Sigma Theta Tau International is dedicated to improving the health of people worldwide by increasing the scientific base of nursing practice. Members are nursing scholars committed to the pursuit of excellence in clinical practice, education, research and leadership.
We believe that broadening the base of nursing knowledge through knowledge development, dissemination and use offers great promise for promoting a healthier populace. We are committed to furthering nursing research in health care delivery and public policy.
We sustain and support nursing's development and provide vision for the future of nursing and health care through our network of worldwide community of nurse scholars. We make available our diverse resources to all people and institutions interested in the scientific knowledge base of the nursing profession.
Vision and Mission
A Vision to Lead:
To create a global community of nurses who lead in using scholarship, knowledge and technology to improve the health of the world's people.
A Mission to Serve, Support and Improve:
Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor 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.
Sigma Theta Tau was founded in 1922 by six nursing students at Indiana University.
Modern nursing was barely 20 years old when Mary Tolle, Edith Moore, Marie Hippensteel, Dorothy Garrigus, Elizabeth Russell and Elizabeth McWilliams met to found a Society to advance the status of nursing as a profession. They recognized the value of scholarship and the importance of excellence in practice. With the full idealism of women forging pathways of change in the 1920s, they wanted to build a framework to encourage future leaders to effectively improve health care.
In 1936, Sigma Theta Tau was the first organization in the U.S. 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. The grants, peers reviewed and selected by a panel of nursing research experts, are often the first recognition of potent concepts that eventually lead to major, wide-scale research projects and innovation in the nursing profession. Many Sigma Theta Tau nurses have also been privileged to receive generous support for their scientific endeavors from corporate and private philanthropies.
During the last decade, Sigma Theta Tau International's House of Delegates supported a 10-year strategic plan, "Actions for the 1990's." These actions established the four major goals of the Society: knowledge development, knowledge dissemination, knowledge utilization, and resource management.
In 1922, six students from the Indiana University Training School for Nurses in Indianapolis, Indiana founded the honor society of nursing. The founders chose the society name from the meaning of the Greek words Storge, Tharsos, and Time. By definition, these words translated as "love," "courage" and "honor." As women ahead of their time, the founders' vision for the society helped bring recognition to nursing as a science.
The society became incorporated in 1985 as Sigma Theta Tau International, Inc., to support and connect the global community of nursing scholars who enhance health care worldwide. The society is a not-for-profit organization with a 501(c) (3) status.
More than 360,000 nurse scholars have been inducted into Sigma Theta Tau. With 125,000 active members, it is the second largest nursing organization in the world. Members are active in more than 90 countries and territories, and the 431 chapters are located on 515 college and university campuses in the U.S. and countries including Australia, Botzwana, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, The Netherlands, Pakistan, South Africa, Swaziland, Taiwan and Tanzania.
Membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students, who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing. Sixty-one percent of active members hold masters and/or doctoral degrees. Forty-eight percent are clinicians, 21 percent are administrators or supervisors and 20 percent are educators or researchers.