When asked which profession they think is the most honest and ethical, Americans regularly rank nursing No. 1. Nursing consistently has topped Gallups annual poll since the profession first was included in 1999.
Since then, nursing has held the top spot every year except 2001, the year of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when nurses ranked second behind firefighters. In Gallups 2011 poll, which randomly surveyed 1,012 U.S. adults, nurses were No. 1 of the 21 professions ranked.
Julie Bialas, RN
Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center, Joliet, Ill.
The roots of nursing grew out of an obligation to ones family member in their time of need. The family member who had the best grasp of how to handle the illness tenderly would offer his or her services to the ailing loved one. While today we have progressed into a science and a true profession, the essence of nursing is still the same.Laura A. McNutt, RN
We are called to treat our patients with a family-like quality to aid them in their time of need and to provide reassurance in a time of uncertainty through attentive and compassionate care. We are privileged to be present at both the first and last breaths of our patients lives and all the events in between those moments. Nurses are the most trusted professionals not only for what they do, but also for why they choose to do it — out of love.
Laura A. McNutt, RN-BC, BSN
Registered Nurse Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional
Medical Center, Zion, Ill.
Nurses are named the most trusted professionals year after year for many reasons. We are selfless individuals who perform some of the less appealing tasks in order to heal the ill of the world.Sheryl Brown, RN
We clean, dress, toilet, nurture and listen to our patients and their caregivers. We serve as advocates and see our loved ones in the eyes of our patients. We celebrate the good news with our patients and soften the bad. We feel honored to be trusted to deliver life and help prepare for death.
We are not in it for money or fame. We are not angels. We are educated professionals who are fortunate enough to live out a calling.
Sheryl Brown, RN, CCRN
Registered Nurse NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, Ill.
Why does the public find nurses trustworthy? Perhaps it starts when we decide to enter a profession that is physically taxing, emotionally draining, relatively undercompensated and underrecognized in order to help people.
We develop relationships so artfully that we can go from Hi, my name is Sheryl to Im going to remove your gown and examine you in less than 5 minutes. We are there for our patients during the happiest times of their lives (new baby), the darkest times (death), the scariest times (new diagnosis) and the most vulnerable times (cant speak for themselves).
Long after the physician is gone, we are sacrificing our time management plan, our lunch break, and our childs softball game to rescue, instruct, advocate for and comfort. Patients sense this. Patients lives are changed because of this. Of course they trust us.Kara Piper, RN
Kara Piper, RN
ED nurse Provena St. Marys Hospital, Kankakee, Ill.
With every patient encounter, nurses are in a unique position to educate, explain and empathize. In doing so, we enrich and nurture a bond of trust that deepens with each contact. Nurses are often the first and last people that patients see when entering and leaving the hospital, the ED or a physicians office, making us the first and last impressions of healthcare that they have.
Everyone has turned to a nurse at some point in their lives whether for advice, explanation of a diagnosis or treatment, or for peace of mind. Were never off-duty and constantly are improving ourselves by researching and learning about new modalities of care and treatments.
As author John C. Maxwell said, People dont care how much you know until they know how much you care. Simply put, nurses care above and beyond with our whole hearts every day.Elaine Galido, RN
Elaine Galido, RN, BSN
ED Nurse Provena Saint Joseph Hospital, Elgin, Ill.
The nursing profession is a calling, a passion to take care of the sick. While nursing has different specialties, the commitment to the well-being of our patients is a constant. We are the advocate for individuals when they cant speak for themselves. Patients view us as an ally.
We show compassion and empathy when they are at their best or worst. We serve as the bridge between physicians and patients. Often when patients talk with their physicians, they are overwhelmed with news of their care plan. They listen about their health issues and then come to us to explain it in laymans terms.
Patients not only see us as knowledgeable, but also count on us to be truthful. In turn, we cannot sugarcoat our answers because we are dealing with lives.
Nurses are a constant presence at the bedside and quickly develop a special bond of trust and confidence with patients. They share even the most private information with us and expect us to respect it.Karen Thomas, RN
Karen Thomas, RN, MS, PCCN
Clinical Resource Nurse, Cardiovascular Services Loyola University Health System, Maywood, Ill.
Nurses give patients the courage to heal. We have a unique presence at the bedside or in any setting. We are the advance guard, or the first person who greets the patient in a therapeutic way, making the initial assessment and establishing the tone for any encounter.
We are the first to recognize impending problems or a sudden change for the better, because we are the first there to see it. Physicians and therapists are episodic in the day of the patient; their arrival is much anticipated and very welcome, but it is brief. It is a nurse who will be there, available day and night, for comfort and support, intervention and education, encouragement and good cheer, promotion and prevention.
Nursing is the steady drumbeat, the heart of healthcare and the reassuring force that connects patients to their own healing energy.Kelly Kramer, RN
Kelly Kramer, RN, MSN, CPON, CPNP
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation
University of Chicago Medicine
Pediatric hematology/oncology nurses are with a family when it receives the devastating diagnosis that a child has cancer. We are with them through treatment and when they begin the transition back to normal life, which now includes a history of cancer. Though they need to be followed for potential complications, 80% of them will be long-term survivors. My colleagues and I help a patient and his or her family get through one of the most difficult times in life.
For a struggling family, nurses are the one constant whether theyre in a clinic, in the hospital, or at home getting care. It is my job to coordinate that care so it is as seamless as possible. It is important that we focus on the child first and the diagnosis second. We want the children to focus on things such as spending time with friends, being involved in activities and going to school. For those who do not survive, I hope to make the road a little easier for them and their families.
For survivors, I want them to view their cancer as a bump in the road, something that will make them stronger in the future. Fighting and beating cancer will always be a part of them.April Krakar, RN
April Krakar, RN, APN
Professional Practice Outcome Coordinator Vanguard MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, Ill.
The practice of nursing remains one of the most trusted and well-respected professions because we always put our patients first and serve as dedicated advocates in times of need when the key combination of clinical expertise and compassion are a necessity. Whether a patient is having a joyful experience or dealing with a life-changing crisis, nurses are there when key decisions matter most.
When patients and families need comfort, we are the hands they hold. When they are worried, we listen and provide guidance with a reassuring voice. The nursing profession yields an unspoken gift that is delivered in many ways by the individuals for which we care.
This gift is hard to explain unless you are a nurse because its not what you do, but rather who you are. Its simply part of our DNA.