For the 18th straight year Americans rated the honesty and ethics of nurses highest among a list of 22 professions that Gallup asks U.S. adults to assess each year.  Steven Mays is author of the book "Power of 3 Leadership, Lessons in Leadership."

Mays joins KDHL for AM Minnesota at 9:30 this morning to discuss the question, "Do Americans want their leaders to be honest?"

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis Mays served on nuclear submarines, he was a mathematician, electrical engineer and nuclear engineer who worked in private industry and at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

A look at the Gallup polls over the years shows that apparently honesty has declined among leaders.

Nurses ran away from the field in the 2019 Gallup poll with 85% of those surveyed saying nurses' honesty and ethical standards are "very high" or "high," about the same as 2018 (84%).

13% of U.S. Senators, 12% of U.S. Congress members received "very high" honesty marks ranking 20th and 21st just ahead of car salespeople.

Journalists were 11th at 28%.

The top ten looked like this:

  1. Nurses         85%
  2. Engineers    66%
  3. Medical Doctors  65%
  4. Pharmacists        64%
  5. Dentists               61%
  6. Police Officers     54%
  7. College Professors  49%
  8. Psychiatrists        43%
  9. Chiropractors      41%
  10. Clergy                 40%

No more than 30% of Americans have approved of Congress in the past decade.  So Americans have been consistent in their assessments of the occupations chosen by Gallup.

Gallup reports Americans' assessment of the honesty and ethics of journalists fell by five percentage points.

Some of that may be attributable to our current President's comments about the "fake media."