Convention 2019
Convention 2019
Convention 2019

First-Time Attendees

Attending an event as large as our biennial convention can be thrilling and a bit overwhelming. We’re here to help! The more you prepare for convention and explore the many opportunities available to you during this event, the more enjoyable and memorable your experience will be. Did you know that more than a third of attendees are first-timers, too? You are in good company!

Start planning with our helpful information and tips below.

Convention Mobile App

Download the Sigma event app

With our free app, you can create your own custom schedule, receive real-time updates, navigate your way around the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, follow social media feeds, interact with attendees, and more!

Just visit the App Store or Google Play on your device and search for "Sigma Theta Tau International" to download and install the app. Once the app is downloaded, open it, search for Convention 2019, and tap Download.

Blackberry or Windows phone? Find it here.

Check out the Schedule-At-a-Glance

There is a lot happening throughout the conference. In addition to reviewing the online schedule, check out this brief description of several special events and sessions to help you prioritize your time with us.

Opening Ceremonies

Convention's opening ceremonies take place during the opening plenary session (see description in Understanding Sessions callout). You will want to get to the Potomac Ballroom a bit early to be sure that you have a good seat for the international flag processional, which is a popular and inspiring part of the opening ceremonies at convention. Flag bearers from each participating country enter in the order in which a chapter from that country or territory was chartered and often wear the traditional clothing of their region. The opening plenary begins promptly at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Hint: Add this event to your customized schedule in the app!

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall will give you the opportunity to network with key vendors and see new products. Don't miss the grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony and welcome reception on Saturday, 16 November, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. (1600-1800). Stop by Center Stage to learn more about Sigma programs and member benefits. Be sure to play Exhibit Hall Bingo for a chance to win an Apple Watch! (You'll find the Bingo card in your attendee tote bag at registration.) The Exhibit Hall is located in Prince George's Exhibit Halls A-B on Level 1. Refer to your event schedule for viewing times.

Sigma Marketplace

Visit the Sigma Marketplace to shop for new and popular Sigma merchandise and books. The Marketplace will be open in National Harbor 2-3 on Level 3 Saturday through Tuesday.

Need to purchase a gift? How about a personalized, signed copy of a Sigma book? The Meet the Authors book signings are a wonderful opportunity to talk to some of the premier authors of our profession. More than 20 authors will be signing their books in the Sigma Marketplace on Sunday, 17 November, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (0930-1030) and Monday, 18 November, from 9:15 to 10:00 a.m. (0915-1000).

Sigma Career Advising

Sigma Career Advising appointments provide nurses and students with an opportunity to receive guidance regarding their career path from experienced nursing professionals and leaders. Appointments will take place in National Harbor 9 on Level 3 on Sunday and Monday. Sign up ahead of time to guarantee your session! However, you can also sign up on-site at the check-in table, located outside National Harbor 9 on Level 3.

Recognition Events

Convention is a time of celebration and recognition for excellence in nursing. On Sunday, 17 November, the Tribute Awards event is a ticketed luncheon recognizing both individuals and organizations for their achievements and dedication to improving healthcare.

On Monday, 18 November, the Chapter Awards Recognition Event, open to all attendees, will recognize chapters and members for their continued success in membership engagement and programming.

The Founders Awards Celebration, one of the most prestigious events at convention, will honor a number of esteemed nurses and other individuals from around the world on Monday evening, 18 November. This is a ticketed, formal dinner.

Refer to your event schedule in the app or program book for times, and view the complete list of 2019 International Awards for Nursing Excellence and Chapter Key Award recipients online or in the program book.

House of Delegates

The House of Delegates is the body of Sigma that holds legislative and judicial powers. According to the Bylaws, each chapter must have representation to act on its behalf in the House of Delegates for items of business before the organization. If you are serving as a chapter delegate, be sure to visit The Circle, Sigma’s online member community, where you’ll find a special community just for delegates. The Convention Delegate Community is a place where you can ask questions about your role, see the ballot, and view proposed bylaws changes. You can find links to important documents, learn about the schedule of events, and talk with other delegates and staff. Visit and scroll to find the community called “Convention Delegates”. If you are not serving as a delegate, you are still able to attend this event. There will be limited seating available for individuals to watch the proceedings take place.

Delegates with questions at convention may visit the Delegate Information Desk in the Potomac Ballroom Foyer on Level 2 of the convention center. Please check your convention program book or the event app for daily Delegate Information hours.

Understanding Sessions

Plenary Sessions:
Plenary sessions are the keynote speaker sessions for the day. All attendees are encouraged to attend these captivating presentations. Don't miss the international flag processional in the opening plenary. During the second plenary there is a special presentation for the Episteme Award, the recipient of which will be the plenary speaker for that session.

Poster Sessions:
Peer-reviewed posters in scientific, clinical, education, leadership, and evidence-based practice categories, and Rising Stars of Research and Scholarship Invited Student Posters are on display during designated session times. Also on display Sunday through Tuesday are Sigma candidate posters, highlighting the platform and goals of members seeking election for the 2019-2021 biennium.

Concurrent Sessions:
Nurses from all over the world will be presenting original evidence-based practice and research abstracts. These will run in simultaneous tracks. In the program, you will note that sessions are identified by session type and number. Keep track of the sessions you attend in order to obtain your continuing nursing education (CNE) certificate at the end of the program.

A symposium is a group of three individual abstract presentations coordinated by a submitting lead author concerning a common topic of interest. Symposia provide an opportunity to present research or evidence-based practices on one topic, often from multiple perspectives, providing a coherent set of information for discussion.

Special Sessions:
An invited presentation on a singular topic. These sessions are open to all attendees.

Chapter Leader Sessions:
Recommended for new and seasoned chapter officers, these sessions are perfect for gathering new information and resources, and interacting with other chapters. Learn more.

Check in at our registration desk

Once you arrive, come check in and pick up your event materials at Sigma’s registration desk, located in the Potomac Ballroom Foyer on Level 2. Registration is open during the following times:

Friday, 15 November
6:00-8:00 p.m. (1800-2000) Early Badge Pick-Up

Saturday, 16 November
7:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (0700-1830)

Sunday 17 November
7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (0700-1700)

Monday, 18 November
7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (0700-1700)

Tuesday, 19 November
7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (0700-1700)

Wednesday, 20 November
7:00 a.m.-Close of House of Delegates

Review the program book

At registration you will receive a program book in your tote bag. Take a few moments to read the Schedule At-a-Glance and General Information sections, and familiarize yourself with the convention center and National Harbor area with the maps found on pages 28-29.

You will also find full daily schedules, detailed layouts of the Exhibit Hall and Poster Presentation rooms, and listings of award recipients, grant recipients, sponsors, exhibitors, and donors to Sigma President Beth Baldwin Tigges' President's Circle.

Remember, all the information contained in the program book is also available on the Sigma event app and on the event website.

Browse the Sigma Repository

Author permitted, full-text poster and presentation information are available in the Sigma Repository. When presenters grant permission, oral and poster presentation slides given at this event are permanently available in the Sigma Repository on the first day of the event:

Here's a helpful tip to navigate the Sigma Repository's search: Use the keyword listed in each session, making sure to include the quotation marks (e.g., "CONV19PLN1"). Detailed search information is also available in the conference app. For more information on the Sigma Repository, visit

Network with other attendees

A key feature of attending our live events is the networking! Of course, the Exhibit Hall and Welcome Reception are great places to start. But there are numerous other opportunities to meet and collaborate with researchers and nurses from around the world!

You can also join in on the conversation on Twitter. Use #SigmaConv19 to share your experience with your colleagues back home and to connect with other attendees.

The Circle is an online portal for members to connect with people that they meet at Sigma events. There is a directory that you can search and send a contact request to any Sigma member. Within The Circle, there is a Global Member Forum, and we encourage you to share what you learned at the event with other members!

Collect your CNE

Within a week of the conference ending, you will receive an email to complete a program evaluation. After you submit the evaluation, you can access your continuing nursing education (CNE) certificate for up to 60 days following the end of the conference. Visit the convention CNE page for more information and total available contact hours.

View official convention photos

Watch your inbox and the convention homepage for a link to relive your convention experience through photos from our official convention photographer. You might spot yourself and others that you met while in Washington, DC!

Questions? Please email or call 888.634.7575 (US/Canada toll-free) or +1.317.634.8171 (International).