Abbreviations Frequently Used
CLE – Chapter Leader Emphasis, a publication for chapter leaders
IANA – International Academic Nursing Alliance, an electronic community for nursing school faculty
JNS – Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Sigma publication
RNL – Reflections on Nursing Leadership, Sigma electronic publication
WVS – Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, Sigma publication
Frequently Used Phrases or Terms
Active Member – An active member is an individual who has paid her/his international and chapter membership fees for the current year. This entitles him/her to membership benefits.
Advisory Council – An advisory council is a group of members who have been appointed by a board of directors to provide advice on current and future issues, directions and priorities of the society and/or chapter.
Alumni Chapter – An alumni chapter is a chapter in which the school of nursing, where the chapter was originally established, no longer offers a degree to qualify it to be a part of Sigma Theta Tau International. Alumni chapters induct only nurse leader members but meet all other chapter requirements.
At-Large Chapter – An at-large chapter is an organized group of nurse students and leaders from two or more schools of nursing that has met all of the requirements for establishment of a chapter and has been granted a charter in accordance with the procedures required by the Society. Each school receives recognition as part of an at-large chapter of the organization.
Board of Directors – The Board of Directors (whether at the international or chapter level) is the elected group of members given the executive and administrative powers for the society (or chapter). Specific responsibilities and functions of the international board of directors and chapter board of directors are outlined in the respective group’s bylaws.
Bylaws – Bylaws are the governing document of the international organization (or chapter when referring to chapter bylaws) outlining the laws of the organization, rules for general management and operation of the group and duties and responsibilities of members and leaders. Model chapter bylaws are provided as a general framework for chapter governance and activities.
Chapter – A chapter is an organized group of nurse students and leaders that has met all of the requirements for establishment of a chapter and has been granted a charter in accordance with the procedures required by the Society.
Chapter Assessment Fee – The chapter assessment fee is an annual fee each chapter pays to support the society ensuring dependable access to chapter services and resources.
Chapter Membership Fee – Each chapter sets an annual chapter membership fee for its members to pay to continue being an active member of the organization. The average fee for chapter membership is US $30 but the amount is determined by the chapter’s board of directors. The chapter receives the entire amount of the chapter fee.
Charter – The charter is a document recognizing the chapter as an official part of Sigma and a listing of the members inducted into the group when the chapter officially became part of Sigma Theta Tau International.
Charter Amendment – Changing a chapter’s structure is considered a charter amendment. The change can be in the form of adding another school of nursing to the chapter, dividing an at-large chapter into two or more separate chapters or merging two or more existing chapters into one.
Charter Member – A charter member is one who joins a chapter during the chapter’s chartering ceremony. The member can be joining Sigma Theta Tau International for the first time or can be transferring her/his membership to the new chapter or joining the new chapter in addition to another chapter to which he/she belongs.
Chartering Ceremony – A chartering ceremony is an event in which a chapter officially becomes a part of Sigma Theta Tau International. An induction of members into the chapter and the international organization is a part of the chartering ceremony.
Chartering Officer – A chartering officer is a person designated by Sigma Theta Tau International headquarters to officiate or lead the chartering ceremony.
Consumer Price Index – The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change in prices of goods and services purchased by households for an individual country.
Fiscal Year – A fiscal year is a period of 12 months designated for accounting purposes. Sigma Theta Tau International’s fiscal year is 1 July – 30 June.
Grade Point Average – Grade point average is a scale used to measure academic achievement at some institutions of higher education.
Headquarters – Headquarters is the location for most Sigma staff for working purposes. It is also known as the International Center for Nursing Scholarship.
Honor Society – An honor society is an organized group of nurse students and leaders whose intent is to meet the requirements to establish a Sigma chapter. An honor society is not an official part of a Sigma until it has had a chapter chartering ceremony.
Honor Society Membership Fee – Each honor society sets an annual membership fee for its members to pay to the honor society. The average fee for honor society membership is US $35 but the amount is determined by the honor society’s board of directors. None of this money is sent to international headquarters.
Honorary Member – An honorary member is a person who is not eligible for regular membership in Sigma, but who has gained national and/or international recognition in the field of nursing or in any field contributing to nursing. Honorary membership can only be granted by the International Board of Directors of Sigma. It is not available at the honor society or chapter level.
House of Delegates – The House of Delegates is the group within Sigma that has authority over the bylaws of the organization. Membership of the House of Delegates is composed of two (2) delegates from each chapter, the members of the Board of Directors, chairs of standing committees, the Regional Chapters Coordinators and the past presidents of the society.
Inactive Member – An inactive member is one who was inducted into Sigma at some time in the past but has not paid her/his membership fees for the current year. An inactive member can become an active member at any time by paying the current year’s membership fees based on the chapter in which she/he is a member.
Induction Ceremony – An induction ceremony is an event in which nurse scholars and leaders become members of the organization. The ceremony is the official recognition of new members. However, if approved, members can begin receiving membership benefits as soon as the membership dues have been paid. Chapters are required to have at least one induction ceremony per year.
Induction Fee – An induction fee is the amount of money owed for a qualified candidate to become a member of Sigma. The induction fee also serves as the international membership fee for an individual’s first year of membership.
International Center for Nursing Scholarship – The International Center for Nursing Scholarship is the permanent headquarters for Sigma Theta Tau International. It was envisioned to be a “nerve center” for nurses worldwide providing continuing commitment to knowledge, the strengthening of the scientific base of knowledge and the ability to share that knowledge.
International Membership Fee – Once an honor society becomes a chapter, each member must pay an annual international member fee in addition to a chapter fee entitling him/her to international membership benefits. The international membership fee is on a sliding scale: US $69.50 for residents of high-income countries, US $26 for residents of middle-income countries, and US $13 for residents of low-income countries. Sigma headquarters receives the international membership fee.
Edith Anderson Subsidy Fund – The membership subsidy fund is monies used to underwrite or subsidize up to 75% of the annual membership fees for members needing temporary financial assistance. The stipends are furnished on a confidential basis. Members may use the subsidy up to two times during his/her membership with the society.
Multiple Membership – Multiple membership means maintaining paid membership in more than one chapter of Sigma. Multiple members pay one international membership fee and chapter fees for all of the chapters to which they choose to belong. (Prior to 2008, this was referred to as “dual” membership.)
Nongovernmental Organization – A nongovernmental organization is a corporation formed for the benefit of its members and/or the general public outside of a country’s governmental system. Monetary disbursements are not made to members in such a corporation. See also nonprofit organization and not-for-profit organization.
Nonprofit Organization – A nonprofit organization is a corporation formed for the benefit of its members and/or the general public outside of a country’s governmental system. Monetary disbursements are not made to members in such a corporation. See also nongovernmental organization and not-for-profit organization.
Not-for-Profit Organization – A not-for-profit organization is a corporation formed for the benefit of its members and/or the general public outside of a country’s governmental system. Monetary disbursements are not made to members in such a corporation. See also nongovernmental organization and nonprofit organization.
Nurse Leader – Nurse leader is a category of membership in the organization for practicing nurses. Qualifications include being a registered nurse, legally recognized to practice in his/her country, who has earned a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent in any field, and who has demonstrated achievement in nursing.
Region – There are two divisions of regions within Sigma Theta Tau International. Chapters are assigned to one of 15 geographic regions for governance and administrative purposes. These regions are led by volunteer regional coordinators. Sigma also has categorized countries into regions of the world that are referred to for organizational reporting purposes.
Program – A program is an event in which nursing knowledge is shared among nurses. It can be a presentation on nursing research, new products for nursing, new technologies that can assist nurses, management techniques, efforts in nurse retention, healthcare reform, social issues, ethical issues, professional growth and development, just to name a few. Honor societies and chapters are required to have two programs or events each year supporting the purposes and goals of the society.
Task Force – A task force is a group of members or otherwise qualified individuals formed to completed an assignment within a specific time frame.
Transfer Member – A member who is inducted into one chapter of Sigma can choose to change her or his chapter membership by notifying headquarters. Membership in one chapter is frequently transferred to another chapter when a new chapter forms in an area or when a member moves to an area with another chapter of Sigma so she/he can participate in local meetings and events.