Nurses rank highest among various factors in the U.S. health system in the latest Gallup poll — earning a grade of “excellent” or “good” by American adults surveyed in November 2023.
Further substantiation for nurses’ topping this poll of excellent care is that Gallup found historic low confidence in the U.S. health system among Americans earlier this year in a July study.
Note that 8 in 10 consumers rate nurses excellent/good compared with 7 in 10 people ranking physicians this way, 6 in 10 for hospitals, 5 in 10 for telemedicine/virtual visits, and just under 5 in 10 for hospital emergency departments.
The pharmaceutical industry and health insurance companies garnered 3 in 10 people rating them as excellent/good, with nursing homes at the bottom a 2.5/10 – or 4 in 10 ranking as “poor.” For pharma/drug companies and health insurers, 3 in 10 consumers also ranked these medical segments as “poor” providers in the U.S. health system.
Nurses have ranked highest in honesty and ethics in past Gallup polls, demonstrating the profession’s consistent image and delivery of services that patients highly value on the front lines of care.
The second chart arrays the historical trend downward for all healthcare players (except walk-in/urgent care clinics) looking back to 2003 to 2023.
Even nurses’ quality reputation fell a bit, 6 percentage points, from 2010, from 88% to 82% of consumers ranking nurses as excellent/good providers.
The biggest fall in the top grade happened in the pharmaceutical/drug company segment, from 54% ranking the industry excellent/good down to 33% in 2023, a fall of 21 percentage points in 13 years.
Physicians’ fall was also a big hit of 15 percentage points down, from 84% of consumers rating doctors with the highest grade of service down to 69% in 2023.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: “You Always Hurt the Ones You Love,” The Mills Brothers sang in 1944 — with the lyrics, “You always take the sweetest rose and cruse it till the petals fall. You always break the kindest heart with a hasty word you can’t recall.”
Such is the present world of nurses and nursing in the U.S., in a state of emergency and hurt. The 2023 State of Nursing report from Nurses.org assessed the perspectives of 2,000 nurses working in the U.S. earlier this year and found that while 60% of nurses loved being a nurse, two-thirds were concerned about the future of the profession. Of concern in terms of nursing supply in America was that 39% of nurses felt dissatisfied with their current job, 91% said the nursing shortage was getting worse, and 79% reported their units were inadequately staffed.
In the “you always hurt the ones you love” mode, 2024 should be the year that U.S. policies, both public sector and private, embrace the fact that the U.S. nursing supply has been and will be increasingly at-risk, and support nurses and nursing with renewed commitment and resources.
In this full context, we congratulate the occasion of the 100th podcast of See You Now, a collaboration between the American Nurses Association and Johnson & Johnson.
The podcast has shared with listeners exemplars of nurse-led innovation, the latest episode highlighting Virginia Allen, the last living Black Angel, sharing the untold story of the Black nurses who helped to cure tuberculosis.
I was featured on one of the 100 podcasts (#46, “What the Hack”) with host @Shawna Butler RN MBA, brainstorming nurse-led innovation as nurses brought their up-front-and-personal challenges and learnings to hackathons to solve some really tough problems.
If you want to earn CNE credits by listening to See You Now podcast bundles, click here to learn more.
In the meantime — reach out to the nurses you know and remind them of their importance and impact in the health system, supporting these precious assets of health care human capital in whatever ways you can in your work and in your community.