Convention 2019
Convention 2019
Convention 2019


More than 2,100 nurse professionals gathered in Washington, DC, USA, from 16-20 November 2019, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center to share information, learn, and elect our officers for the 2019-2021 biennium.

If you couldn't attend, we encourage you to view these highlights from the 45th Biennial Convention.


16 November 2019

Speed Connect

More than 80 people attended this special event, which is designed to connect convention attendees in a fun, fast-paced environment. Attendees enjoyed lunch in addition to the opportunities to connect one-on-one with each other.

Opening Plenary Session

After the time-honored flag processional and presentation of the Sigma/ATI Educational Assessment Nursing Research Grant, Sigma President Beth Baldwin Tigges, PhD, RN, PNP, BC, reported on the progress of Sigma and the initiatives that support her call to action: Connect. Collaborate. Catalyze. View the video — featuring actual Sigma members — that was played to open this session.

Sigma’s new mission and vision were also introduced, and each attendee received an “I am a Sigma nurse” button as they left the session.

  • Sigma mission: Developing nurse leaders anywhere to improve healthcare everywhere
  • Sigma vision: Connected, empowered nurse leaders transforming global healthcare

Foundation Tea

Thanks to Sigma Foundation for Nursing donations, 15 nurses from eight countries received leadership education grants to attend convention. Foundation donors of US $60 and higher met the leadership education grant recipients at a tea after the opening plenary.

Escape Rooms

Escape room sessions were a very popular addition to the schedule. The clinical escape room sessions, presented by Old Dominion University School of Nursing and Epsilon Chi Chapter, had attendees unlocking clues that allowed them to safely administer medications to an ailing patient. In Sigma's escape room sessions, participants had to solve a series of clues to help deactivate a techno-virus threatening to delete all electronic medical records around the world. More than 130 participants attempted to escape in these sessions, held Saturday through Monday.

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and Welcome Reception

President Tigges and Sigma Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Madigan performed the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening and welcome reception, sponsored by Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University and Pi Gamma Chapter. Attendees enjoyed the buffet as they networked with one another, connected with healthcare vendors, and learned about various Sigma programs and initiatives.


17 November 2019

Plenary Session 2

Chlorhexidine Oral Care: From Prevention of Pneumonia to Risk Factor for Mortality was presented by the Baxter International Foundation Episteme Laureate award recipient Stijn I. Blot, PhD, Research Professor, Ghent University. View the video that opened this session.

Two grants, made possible with donations to Sigma Foundation for Nursing’s Research Fund, were awarded during this session; the Sigma /American Nurses Credentialing Center Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Implementation Grant and the Sigma /Joan K. Stout, RN, Research Grant.

Meet the Authors

The first of two book signing sessions held at the Sigma Marketplace had lines of attendees waiting to speak with 11 Sigma-published authors.

Tribute Awards Event

This special event recognized nine individuals and organizations for their achievements and dedication to improving healthcare through technology, education, leadership, media and communications, and research and practice. Two new honorary members also were recognized.


Another first for convention this year was the Sigma Hackathon, sponsored by Wambi. In this free three-hour session, 80 participants formed groups, collaborated with colleagues to form solutions to a challenge, and presented a brief pitch to peers and a panel of judges. The first place team received two hours with key innovators at Wambi to further develop their idea.

Heritage Society Reception and Dinner

The Sigma Foundation for Nursing Board of Directors introduced 17 new Fellows who initiated their contributions during the biennium to support leadership and research through the Foundation.


18 November 2019

Meet the Authors

The second of two book signing sessions, featuring another group of well-known Sigma-published authors, took place in the Sigma Marketplace.

Chapter Awards Recognition Event

Chapters and chapter leaders were recognized for their continued success in membership engagement and programming. Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee Chair Karen Gorton introduced the 91 chapters from three global regions that received Chapter Key Awards.

Exhibit Hall Bingo

Sigma Foundation for Nursing Board Chair Patrick Palmieri announced the winner of Exhibit Hall Bingo sponsored by Chamberlain University and Phi Pi Chapter during the exhibit hall lunch, which was sponsored by Mercer Consumer. Congratulations to Lorraine Loza, who won an Apple Watch!

Founders Awards Celebration

One of the most prestigious events at convention, the Founders Awards Celebration recognized 13 esteemed nurses and other individuals and organizations from around the world for their contributions to nursing and global health.


19 November 2019

Steps for Research

Nearly 100 attendees participated in Sigma Foundation for Nursing's Steps for Research and took over 1 million steps on Sunday and Monday. Thanks to WithMax Inc. for sponsoring this event and helping raise over US $4,000 for research grants. The winners were announced to the challenge participants and on social media on Tuesday by Juli Maxworthy, the owner of WithMax Inc. Thank you to all the participants and congratulations to the winners!

Most steps: Andrea Dobogai
Top fundraiser: Alicia Thomas
Most daily steps: Danielle Olds and Andrea Dobogai

House of Delegates Session 1

A morning filled with Poster Session 2 viewing, Candidate Poster Display viewing, and concurrent sessions was followed by the House of Delegates Session 1 and Delegate Briefing.


20 November 2019

House of Delegates Session 2

The House of Delegates Session 2 included election results, business of the House, recognition of chapter anniversaries, acknowledgment of new chapters and charter amendments, the departure and recognition ceremony, and installation and transition of elected delegates. You can view the 2019-2021 Board of Directors on the Sigma website.

You can also view Sigma’s biennial report for an update on growth and successes during the 2017-2019 biennium.

Presidential Call to Action

After the transition ceremony, new Sigma President Richard Ricciardi, PhD, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, delivered his call to action address, Infuse Joy, asking all Sigma members to infuse joy into all we do.

President Ricciardi’s call to action highlights three essential elements – the ABCs – that promote joy: Awareness, Balance & Purpose, and Co-creation. Learn more!

Check out the links below, and be sure to view our 45th Biennial Convention photo album to experience all of the wonderful photos taken by Ralph Alswang!