News & Events

Gallup 2023 Survey Shows Nurses Trusted as Most Honest, Ethical for 22nd Straight Year

CANTON, Mass. – For the 22nd consecutive year, Americans say they trust nurses more than any other profession, according to an annual Gallup survey released on January 10.

Nurses are viewed as having "very high" or "high" ethical and honesty standards by 79% of the public, a full 15 points higher than any other profession and significantly higher than professionals such as business executives, who are highly trusted by just 12% of Americans.

“Nurses have earned the trust of the American people by putting patient safety above all else,” said Katie Murphy, a practicing ICU nurse, and President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association. “The public has seen nurses give everything to their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic while fiercely advocating for improvements to care quality and access.

“It is past time that hospital executives show nurses the same respect and trust as the public,” Murphy said. “The public trusts that they will receive the care they need in their most vulnerable moments. To provide that care, nurses need hospital executives to prioritize bedside staffing and resources above corporate profits.”

Even as nurses feel the public’s trust and stand once again as the nation’s most ethical profession, they face enormous challenges doing their job. According to the 2022 State of Nursing in Massachusetts survey, more than 8 in 10 registered nurses said the quality of patient care in hospitals had gotten significantly worse over the previous two years as they described being emotionally exhausted, increasingly disengaged and more likely to leave the profession or reduce their hours.

  • 33% of nurses in the Spring 2022 survey reported planning to leave nursing sooner than originally planned. Among newer nurses with 0 to 5 years of experience, 37% were planning to leave sooner – the highest percentage of any group.
  • 82% of Massachusetts nurses who will leave nursing sooner because of the pandemic report not having enough time with their patients, according to the survey.
  • 69% of nurses say their biggest obstacle to care is understaffing/having too many patients.

In December, the MNA issued a statement detailing four critical priorities for the Healey Administration, including protecting healthcare access, addressing the hospital staffing crisis, investing in public healthcare services, and eliminating healthcare inequities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the existing fault lines in our broken healthcare system,” Murphy said. “With the public’s full support of nurses, now is the time to make lasting, structural improvements that will benefit patients, caregivers, and all our communities.”

Gallup notes that since nurses were added to the survey in 1999, they have topped the list of most trusted professions every year except in 2001, when firefighters were recognized shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks for their heroism and bravery.

“Nurses continue to garner the highest ethics rating from Americans among a diverse list of professions, a distinction they have held for more than two decades,” Gallup said in its release. “The 79% of U.S. adults who now say nurses have ‘very high’ or ‘high’ honesty and ethical standards is far more than any of the other 17 professions rated.”

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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.