Gallup poll finds nurses retaining their top position

Pharmacists (No. 2) and medical doctors (No. 3) round out top rankings

Every year, the Gallup organization asks a representative sample of US adults to rate the honesty and ethics of a range of professions; as has been the case since at least 2000, nurses get the highest ranking, at 85 for 2015. (No other profession has been even near nursing over the 2000-2015 span; the closest was a seven perctange-point difference, with pharmacists, in 2004.) In 2015, pharmacists ranked No. 2, at 68, and medical doctors, No. 3, at 67. (Medical doctors had been seeing declining rankings for the past two years; that has now reversed.) “Nurses have no serious competition atop the Gallup ranking this year,” notes a Gallup statement.

Besides goodwill, the rankings energize professional agendas: “It’s essential that we leverage this trust to lead and implement change in the health care system,” said Pamela Cipriano, PhD, president of the American Nurses Assn., following the Gallup release. “Hospitals, health care systems and other organizations are lacking an important perspective and can’t make fully competent decisions if they don’t have registered nurses at the board table or in the C-suite. That’s why ANA is a member of the Nurses on Boards Coalition, working to place 10,000 nurses on boards by 2020.”

“Congratulations to America’s community pharmacists for their rating as the second most trusted US professional,” said B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Assn. (although it’s not clear that Gallup makes the distinction of “community” pharmacists that NCPA does). “The expertise, accessibility and care that pharmacists provide all contribute to this impressive standing in the public’s view. NCPA will continue to work to encourage payers and policymakers to take better advantage of pharmacists’ training and credibility as more integrated, quality-based models of health care develop.”

“Business executives” (which would presumably include pharma industry leaders) had a Gallup ranking of 17 (thanks, Martin Shkreli!); members of Congress had a ranking of 8 (nosing out lobbyists by one percentage point); and journalists had a ranking of 27. The survey was conducted in the first week of December, and has a margin of sampling error of ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.