Who can start a chapter

Chapters must be located at an institution of higher education. At-large chapters can be located at an institution of higher education and a practice setting.

Practice setting(s) may start a brand new at-large chapter in collaboration with an institution of higher education or may join an established chapter.

Institution of Higher Education

Minimum Requirements:

  • Institution of higher education grants a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or equivalent in nursing.
  • School’s nursing programs are accredited by an appropriate accrediting body recognized by the Sigma Governance Committee.
  • A Sigma chapter has support from the institution of higher education and the educational unit with the nursing program.

Practice Setting

Minimum Requirements:

  • A practice setting where care is provided by a registered nurse. Practice requires the delivery of healthcare services by a registered nurse to individuals and communities.
  • Practice setting must be accredited by an appropriate accrediting agency recognized by the Sigma Governance Committee (such as the Joint Commission or equivalent).
  • Practice setting administration and chief nursing officials must agree to support a Sigma chapter at the practice setting and in collaboration with the institution(s) of higher education.
  • Practice setting must employ nurses with a BSN degree (or equivalent) or higher.

Learn about the chapter structure models.

Sigma currently has more than 530 chapters around the world. Visit our chapter directory for a complete list.

To amend an established Sigma chapter, review the Chapter Charter Amendment information.

  • For institutions of higher education or practice settings interested in joining an existing Sigma chapter
  • For chapters wishing to add an institution of higher education or practice setting to a chapter

Overview of Chapter Development Process

To start a new Sigma chapter, review the information below regarding the six phases of chapter development.


Phase 1: Inquiry

In phase 1, developing chapters learn about the chapter development process, requirements to become a chapter, legal and financial considerations, and Sigma’s expectations of chapters.

Phase 2: Formation

In phase 2, developing chapters build the chapter infrastructure and a full strategic plan for chapter operations, including board leadership, budgeting, programming, membership eligibility, communications, and governance.

Phase 3: Application Submission and Review

In phase 3, developing chapters finalize the application and detailed operational plan and review it with staff before submission. The completed application is reviewed by the Sigma Charter Review Task Force, International Governance Committee, and Sigma Board of Directors. Upon application approval, all chapter designates are required to sign an individualized New Chapter Action Plan before the official chartering ceremony and complete it within 1-2 years of the chartering ceremony.

Phase 4: Official Chartering and Induction Ceremony (Chapter Designate)

In phase 4, approved chapter designates work with chapter development staff at Sigma headquarters to plan and conduct the official chartering and induction ceremony, including how to use Sigma’s Chapter Management System and Online Induction System.

Phase 5: New Chapter Action Plan Implementation, Reporting, and Chapter Support

In phase 5, developing chapters execute the requirements outlined in the New Chapter Action Plan which will incorporate the areas of coaching from the application review as well as all milestones the new chapter must meet. The chapter will also complete all required chapter reports to Sigma and any government agencies (as applicable for the state, province, or country in which the chapter is located). Chapters are required to send 1-2 chapter delegates to the House of Delegates at Sigma’s biennial convention (held in odd-number years). If the conditions of the New Chapter Action Plan are not completed and satisfactory progress is not being made, the chapter may be subject to probation or revocation by the Sigma Board of Directors.

Phase 6: Independent New Chapter

Once the New Chapter Action Plan has been completed, the chapter will operate independently with support from the Sigma chapter and membership staff.