Nursing Yet Again the Most Trusted Profession. So What?December 15, 2009
By Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, interim editor-in-chief
I was catching up on my reading over the weekend and came across a press release issued December 9 by the ANA (American Nurses Association). It noted that ”[f]or the eighth consecutive year, nurses have been voted the most trusted profession in America according to Gallup’s annual survey of professions for their honesty and ethical standards. Eighty-three percent of Americans believe nurses’ honesty and ethical standards are either ‘high’ or ‘very high.’”
Laudable for sure, but I keep wondering: does this matter to anyone but us? In the past eight years, has this designation helped nurses get to the policy table? Has it made key decision-makers realize that in addition to being trustworthy, nurses are also smart, skilled professionals who can be the key to cost-effective, quality care?
It’s really amazing (in an appalling sort of way): the groups among those with the lowest trust ratings—politicians and lawyers—dominate when it comes to making key decisions about health care (and about everything, actually). And we wonder why things are the way they are?