Sigma Theta Tau International

Sigma Theta Tau International


Sigma Theta Tau International, Honour Society of Nursing, provides leadership and scholarship in practice, education and research to enhance the health of all people. We support the learning and professional development of our members, who strive to improve nursing care worldwide.


To create a global community of nurses who lead nursing scholarship, knowledge and technology to improve the health of the world's people.


In 1922, six nurses founded Sigma Theta Tau at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, now known as the Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The founders chose the name from the Greek words Storge, Tharsos, and Time meaning "love", "courage" and "honour". The society was incorporated in 1985 as Sigma Theta Tau International, Inc, a not-for-profit organisation with 501(c)(3) status.


More than a quarter million nurse scholars have been inducted into Sigma Theta Tau. With 120,000 active members, it is the second largest nursing organisation in the world. Members are active in 406 chapters located on 503 college and university campuses in the U.S. and in more than 94 countries and territories including Canada, China, Pakistan, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan. Membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students, who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, and also for community leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing. Sixty per cent of active members hold master' and/or doctoral degrees. More than 60 per cent are clinicians, 23 per cent are administrators or supervisors and 17 per cent are educators or researchers.

Education and Research Initiatives

In 1936, Sigma Theta Tau became the first U.S. organisation to fund nursing research. The society, with its chapters and grant partners (corporations, associations and foundations), contributes more than $650, 000 annually to nursing research through grants, scholarships and monetary awards. More than 250 research-oriented educational programmes and international research congresses are sponsored or co-sponsored annually or biannually by Sigma Theta Tau in the U.S. and internationally.

Centre Nursing Press

The society's publishing arm produces numerous publications designed to fulfill the society's mission of disseminating nursing knowledge:

  • Journal of Nursing Scholarship is the foremost, peer-reviewed scholarly journal in nursing with a global circulation of 120, 000;
  • Reflections on Nursing Leadership is the society's award-winning, four-color quarterly news magazine that communicates nurses' contributions and relevance to the health of people;
  • Excellence is a customized member newspaper available in education, clinical and administrative versions;
  • Peer-reviewed scholarly monographs on nursing topics are published each biennium;
  • Chapter Leader Emphasis is a quarterly newsletter sent to more than 4,000 chapter officers and members;
  • Envision newsletter is sent to an average 30,000 new members biannually;

Online Library

The international Center for Nursing Scholarship houses the society headquarters and its state-of-the art electronic library, the Virginia Henderson International Nursing Library. Individuals, organisations, schools of nursing and health science libraries can access the library's online services:

  • The Online Journal of Knowledge Synthesis for Nursing, a peer-reviewed full text electronic journal giving nurses access to integrative reviews of research pertinent to clinical practice;
  • Registry of Nursing Research, a collection of nursing research data including researchers' demographic information, studies, projects, abstracts, variable studies and scientific results;
  • Nursing Knowledge Indexes, a completely new paradigm that indexes research knowledge, not research articles. It allows the user to go directly to research findings while totally circumventing a traditional bibliographic database search.

In November 1995, the library launched Sigma Theta Tau's website, offering access to information on the society and nursing topics. One feature is an Online Book Review of Nursing Service provided in collaboration with Doody Publishing, the world's leading independent reviewer of health science books. An Online Literature Review for Nursing allows users to receive weekly customised e-mail bulletins about new articles, reviews, abstracts, ratings and expert commentary in specific areas of interest.

Professional Development/Leadership

The International Leadership Institute (ILI) focuses on the development and advancement of nurses as exceptional health care leaders. Through in-person and Internet learning programmes, fellowships and recognition activities, the ILI helps nurses across the globe to develop their leadership abilities in order to improve the health and welfare of people in their communities.

Programmes such as the Arista global think tank conferences enhance leadership skills by creating and sharing knowledge. Career Map: Managing Your Career with a Purpose, the Becoming Learning series and Chiron: The Mentor-Fellow Forum are among the programmes fostering career advancement, leadership development and community service. Recognition programmes such as honourary membership and the prestigious Archon Awards reward professional competence and integrity in health care.

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
550 West North Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202