Nurses are at the top of the U.S. public’s list of high-quality healthcare providers, according to the results of a new Gallup poll assessing opinions about the care provided in the U.S. healthcare system.

Gallup conducted its 2023 Health and Healthcare survey from November 1–21. Respondents overwhelmingly ranked nurses the highest in providing “excellent or good” clinical care (82%), followed by physicians (69%), hospitals (58%), walk-in or urgent care clinics (56%), and telemedicine or virtual physician visits (52%). At the bottom of the list were hospital emergency rooms (47%), pharmaceutical or drug companies (33%), health insurance companies (31%), and nursing homes (25%).

Nurses also led the list the previous two times that Gallup conducted the poll (2003 and 2010), the organization reported. Gallup also pointed out the findings’ congruence with its annual Honesty and Ethics poll results, which nurses have topped for more than 20 years.

The public’s perception of nurses’ ethics and excellence gives nursing voices tremendous power among policymakers. When you use that power to share your stories about oncology nursing policy priorities, real change can happen. Findings like Gallup’s demonstrate that the public supports ONS’s health policy priority to promote the value of nurses, whether in clinical practice or regulation and policy, and lawmakers are starting to understand that too.

Tell your representatives about:

  • Access to care: The severe side effects your patient experienced from a more toxic chemotherapy because her insurance wouldn’t cover a more tolerable treatment
  • Research: The nurse-led research you use in evidence-based practice and the evidence gaps where additional funding is needed
  • Teleoncology: The rural patient you’re able to meet with remotely through virtual care and other telehealth technologies instead of asking him to drive two hours to an in-person clinic visit while experiencing a side effect like nausea and vomiting or diarrhea

Be a public health advocate and tell your patients and community about cancer prevention recommendations, such as:

  • Prevention best practices
  • Screening guidelines and the importance of early detection
  • Smoking reduction and cessation strategies

Advocate for ways to grow the profession and combat the nursing shortage, including: