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Sigma Theta Tau chapter celebrates 50th anniversary


The Michigan State University College of Nursing’s Sigma Theta Tau chapter, Alpha Psi, might have turned 50 two years ago, but members are planning to celebrate the big occasion this year after COVID-19 derailed plans. 

The nursing honor society has more than 135,000 members globally and over 50 members in the Alpha Psi chapter. Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing was founded in 1922 at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses. New student members are inducted based on grade point average and demonstrated leadership potential whereas community members are inducted based upon established leadership.   

Alpha Psi President Mary Kay Smith said induction into the organization is beneficial on many levels for students.  

“To be a part of this organization is multi-faceted. It promotes and recognizes leadership as the members have all demonstrated leadership in whatever niche they happen to be in,” Smith said. “Sigma Theta Tau also provides opportunities for community nurse leaders to advance themselves and further develop themselves professionally and personally.” 

Sigma offers its members grants, scholarships, awards, attendance of educational and research conferences and continuous support in their academic and professional endeavors. Within their specific chapters, members of Sigma Theta Tau can take advantage of webinars and professional development opportunities, chapter meetings, and local activities.  

The chapter’s resources to guide the future of MSU students has helped current PhD student Mohammed Alanazi. 

“I have utilized the resources that Sigma provided on the website and the monthly emails. I remember that I submitted a grant application to Sigma in 2019 and had very constructive and valuable feedback,” Alanazi said. “This helped shape my research focus and advance in my PhD journey.” 

To celebrate the 50th anniversary, Sigma Theta Tau recognized the MSU Alpha Psi chapter at the international conference this past year. To further their celebrations, the chapter is planning an event in late spring. Furthermore, a plaque honoring the chapter and organization is currently displayed in the second floor A-wing of the Life Sciences building above the Alpha Psi display case.  

Smith said MSU’s chapter is motivated to continue serving its members and community to achieve another 50 years. This year’s goal is to “Be Bold.”  

“With Sigma Theta Tau being comprised of leaders, and the motto being ‘leadership, scholarship, and service,’ it’s the perfect triad for us to be bold,” Smith said. “We have never been more needed than we are now and it’s a very opportune time for all nurses to operationalize our mission.”