Sigma Theta Tau

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The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International
Sigma theta tau.jpg
Abbreviation STTI
Motto Improving world health through knowledge
Formation 1922 (1922)
Type Honor Society
Purpose to support the learning, knowledge and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide
Headquarters 550 W. North Street – Indianapolis, IN 46202 USA
Hester C. Klopper

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI or ΣΘΤ) is the second-largest nursing organization in the world with approximately 135,000 active members.

While often referred to by nurses as "Sigma Theta Tau" or even just "Sigma", or"STTI", the actual official name is "The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International".


The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International was founded in 1922 at what is now the Indiana University school of nursing. The founders chose the society’s name from the meaning of the Greek words Storge, Tharsos, and Time: “love,” “courage” and “honor.”[1] The founders’ vision for the society helped bring recognition to nursing as a science. In 1936 it became the first organization in the United States to fund nursing research. Since then the Society has underwritten more than 250 small or "seed" grants, which often begin a whole body of research. These peer-reviewed grants are often the first recognition of potent concepts that eventually lead to major, wide-scale research projects and innovation in the nursing profession.

More than 360,000 nurse scholars have been inducted into Sigma Theta Tau. With 135,000 active members, it is the second largest nursing organization in the world.[citation needed] Members are active in more than 90 countries and territories, and the 431 chapters are located on 515 college and university campuses in the United States and countries including Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China (Hong Kong), South Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, South Africa, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania and the United Kingdom.[citation needed]


Membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students, who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing. 61% of active members hold master’s and/or doctoral degrees; 56% have a specialty certification; 48% are clinicians; 40% have more than 15 years of work experience; 21% are administrators or supervisors, and 20% are educators or researchers. In addition to English, members are fluent in 20 other languages including Spanish, Dutch and Finnish.[citation needed]

Student Membership Criteria

Graduate Students (Master's and Doctorate) must have completed ¼ of the nursing curriculum; achieve academic excellence (at schools where a 4.0 grade point average system is used, this equates to a 3.5 or higher); and meet the expectation of academic integrity. They must also be in the top 35 percentile of their nursing program.

Nurse Leader Membership Criteria

Nurse Leader Candidates must be legally recognized to practice nursing in his/her country; have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent in any field; and demonstrate achievement in nursing.


The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, was one of the first organizations to fund nursing research in the United States, awarding a $600 grant to Alice Crist Malone in 1936. With its chapters and grant partners (corporations, associations and foundations) the society contributes more than $650,000 annually to nursing research through grants, scholarships and monetary awards. More than 250 research-oriented educational programs are sponsored or co-sponsored annually by Sigma Theta Tau International in the U.S. and internationally.[2]

The society’s publishing arm produces two scholarly journals and numerous other publications designed to fulfill the society’s mission of disseminating nursing knowledge:

The Journal of Nursing Scholarship is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal in nursing with a global circulation of 125,000 published on behalf of the Society by Blackwell Publishing.

Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal that connects best evidence to best practice applications for clinical practice, nursing administration, nursing education and public health care policy. Published on behalf of the Society by Blackwell Publishing.

Sigma Theta Tau International also has a nursing research repository, the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository - which offers nurses access to nursing research and evidence-based knowledge.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The founders". Sigma Theta Tau International. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  2. ^ Daniel Pesut (February 2004). "on SigmaTheta Tau International". Nurseweek. Retrieved 2007-01-14.