Americans look up to nurses. Lobbyists: not so much. For a nurse to earn more than $50,000 a year is an accomplishment. But while nursing is far from the most lucrative of professions, it certainly earns people's respect. In a recent Gallup Poll on the honesty and ethics of those working in 21 selected professions, nursing ranked No. 1 for the seventh straight year, with 84 percent of respondents rating nurses "very high" or at least "high." At the other end of the spectrum: lobbyists, telemarketers, car salesmen, members of Congress, and stockbrokers, none of whose approval ratings exceeded 12 percent.

The leading professions, based on honesty and ethics, with the percentage of each that received the highest marks, according to Gallup:

  • Nurses 84%
  • Druggists/pharmacists 70%
  • High school teachers 65%
  • Medical doctors 64%
  • Police officers 56%
  • Clergy 56%
  • Funeral directors 47%
  • Accountants 38%
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