America’s nurses maintained their reputation as the most honest and ethical workers in 22 professions that Gallup assesses every year.

Currently, 85% of Americans say nurses’ honesty and ethical standards are “very high” or “high,” essentially unchanged from 2018. In fact, Gallup says nurses have been No. 1 for 18 straight years.

“Nurses are consistently rated higher in honesty and ethics than all other professions that Gallup asks about, by a wide margin,” writer R. J. Reinhart states. “Medical professions in general rate highly in Americans’ assessments of honesty and ethics, with at least six in 10 U.S. adults saying medical doctors, pharmacists and dentists have high levels of these virtues. The only nonmedical profession that Americans now hold in a similar level of esteem is engineers…”

Engineers came in second, with 66% saying individuals in this field have high levels of honesty and ethics. They were followed by medical doctors, pharmacists and dentists. Police officers were next, with 54% rating them as being highly ethical. The remaining professions all received less than 50%.

“Americans’ high regard for healthcare professionals contrasts sharply with their assessments of stockbrokers, advertising professionals, insurance salespeople, senators, members of Congress and car salespeople — all of which garner less than 20% of U.S. adults saying they have high levels of honesty and ethics,” Reinhart adds.

The poll was conducted from Dec. 2–15, 2019.

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2019 2018 2017 2016
% % % %
Nurses 85 84 82 84
Engineers 66 65
Medical doctors 65 67 65 65
Pharmacists 64 66 62 67
Dentists 61 59
Police officers 54 54 56 58
College teachers 49 47
Psychiatrists 43 38
Chiropractors 41 38
Clergy 40 37 42 44
Journalists 28 33 23
Bankers 28 27 25 24
Labor union leaders 24 21
Lawyers 22 19 18 18
Business executives 20 18
State governors 20 17 16 17
Stockbrokers 14 14 12
Advertising practitioners 13 13 12 11
Insurance salespeople 13 12
Senators 13 11
Members of Congress 12 8 11 8
Car salespeople 9 8 10 9