Overview of Specific Honor Societies

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, commonly known as Sigma, is a prestigious organization that recognizes excellence in nursing. Founded in 1922, Sigma has grown to become the second-largest nursing organization in the world, with over 135,000 active members in more than 90 countries. Sigma’s mission is to advance world health and celebrate nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service.

To become a member of Sigma, one must meet certain requirements. These include being a registered nurse, having a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing or another related field, and demonstrating academic excellence. Members are also expected to uphold the society’s values of integrity, excellence, and leadership.

Sigma’s history is rooted in the United States, where it was founded by six nursing students at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses. The society was initially created to recognize and honor nursing students who demonstrated exceptional academic achievement. Over time, Sigma expanded its focus to include all nurses who meet the membership requirements.

While Sigma has made significant contributions to the nursing profession, it is not immune to perpetuating social injustice and systemic bias. Like many organizations, Sigma’s history is not without controversy. In the past, Sigma has been criticized for its lack of diversity and inclusion. Some have argued that the society’s membership requirements, which prioritize academic achievement, may exclude nurses from underrepresented groups who face systemic barriers to education.

In recent years, Sigma has taken steps to address these criticisms and promote diversity and inclusion within the organization. In 2019, Sigma launched its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, which is charged with developing strategies to promote diversity and inclusion within the society. Sigma has also established partnerships with organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in nursing, such as the National Black Nurses Association and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

Despite its challenges, Sigma remains a respected and influential organization in the nursing profession. Its members are leaders in research, education, and clinical practice, and the society’s initiatives have had a significant impact on the field of nursing. As Sigma continues to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of the nursing profession, it will be important for the organization to remain committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of its work.

Timeline of Major Events:

1922: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing is founded at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses.

1936: Sigma establishes its first chapter outside of the United States, in Canada.

1959: Sigma begins publishing its official journal, Nursing Research.

1975: Sigma establishes the first international chapter, in Japan.

1991: Sigma launches its first website.

2019: Sigma launches its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force.

2020: Sigma celebrates its 100th anniversary.

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