Yes, in 2021 we can continue to cite nurses as the most trusted professionals in the United States. It should come as little surprise that the events of 2020 elevated trust in nurses to a record high. This year, not only did nurses top the results of the annual Gallup Poll for 2020; their position rose by 4 percentage points since the 2019 poll.

According to the December 1-17 poll, Americans were asked to rate various professions with regard to honesty and ethical standards. Respondents gave nurses an 89% “high or very high” trust rating, securing the position of nursing at the top of the list. Doctors took second place, at 77%, grade school teachers, at 75%, were in third place, and pharmacists—who are on an upswing after falling in the rankings after 2012—drew 71%, making them the fourth most trusted profession.

ANA President Ernest Grant, PHD, RN, FAAN said of the new poll, “I am extremely proud of my fellow nurses. Nurses have been tested in every way imaginable during 2020. The world watched as nurses lost numerous patients and colleagues to a highly communicable, deadly virus while trying to protect and preserve their communities with limited resources and support. Nevertheless, through it all, nurses have consistently proven they are resilient, selfless, and compassionate, risking their health and safety for the common good. Therefore, nurses are undoubtedly deserving of the public’s unwavering trust.” 

Kelly Kruse Nelles RN APRN-BC MS, National RNCM Director and Lead Faculty agrees. “The pandemic of 2020 has also demonstrated the challenges related to health disparity experienced by vulnerable populations including communities of color and nurses have worked tirelessly to build trust and assure high quality patient centered care for these populations. Our more than 1000 graduates practicing in RN case manager, care manager, care coordinator have played a big part in that by addressing social determinants that impact health outcomes. It’s exciting to be part of the most trusted profession and have our work respected and valued.” Kruse Nelles also points out that with other members of the health care team also rising in public recognition there is a visible expectation for continued transition towards our shared goals of safe, high quality, team based care.


Lydia Sadd – U.S. Ethics Ratings Rise for Medical Workers and Teachers. Gallop, Dec. 22, 2020.

Gallop 2020: America Trusts the Most Trusted Profession More Than Ever. Daily Nurse, Jan. 1, 2021.