Nursing: The Most Trusted Profession

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With 22 years of reports of nursing as the most trusted profession, it is important that future nurses uphold this legacy. Learn what makes nurses trustworthy, their impact on patient care, and how you can work to build trust in your nursing practice.

nurse speaking with patient

Because nurses work so closely with patients during the ups and downs of their care, nurses must establish themselves as trustworthy individuals in the healthcare profession. Not only do nurses care for the medical needs of patients, but they also care for their physical and emotional comfort. This relationship helps nurses observe patient needs more closely and provide the best care possible.

So, “What is the most trusted profession?” Patients acknowledge nurses’ work, with an annual Gallup poll ranking nursing as the most trusted profession for 22 consecutive years. This is no surprise, given that nurses are the healthcare professionals who spend the most time with patients.

Marian University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is proud to mold prospective nurses into trusted professionals. Because trust is so important in healthcare, patient interaction and advocacy are ingrained into the curriculum as nursing students prepare for their careers.

nurses standing in simulation lab next to manikin

Wondering what to expect in nursing school? Here is more about what nursing school is like.

Since nurses are the most trusted healthcare professionals, let’s discuss what makes trust fundamental in nursing.

The Pillars of Trust in Nursing

Trust is something earned between a nurse and their patient. As such, nurses must consciously work to build that trust with patients. This may sound overwhelming since nurses work with numerous patients daily, but nurses can build trust in even the most minor interactions. To become skilled at building trust, nurses must understand the pillars of trust.


When treating patients, clear communication is essential. If you omit information or mislead them, there will be a breakdown of trust. Even if poor communication is unintentional, it could have an undesired effect on your rapport. Speaking clearly and directly to patients is vital in establishing credibility as their nurse.


Compassion is another component of what makes a trustworthy nurse. Patients should trust that their nurse has their best interests at heart and will do everything they can to help. Patients who feel their nurse does not genuinely care for them will be less trusting and may grow anxious about their outcome. Compassionate nurses put themselves in the patient’s place to help make the best decisions and guide their patients through complex emotional journeys.

service member with nurse


While it may seem evident that competency is vital in nursing, it is also imperative in building trust. Even if a patient has little medical knowledge, it is clear when a professional is confident in their skills and experiences. Building that foundation of competency and becoming a life-long learner can help nurse-patient relationships significantly.


Connection is also a vital component of trustworthy nursing. When nurses actively work to form a bond or connection with patients, they share a common ground. It also helps nurses become more in tune with patient needs, even the less obvious ones. Connection ensures patients feel cared for and trust that their needs will be met with attention and care.

The Impact of Trust on Patient Care

Trust influences patient outlook when examining anecdotal experiences. However, studies have also shown that trust in healthcare professionals positively impacts patient outcomes. The National Institute of Health reports that patients with higher confidence in their healthcare workers reported better quality of life and fewer symptoms following treatment.

The question of why trust had this positive impact is highly nuanced. It can be partly attributed to the fact that trustworthy nurses put significant effort and energy into the care of their patients. They notice behavioral, emotional, or physical changes that the untrained eye may not have noticed. It can also be attributed to a trusting patient feeling more comfortable divulging their needs. Because of the strong relationship built up between the patient and nurse, they can work together to solve the problem more effectively.

smiling Marian nursing student

How Nurses Help Foster Trust

Establishing trust with your patients can be a natural part of your practice, but it must be intentional. One way you can do this is by spending quality time with patients. Help them feel more comfortable with you by establishing a rapport and getting to know them outside their healthcare issues.

Be An Active Listener

When you are speaking with patients, be an active listener. Make sure they feel heard and important. Avoid dismissing even the smallest of concerns. While it may seem unimportant in the bigger picture of your busy day, it may be essential to them. Take the time to walk them through the process so they are actively involved in their treatment.

Remain Neutral

Ensure that in doing so, you are also monitoring the things you say and how you say them. Nursing can sometimes be frustrating, so be careful that your emotions don’t negatively impact the patient. If you feel biased or judgmental for any reason, make sure that you approach the situation with a neutral perspective. This will help protect the patient’s feelings and make them comfortable coming to you with any issue.

Make It a Habit Early

By implementing these practices early, you can develop your nursing skills alongside instructors and mentors. When you enter the nursing workforce, you will feel confident building trust with nurses, knowing that by doing so, you will be improving patient care every day.

While nursing school is challenging, it is highly rewarding. Plan ahead by reading these 6 challenges nursing students face.

nursing students looking at a professor

Start Your Journey with Marian

Your first step in becoming a trustworthy nurse is building your knowledge base, and the best way to do that is by completing your nursing degree.

Marian nursing student working with sim manikin

At Marian University’s ABSN program, you will complete a comprehensive curriculum that includes patient experiences during clinical rotations to guide you toward a long and successful nursing career. Our online coursework, combined with practical lab and clinical rotations, allows students to receive the same quality of education they would from a traditional BSN program in as few as 16 months.

Contact an admission advisor today to learn more about nursing as the most trusted profession and how to take the first step toward your ABSN journey at Marian.