses: the most trusted professionals

For the 21st year in a row, nurses have come first in Gallup’s ranking of the most trusted professions in America. Seventy-nine percent of people surveyed said that nurses ranked “very high” or “high” in honesty and ethical standards.

Two healthcare professions, medical doctors and pharmacists, ranked second and third behind nurses, with 62% and 58% of Americans, respectively, rating them highly.

Gallup noted that although they are very high, all three professions had dropped significantly from levels they reached in the Covid year of 2020.

Maryann Alexander, chief officer of Nursing Regulation for the National Council of State Boards and Nursing, explained why nurses are so esteemed in the HealthLeaders newsletter:

Nurses are strong patient advocates and excellent listeners, and even though their care is based on science, they incorporate empathy and compassion into the plan of care for every patient.

However, what really sets nurses apart is the time they spend with patients. They are the ones that are with the patient when they arrive at the hospital, throughout the stay, and on the day they are discharged. A nurse is often the first to recognize a change in the patient’s condition. They learn more about the patient than just their medical problems and intervene to address the social determinants of health. They get to know the family and caregivers and answer questions.

The first thing that patients say when they are uncomfortable, have questions, are anxious, or feel like something is not right is, “Call my nurse.” They have trust in the nurse to competently address their concerns and ensure their well-being. This is the heart of nursing.