Americans this year rated Nurses as the most honest and ethical profession. A new Gallup poll released today shows that 82% of U.S. adults rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as either "high" or "very high."
The nursing profession has topped Gallup's honesty and ethics profession ratings since the firm began polling Americans about it in 1999, with the one-time, 9/11-related firefighter profession ranking highest in 2001. Nurses are followed this year by pharmacists (70%), grade school teachers (70%), doctors (69%), military officers (69%), and police officers (54%).
Follow police officers is the clergy, a profession that 47% of Americans now rate above average in honesty and ethics. This is the first time the clergy have fallen below 50% in the Gallup poll, and the percentage of Americans how rating the honesty and ethics of the clergy as either "low" or "very low" has now risen to 11%. This represents a large shift in opinion of the clergy in the past three decades, as the profession had a 67% high/very high rating back in 1985.
While the top of Gallup's honest/ethical survey list is filled with healing professions, the bottom of the list looks like the butt of a joke. Only 20% of U.S. adults consider Lawyers to be honest and ethical, followed closely by TV reporters (20%), advertisers (14%), and state legislators (14%). The lowest-rated professions fit well with the stereotypes associated with those professions: car salespeople (9%), members of Congress (8%), and Lobbyists (6%).
Congress' low ethics rating mirrors Americans' approval of the legislative body in general. Another recent Gallup poll found that Congress' approval rating for 2013 is now just 14% - the lowest ever recorded since the firm began surveying U.S. adults on their opinion of congress in 1974.