Nurses yet again Australia’s most trusted 

9 June 2021

In another year ravaged by COVID, nurses have yet again been rated as the most highly regarded of all professions, their 24th straight Roy Morgan Research Centre survey win.

In fact, nurses have finished top for trustworthiness in every year they’ve been included in the survey since 1994.

A 2021 Roy Morgan online survey of 1,267 Australian men and women aged 14 and over found 88 per cent of them rated nurses as ‘high’ or ‘very high’ for ethics and honesty.

Doctors came in second with 82 per cent, followed by pharmacists (76%), school teachers (74%) and dentists (71%).

At the lowest end of the scale were business executives (8%), Federal and State MPs (7%), insurance brokers (7%), real estate agents (5%), advertising people (4%) and car salesmen  (3%).

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine says most professions have suffered from a loss of trust over the last few years although the COVID-19 pandemic has done nothing to shake the top three professions for ethics and honesty: nurses, doctors and pharmacists:

“Roy Morgan’s Image of Professions survey for 2021 shows 88% of Australians rating nurses ‘high’ or ‘very high’ for their ‘ethics and honesty’ – making it 24 straight surveys as the highest-rated profession,’’ she says.

“Nurses have been front and centre around the world during the last year as we’ve dealt with the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily for local nurses Australia has dealt exceptionally well with the pandemic and we have largely avoided an out-of-control situation, although many Victorians would fairly argue we came close during the middle of 2020.

“The biggest loser from this year’s Image of Professions survey is the police who have experienced a significant fall and are now rated highly for their ‘ethics and honesty’ by a bare majority of 51% of Australians – down 25% points from 2017.

“Notably, the lowest rating of any mainland state is Victoria at only 49%. Victorians told us in detail the issues they had with the local police in mid-September 2020 during the State’s long second lockdown – with the enforcement of COVID-19 related laws and the high profile ‘Lawyer X’ scandal emerging as key issues for respondents.’’

Only 26 per cent of Australians rated lawyers highly for ethics and honesty, ahead of bank managers (20%) but trailing ministers of religion (30%).