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Nurses: The Most Trusted Profession

01/28/2015 | 2 Comments

Nurses: The Most Trusted Profession

Every year, Gallup conducts a random sample survey of adults age 18 and over, who live in the 50 states and DC, in which it asks the following question: Please tell me how you rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields – very high, high, average, or very low? Since 2005 (including the latest December 2014 results), 80% or more of Americans have said that nurses have high, or very high, ethics and honesty. Doctors come in second, at 65% (high to very high ethics and honesty).

I’m not surprised at the results.  Every day, I see firsthand the hard work and dedication of my nurse colleagues as they care for patients. Truly, such statistics reflect admirably on our profession. We have created an expectation that must be upheld, and we must hold ourselves accountable to maintain this very important outcome.

Are you surprised to see these results, year over year?

If you witnessed a colleague who did not demonstrate such behavior, would you have the managerial courage to address him or her? Do you believe that it’s your responsibility to do so?

Join the conversation.


Source: Sylvain "Syl" Trepanier, DNP, RN, CENP, past vice president & system chief nursing officer
Content Updated: 1/28/2015 4:32:51 PM
2 comments about this post
Sara Strickland 2/2/2015 9:23:19 PM

Syl, I don't find these results surprising at all. Everyone has had to care for a sick person at some point in their lives (children, family, roommates, themselves, etc) and they know the care and love that goes into that action. They know that in order to do this our heart and soul must be in the right place. They understand the choice we make when we come to work daily. Because of this they respect us and understand that we often put the lives of our patients before our own. It is this human caring factor that translates, for them, into an ethically sound representation. Human kindness is often at the heart of ethics and nurses posses an incredible amount of this. As far as a co-worker ever being unethical, I can't say I have ever had someone be outwardly unethical. I can say that I have seen co-workers who have a bad day or who are "off their game" and I think we owe it to them to bring it to their attention. Often they don't even realize they have allowed outside influences to cloud their judgement or attitude. We, as nurses, understand the daily struggles we face and we owe it to each other to be there for each other and have each other's backs. Thank you Syl for your great thought provoking blog!

Becky 2/6/2015 12:37:43 PM

I am not surprised by these results either Syl. There is an extremely high level of trust for those in the nursing profession. Your question is valid; personally I feel it is my responsibility to address behavior that could shine a negative light on our profession or worse, lead to a negative/poor outcome for a patient. As we care for extremely ill patients with high needs/demands it can be easy to be overwhelmed with our work and turn aside from behaviors that are less than they should be. "It's not my job" or "I'm too busy" can certainly happen in our more than busy work environments. However we need to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standard in caring for the public. It is not only our responsibility to protect those we serve, but also our great priviledge. Thanks for your thought provoking post.

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