Nursing has once again been identified as Britain’s most trusted profession with the vast majority of the public saying they have confidence in nurses to tell the truth.
According to Ipsos MORI’s Veracity Index for 2018, a whopping 96% of people have faith in nurses to tell them the truth – up from 94% in 2017.
”It is a testament to the hard work and care nursing staff provide to patients”
The long-running annual survey of more than 1,000 adults shows nurses rank above doctors at 92%, teachers at 89% and engineers at 87%.
Nurses are also more trusted than professors, scientists, judges and the police, having topped all other professions since being added to the list in 2016.
Donna Kinnair, acting chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the achievement was “well-deserved” but warned that public appreciation would not fix staff shortages or falling student numbers.
The poll, which has been undertaken every year since 1983, shows Britons are mistrustful of politicians with only about one in five – 22% - having faith in government ministers.
When it comes to “politicians generally” that drops to 19% just up from the lowest ranking profession – advertising executives at 16%, included in the list for the first time this year.
However, the poll shows people are more inclined to trust civil servants, such as those working behind the scenes at the Department of Health, who have seen their standing rise over time.
This year 62% of those surveyed said they trusted civil servants to tell the truth – up from 59% in 2017 and 56% in 2016.
Civil servants have been the strongest risers in all the time the Veracity Index has been going with public trust in the profession increasing 37 percentage points since the poll first took place.
The index also shows how various factors in people’s lives such as political outlook and personal circumstances affect how likely they are to trust different professions.
While some professions see wide variations in trust from different groups, the data appears to show nursing is almost universally trusted by all sections of society.
For example, 98% of people who voted Conservative said they trusted nurses compared with 96% of Labour voters.
Of those who voted remain in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, 97% said they trusted nurses compared with 96% of those who voted leave.
Meanwhile, people with degree-level qualifications were equally likely to trust nurses as those without with 96% from both groups saying they felt nurses told the truth.
Dame Donna said: “This is a proud and well-deserved achievement for our profession. It is a testament to the hard work and care nursing staff provide to patients.
“Public appreciation will not fix staff shortages nor reverse falling student nursing numbers.
“As nursing vacancies in England increase and are expected to hit 48,000 in the next five years, the government must do more to show nurses they are valued.”
She called on ministers to put at least £1bn a year back into nursing higher education.
“The public is on the side of nurses, the government must now build the future nursing workforce of tomorrow,” Dame Donna added.