Polling data are difficult to interpret, but the fact that nurses consistently rank at the top of the Gallup Poll on “honestly & ethical standards” reflects a persistent public opinion about nurses that contradicts the negative media images of nurses that also persist over time. Here is what the Gallup folks say about this finding:
Nurses have topped the list each year since they were first included in 1999, with the exception of 2001 when firefighters were included in response to their work during and after the 9/11 attacks. Since 2005, at least 80% of Americans have said nurses have high ethics and honesty. Two other medical professions — medical doctors and pharmacists — tie this year for second place at 65%, with police officers and clergy approaching 50%.
This poll was announced on December 18th, 2014, along with the image above that portrays a professional, technically capable nurse. So this is good news – perhaps a bit puzzling – but a positive note on which to close out 2014!