Why is nursing the most trusted profession in Australia?

Post by Open Colleges on May 07th, 2020

Why is nursing the most trusted profession in Australia?

There have been some truly inspirational stories from around the world of how different countries are saying “thank you” to their healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In India, Nurses and Doctors have been showered with flower petals.

One of the most famous religious monuments in the world, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, was illuminated with a Doctor’s coat and stethoscope.

Structures around the world, such as the London Eye in London, Madison Square Garden in New York, and Centrepoint Tower in Sydney, have been lit up in shades of blue in solidarity and thanks.

Around the world, people have been paying tribute to the world’s healthcare workers.

Healthcare workers make up the most trusted professions in Australia

Nurses and Doctors have remained one of the most trusted professions in Australia and the world; and this is now truer than ever before.

A 2017 study by Roy Morgan pointed to nurses as the most trusted profession in Australia, followed very closely by doctors.¹ According to the survey, 94% of Australians rated their trust in Nurses as being “high” or “very high”. This was the 23rd time in a row that Nurses had ranked highest.

This is a continuing trend, with an ABC article pointing to nursing as 2019’s most trusted job in Australia.²

What factors drive our trust in the nursing profession?

We usually form stronger relationships with Nurses than our Doctors

Nurses form the largest profession in the healthcare sector. The number of people employed as registered nurses in Australia is set to increase to 330,900 by 2023, according to the government’s job outlook website.³

Often, we interact more with our Nurses than our Doctor.

In a hospital setting, a Doctor would oversee your overall healthcare plan. But it is the nursing team who carry out the Doctor’s instructions and make sure that you, the patient, are receiving the correct care.

Nurses give us more than medical care

Nurses take care of more things than we might realise. They administer medication, assist with recording patients’ health progress, help to change dressings, and carry out many other medical tasks.

But they also provide more than just medical care. They provide a human touch in what can be, for some, a rather unnerving environment.

We rely on Nurses for their professional knowledge and their compassion. They are often the first point of contact for patients and their families, and they also listen to patients’ concerns.

If you’re staying overnight in a hospital, the last person you see before going to sleep and the first person you see when you wake up will probably be a Nurse.

In short, Nurses make us feel safe, comfortable, and cared for.

Nurses are patient advocates

Nurses are with patients during some of their toughest and most challenging moments.

Therefore, it’s important that Nurses continue to uphold and insist on a high standard of accessible, equitable care for everyone. 

Nurses have the patients’ best interests at heart, and they serve as the link between the patient and the healthcare system. They ensure that the patient’s concerns are addressed, that the highest standards of care are adhered to, and that the patient’s wellbeing and recovery remain the ultimate goal.

Nurses take great pride in their work, and their dedication shows

According to InSight, Nurses feel a great sense of pride in their work, and their career satisfaction is high.? This comes from feeling that they have a positive effect on their patients’ lives.

In a more cynical light, as patients, we know that there is no financial incentive for our Nurses to give us incorrect information. No matter what the issue or the diagnosis, Nurses do not benefit financially in any way from a patient’s illness. It means that we can trust Nurses explicitly to look after us because there is no monetary incentive – as opposed to, say, car salespeople (rated the least trustworthy by the Roy Morgan survey).

We know that Nurses are doing their jobs because they genuinely care, and not for any financial incentive besides an honest pay cheque.

Nurses have given us hope in a challenging and uncertain time

Did you know that 2020 was named “Year of the Nurse” by the World Health Organisation? This coincided with the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, one of the most famous Nurses in world history.

Some might see this as a serendipitous coincidence, considering the current state of the world. 

During this global crisis, it has been Nurses and other healthcare professionals who have been on the frontlines, providing care to sick, worried patients.

Their ongoing courage and dedication has given hope to millions of people who may be feeling isolated and scared.

 From Open Colleges, we say thank you to our dedicated healthcare workers!

Study Nursing at Open Colleges’ WA or SA campuses

Do you want a rewarding career where you can make a difference to peoples’ lives?

Study a Diploma of Nursing through Open Colleges and take the first step towards a rewarding and fulfilling career in the healthcare industry.

Our blended nursing course encompasses both online and on-campus study, making it flexible and accessible.

There’s never been a better, or more crucial time, to join the healthcare industry.            




1. “Roy Morgan Image of Professions Survey 2017: Health professionals continue domination with Nurses most highly regarded again; followed by Doctors and Pharmacists”, Roy Morgan, June 2017

2. Catherine Hanrahan, “Australia Talks: The most and least trusted professions revealed”, ABC News

3. Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 

4. Karen Booth, “Valuing our primary health care nurses”, InSight Plus

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