Our Mission Sigma's mission is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service.
Sigma's vision is to be the global organization of choice for nursing.
In 1922, six nurses founded Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, today known as Sigma, at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, which is now the Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. The founders chose the name from the Greek words storgé, tharsos, and timé, meaning love, courage, and honor. Sigma became incorporated in 1985 and is a nonprofit organization with a 501(c)(3) tax status in the United States. Learn more about Sigma's founders.
Membership Potential members who meet our eligibility criteria are invited to join Sigma – baccalaureate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing. Here are some additional facts about our membership:
- Sigma has more than 135,000 active members.
- Members reside in more than 90 countries.
- 39 percent of active members hold master’s and/or doctoral degrees; 51 percent are in staff positions; 19 percent are administrators or supervisors; 18 percent are faculty/academics; and 12 percent are in advanced practice.
- There are roughly 530 chapters at more than 700 institutions of higher education throughout Armenia, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
- Sigma communicates regularly with more than 100 nurse leaders who have expressed interest in establishing chapters globally, including those in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, India, Ireland, Israel, Germany, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Spain.
Products and Services
From its inception, Sigma has recognized the value of scholarship and excellence in nursing practice. In 1936, Sigma became the first US organization to fund nursing research. Today, Sigma supports these values through its numerous professional development products and services that focus on the core areas of education, leadership, career development, evidence-based nursing, research, and scholarship. These products and services advance the learning and professional development of members and all nurses who strive to improve the health of the world’s people.
- Sigma, with its grant-offering partners (corporations, associations, and foundations), contributes more than US $200,000 annually to nursing research through grants, scholarships, and monetary awards.
- A number of education and research conferences are supported by Sigma, including a yearly research congress that presents the latest nursing research from around the world and a biennial convention that offers nursing’s best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas.
- Online continuing nursing education offers peer-reviewed interactive learning activities that are presented in a variety of learning formats including case studies, evidence-based articles, and module courses. These activities are linked to full-text articles and abstracts and are available for continuing nursing education contact hours.
- The Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository is an online digital service that collects, preserves, and disseminates digital materials in both abstract and full-text format. Submissions to this repository may be made by individual nurses and nursing students as well as nursing organizations.
- Sigma's career development programming provides resources for every stage in the career process, from selecting nursing as a profession to active retirement.
- Leadership programs include mentoring programs and global healthcare think tanks.
- Alliances with other leading providers of nursing knowledge products and services round out Sigma's offering and provide added value to its members.
- Journal of Nursing Scholarship is one of the most widely read and respected healthcare journals. Published bimonthly by Wiley, JNS contains peer-reviewed, thought-provoking articles representing research by some of the world’s leading nurse researchers. Current and back issues of JNS can be read online and via our mobile apps for Apple and Android phones and tablets. You can also receive CNE hours for select articles covering a wide variety of topics by completing an online evaluation with immediate test results. This is free for members!
- Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing™ is a primary source of information to improve patient care. Each bimonthly issue contains knowledge synthesis and original articles with best practice applications, recommendations for clinical practice, nursing education, administration, and public healthcare policy. Like JNS, current and back issues of Worldviews can be read online and via our mobile apps for Apple and Android phones and tablets. As a member benefit, you can also receive CNE hours for select articles by completing an online evaluation with immediate test results.
- Scholarly books cover a wide range of topics in nursing and healthcare that are of interest to members and other nurses around the world.
- Reflections on Nursing Leadership is Sigma's online member magazine that communicates nurses' contributions and relevance to the health of people worldwide.
- Chapter Leader Emphasis is a biannual newsletter that is sent to more than 5,500 chapter leaders.
- Sigma Update is a monthly electronic newsletter sent to all members that includes chapter-specific information and announcements.
Sigma Foundation for Nursing
The Foundation holds all permanent funds of Sigma. These assets are distributed over nine endowed or restricted funds, each established for a specific purpose. Endowed funds contain donations made by members and friends of nursing, but only the interest earned from these funds is distributed. Restricted funds hold monies that are given to Sigma for a specific activity and are distributed accordingly.
Sigma Marketplace (formerly Nursing Knowledge International) was established in 2002 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) subsidiary of Sigma. Through its e-commerce website, Sigma Marketplace delivers nursing knowledge that is designed to improve patient outcomes by enhancing the knowledge base of its nurse customers. More than 82,000 nurses have joined the Sigma Marketplace community.
The International Honor Society of Nursing Building Corporation
Incorporated in 1993 as a corporation with 501(c)(2) status, the Building Corporation holds title to real and personal property for the benefit of Sigma. It is also responsible for managing and maintaining Sigma’s 39,350-square-foot building and grounds.
Honor Society Archives
Repository Holdings - Sigma Records: 1920-2007, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis.