Nurses have the highest honesty and ethical standards, while members of Congress and car salespeople have the worst ratings among the 11 types of professionals included in the 2014 poll. Eighty percent of Americans ranked nurses as having “very high” or “high” standards of honesty and ethics. Nurses have consistently been the top-rated profession, with doctors and pharmacists earning the second and third spots, respectively.
Nurses were first included in the poll in 1999. Since the profession’s first appearance, they have received the highest ranking each year, except in 2001, when firefighters were ranked first after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“All nurses share the critical responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards in their practice to ensure they provide superior health care to patients and society,” said American Nurses Association President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, in a news article about the Gallup poll findings.
Because ethics are foundational to the nursing profession, the ANA is citing 2015 as the Year of Ethics “to highlight ethics as an essential component of everyday nursing practice and reinforce the trust patients have that nurses will protect their health and safety, and advocate on their behalf,” said Dr. Cipriano in the article.
Nurses are increasingly being recognized as leaders. They are transforming the health care system by meeting the ever-growing demand for prevention, wellness, and primary care services, particularly under the Affordable Care Act. With a focus on improving quality and managing costs, nurses have valuable clinical expertise. Many also serve in a variety of leadership posts for organizations that develop policy recommendations on a broad range of health care issues.
Nurses are often the strongest advocates for patients who are vulnerable and need support. By upholding the standards of the Code of Ethics for Nurses, these health care professionals support the best interests of patients, families, and communities.
Earlier this year, the ANA released its revised Code of Ethics for Nurses to reflect the most current ethical challenges these professionals face in practice. The new Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements involved a four-year process in which a committee received and evaluated comments on ethics issues from thousands of nurses.
The fact that nurses have consistently garnered the top spot in the Gallup Social Series Poll shows they’ve captured America’s public trust. To read more about the survey, go to http://www.gallup.com/poll/180260/americans-rate-nurses-highest-honesty-...
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