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Mission & Vision

The mission of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma, 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.

Delta Psi Leadership

Dr. Martha Biddle President
Jacob Higgins President-Elect
Anthony Carney Vice President
Leslie Beebe Leadership Succession Committee Member
Lori Fugate Treasurer
Shannon King Secretary
Angela Hensley Research & Scholarship Chair
Stephanie Fugate Faculty Counselor (undergraduate)
Jennifer Miller Faculty Counselor (graduate)


In 1922, six nurses founded the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, today known as Sigma, at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, which is now the Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis, Ind., USA. The founders chose the name from the Greek words storgé, tharsos, and timé, meaning love, courage, and honor. Sigma became incorporated in 1985 as a nonprofit organization with a 501(c)(3) tax status in the United States. Learn more about Sigma's founders.

In the fall of 1977, Dr. Marion McKenna, dean of the College of Nursing, along with two faculty members, met with Ms. Jean McKinley, first vice president of Sigma, to initiate plans for establishing a chapter of the national honor society in nursing. With Ms. McKinley's encouragement, a group of nine UK faculty members met as a steering committee to form our Honor Society in Nursing on Nov. 28, 1977. The purpose was to recognize excellence in nursing and eventually, to petition a charter from Sigma, the National Honor Society for Nurses. Evelyn Geller was elected Chair of the Steering Committee and bylaws were drafted.

The induction ceremony for 221 candidates into the newly formed UK College of Nursing Honor Society was held on May 7, 1978 at the Student Center Ballroom with Dean McKenna presiding. Ms. McKinley presented the keynote address: Why an Honor Society in Nursing?

In July 1979, then President Gretchen LaGodna received word that our application for membership would be recommended for approval by the National Council of Sigma. Dean Marion McKenna and Ms. Kay Robinson represented the Honor Society at the Sigma Biennial Convention in Seattle, Washington. The UK College of Nursing Honor Society was approved for chartering. 

Along with the presentation of the charter, the induction of members and installation of officers followed. Ms. Jean McKinley, former vice president of Sigma, presided as the installing officer for the 276 charter and transfer members. After the installation, a reception and luncheon was held at the LafayetteClub. The installation marked the accomplishment of many years of hard work.

Currently, we have 355 active members in Delta Psi.



Sigma membership is by invitation to 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 515 chapters at more than 700 institutions of higher education throughout Armenia, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, 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, Jordan, 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 U.S. 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 Web-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 health care 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 a leading peer-reviewed scholarly publication with a global circulation of 125,000. It is published bimonthly and is available in both print and full text searchable online formats to members and subscribers.
  • Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing™ is a bimonthly periodical that is available in print and full text searchable online formats to subscribers. It is a leading global source of the best research and evidence available, with applications to nursing practice, administration, education, and policy.
  • Scholarly books cover a wide range of topics in nursing and health care that are of interest to members and other nurses around the world.
  • Nursing Centered is Sigma's mixed-media resource center that shares stories and nursing information from Sigma nurses and chapters worldwide, from their view, in their voice. It is home to Sigma articles, member stories, videos, webinars, and SigmaCast episodes.
  • Chapter Leader Emphasis is a biannual newsletter that is sent to more than 4,000 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 

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