photo of Sigma members' nation flags

Sigma members holding their national flags

As a 100-year-old organization, Sigma has seen a vast number of changes to its governing documents. After so many revisions, though, Sigma’s bylaws became cluttered and, in some instances, confusing. They were written in various styles as legal language evolved, and they were published in an outdated two-column format that is not user friendly.

To guide Sigma into its next 100 years, 2019-2021 Sigma President Ric Ricciardi and the International Board of Directors determined it was time for a full bylaws review and revision. This work began in 2019 when the Sigma parliamentarian and legal counsel conducted full reviews of the bylaws document and provided their expert advice on how Sigma should move forward.

In 2020, the newly elected Governance Committee and appointed Bylaws Revision Task Force carefully considered the parliamentary and legal recommendations. Through this important work, they crafted a streamlined and reformatted version of Sigma’s existing bylaws. In addition to that updated bylaws document, the group also created and recommended 13 sets of amendments and revisions needed to make the bylaws a governing document that will meet the needs of the organization—not just for today, but for years to come.



Informational videos

Bylaws Rationale

Hear from President Ric Ricciardi and President-elect Ken Dion about why the Board of Directors supports these important bylaws changes.

Parliamentarian Best Practices and Process

Sigma's parliamentarian, Colette Collier Trohan, MS, CAE, PRP, CPP-T, shares parliamentary procedure best practices and why these changes need to be made for Sigma's future.

Committee and Task Force Recommendations

Governance Committee Chair Jennifer Saylor and Bylaws Revision Task Force Chair Carol Huston explain the process and reasoning behind the specific bylaws changes.

The reformatted document

Early in 2020, the newly elected Governance Committee and appointed Bylaws Revision Task Force carefully considered the parliamentary and legal recommendations that had been conducted in 2019. Working closely with Sigma's parliamentarian, they crafted a streamlined and reformatted version of Sigma’s existing bylaws that eliminates unnecessary detail and brings the document into a more modern, easily readable format. During the reformatting process, although some words may have been changed, the parliamentarian and task force ensured that the intent of individual passages was not changed. 

At the 2021 House of Delegates, the first step in the bylaws process will be to approve this reformatted document. No other amendments can be considered until the reformatted document has been approved.  

Download the reformatted document »

Download the current 2019-2021 bylaws »

An overview of proposed changes

In addition to general housekeeping amendments needed to remove duplication and improve readability, amendments will be proposed to address the following areas of the international bylaws. To read the full proposals and rationale statements, please download the bylaws amendments documents below. 

  • House of Delegate Terms – Proposal to strike the wording that states a delegate’s term shall be from the opening of the convention until the opening of the next convention. Prior to each meeting of the house of delegates, chapters are provided with meeting details and asked to confirm, or update, their delegates in the Chapter Management System. This gives chapters the flexibility to identify delegates who are readily available to serve whenever they are needed without requiring that they serve a full two-year term. It is very common for chapter delegates to change during a two-year period due to availability
  • House of Delegate Meetings – Reword and clarify that delegates can meet electronically as allowed by law.
  • Quorums – By the recommendation of Sigma’s parliamentarian, and to align with common parliamentary practices, adjust the quorum needed for House of Delegates meetings from three-fourths of chapters to a majority of voting members of the house. Adjust the quorum needed for Board meetings from four officers and three non-officer directors to a majority of the Board. 
  • House of Delegates Authority & Amendment Voting – By the recommendation of Sigma’s parliamentarian, and to align with common parliamentary practices, lower the voting threshold needed to approve a special levy and bylaws amendments from three-fourths to two-thirds. 
  • Officers – Eliminate the Vice President position from the Sigma Board of Directors. Sigma has a long-standing and well-defined mentoring practice between the president and president-elect. Due to this practice, designating the president-elect to fill a presidential vacancy provides a stronger continuity of leadership.
  • Chapters & Committees – Remove details and procedures that should be housed in other Sigma governing documents.
  • Membership Meetings – Allow for annual membership meetings to be conducted by electronic means as allowed by law.
  • Parliamentary Authority – Replace “most recently published” edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised with the specific edition currently in use.

What delegates can expect at the biennial convention

The bylaws voting process will be handled in two parts.  

Part 1

Part one will consist of the consideration of and voting to accept the reformatted bylaws document. This is the streamlined and restructured version of Sigma’s existing document that reorders information and eliminates any duplication. This new version of the bylaws is in a single-column format with numbered lines, which will make locating information much easier. While this revision is not an exact duplicate of the existing bylaws, its updates do not change the intent of the original document.  

Part 2

After voting on the reformatted document, delegates will move on to part two of the process, which will feel like the routine presentation of bylaws amendments to which delegates are accustomed. Each of the 13 amendments will be presented one at a time for consideration and vote.

Learn more and stay informed

Delegates and chapter leaders will have several opportunities to learn more about these proposed changes. Be sure to use all of these available resources to stay informed:

  • View a recording from a Bylaws Review Session Access the slides and watch a recording from a Bylaws Review Session presented by President Ric Ricciardi and Governance Committee Chair Jennifer Saylor. These sessions presented each proposed amendment and allowed chapter leaders the opportunity to ask questions.

  • Ask a Question – If at any time you have questions not answered or addressed in any of the above-mentioned resources, email
  • Attend bylaws webcasts in August/September – Join the chair of Sigma’s Governance Committee to review all of the amendments to be presented to the House. Dates and registration information will be communicated via Leader Lines and the Delegate Forum.
  • View Bylaws FAQs

Governance Committee and Bylaws Task Force Members

Governance Committee 

Chair, Jennifer Saylor, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, Delaware, USA 
Debbie Anglade, PhD, MSN, RN, LHRM, CPHQ, CCM, Florida, USA 
Dorothy Dunn, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, AHN-BC, Massachusetts, USA 
Katrina Embrey, DNS, RN, Georgia, USA 
Steven Palazzo, PhD, MN, RN, CNE, Nevada, USA 
Amanda Veesart, PhD, RN, CNE, Texas, USA 
Elizabeth Weathers, PhD, BscN, RGN, Cork, Ireland 

Bylaws Revision Task Force 

Chair, Carol J. Huston, MSN, DPA, FAAN, California, USA 
Maura MacPhee, PhD, RN, Vancouver, Canada 
Jennifer Saylor, PhD, APRN, ACNS-BC, Delaware, USA 
Beth Baldwin Tigges, PhD, RN, PCPNP-BC, New Mexico, USA