|Article 1. Name, Key, Seal and Headquarters
The name of this
organization shall be Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Incorporated
(Sigma Theta Tau International), and it shall have an official key and corporate seal. The
Headquarters of the organization and the management of the organization shall be located
at the Center for Nursing Scholarship in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Article II. Purposes
The purposes of this Society shall be to:
1. Recognize superior achievement.
2. Recognize the development of leadership qualities.
3. Foster high professional standards.
4. Encourage creative work.
5. Strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession.
Section 1. Categories of Membership
- Regular Member
- Honorary Member
Section 2: Qualifications for Membership
- Sigma Theta Tau International does not discriminate. Candidates are qualified for membership so long as eligibility requirements are met.
- Student candidates shall have demonstrated superior academic achievement, academic integrity and professional leadership potential. (more information available)
- Regular Member
1) Students in Basic Program
- Definition – Basic program is defined as a baccalaureate or equivalent nursing degree program that leads to the first professional nursing degree.
- Academic Achievement – Students in basic programs shall be eligible for membership if they have achieved excellence according to the standards approved by the Society. (guidelines being created)
- Rank in class – Basic students who are elected shall rank not lower than the highest 35 percent of their class in scholarship. (guidelines available)
- Curriculum – Students shall have completed at least one-half of the required nursing curriculum.
- Exceptions – Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the chapter’s governance committee following the guidelines adopted by the International Board of Directors. (guidelines available)
2) Students in Graduate Programs
- Definition – Graduate program is defined as an accredited program of graduate study in nursing including master, post-master, doctoral and post-doctoral.
Academic Achievement – Students in graduate programs shall be eligible for membership if they have achieved excellence according to the standards approved by the Society. (guidelines being created)
- Curriculum – Students shall have completed a minimum of one-quarter of the required graduate curriculum.
- Exceptions – Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the chapter’s governance committee following the guidelines adopted by the International Board of Directors. (guidelines available)
A nurse leader, who is a registered nurse, legally
recognized to practice in his/her country with a
minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent
in any field, and who has demonstrated achievement
in nursing, shall be eligible for membership.
d. Honorary Member
An honorary member is any person who is not eligible for regular membership in Sigma Theta Tau International, but who has gained national and/or international recognition in the field of nursing or in any field contributing to nursing. (guidelines available)
Section 3. Selection of Members
- Student member candidates are required to be enrolled in an institution of higher education where the chapter is located to be considered for membership in that chapter. If there is no chapter at the institution of higher education in which the student attends, student member candidates may be considered for membership in another chapter. (guidelines being created)
- The nurse leader candidate may be selected for membership by any chapter.
- Honorary membership is awarded only by the Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International.
- Any active member through a chapter or the Board of Directors may nominate persons for honorary membership.
- Each member of the Board of Directors shall have one vote for each nominee based on established criteria. A favorable vote of three-fourths of the Board of Directors shall be necessary for election to honorary membership.
Section 4. Membership Status
Members may be designated as honorary, active or inactive. Members may also formally request to discontinue membership. Active members pay annual chapter and international fees. Honorary members are designated as active without payment of fees. Inactive members have not paid annual chapter and international fees, but shall become active at any time by paying current renewal fees.
Section 5. Rights and Responsibilities of Active Members
- Active regular members shall make a commitment to the purposes of the Society.
- Active regular members shall receive:
a) official Society publications;
b) priority for education programs; and
c) priority for research funding.
- Active regular members are eligible:
a) to vote (as outlined in the Sigma Theta Tau International Bylaws and Chapter Bylaws); and
b) to hold elective and appointive office.
- Active regular members may hold membership in more than one chapter by remitting multiple chapter fees and the Society fee annually. (instructions available)
- Active regular members may transfer from one chapter to another. (instructions available)
b. Honorary Member
a) be inducted and awarded the official key in locations and times decided upon by the international board of directors;
b) receive the society’s publications; and
c) be responsible for promoting and supporting the purposes of Sigma Theta Tau International.
Section 6. Revocation of Membership
Membership in the Society may be revoked at any time by a chapter to which the member belongs for just cause and after due process. Revocation of membership shall be determined at a meeting of the chapter, at which a quorum is present, by at least three-fourths vote for revocation by those present. (guidelines available)
Article IV. Chapters
Section 1. Definition of Chapter
A chapter is an organized division of nurse scholars and leaders that has met all of the requirements for establishment and has been granted a charter in accordance with the procedures required by the Society. An at-large chapter is an organized division of nurse scholars and leaders from two or more schools that has met all of the requirements for establishment and has been granted a charter in accordance with the procedures required by the Society. All chapters shall have regular members.
Section 2. Organization of a Chapter
a. Criteria for Chapter Development
A chapter may be established in an educational unit which is an integral part of a
college or university and which grants a baccalaureate or higher degree for completion of
the nursing program. The baccalaureate or basic higher degree nursing program within the
college or university shall have achieved accreditation by the nationally recognized
accrediting body for professional nursing. The group desiring a chapter shall petition the
Sigma Theta Tau International Board of Directors and comply with approved policies and
b. Chapter Models
1) One (1) school without a chapter
One school meeting the criteria listed in Article IV. Section 2. a. establishes an
honor society under the Society's guidelines.
2) Two (2) or more schools without a chapter
Two or more schools each meeting the criteria listed in Article IV. Section 2. a.
establish an honor society at large under the Society's guidelines. The honor society
at-large will apply to become a chapter at-large.
3) Amending an established chapter's charter
One or more schools meeting the criteria listed in Article IV. Section 2. a. establish
an honor society under the Society's guidelines. A chapter at-large is formed by amending
the established chapter's charter to include the school(s) comprising the honor society.
4) Alumni Chapter
An established chapter may become an alumni chapter when the school of nursing that
housed the chapter closes. Active members must agree to meet all the requirements for a
chapter in good standing with the exception of inducting members a minimum of one time
annually. The chapter must maintain an active membership of at least 100 members.
Section 3. Definition of Region
Sigma Theta Tau International chapters shall be organized into seven geographic areas
a. Each region is composed of chapters within the identified
b. Each region has a Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee chaired by the elected
Regional Chapters Coordinator and composed of at least four members focusing on activities
identified by the Regional Coordinator.
Section 4. Powers, Duties, Responsibilities
a. Each chapter shall function under bylaws, policies and regulations which are not in
conflict with these bylaws, policies and regulations.
b. Chapters are independent, autonomous organizations affiliated with the Society.
Chapters determine the amounts of their fees and assessments. Chapters have control of
their income, expenses, contracts, accounting systems and internal reports.
Section 5. Chapter Officers
a. Each chapter elects at least a chapter president, a vice president, a secretary, a
treasurer and a faculty counselor. Duties and terms of office shall be outlined in the
b. Officers shall assume their duties by at least July 1 of the year in which they are
Section 6. Chapter Committees
Each chapter shall have at least the following standing committees: an elected
Nominating Committee, and the following appointed committees: Chapter Bylaws Oversight
Eligibility Committee, Finance Committee, Program Committee, Membership Involvement
Section 7. Chapter Meetings
Each chapter shall have at least one annual (business) meeting and at least two
programs of a scholarly nature during each fiscal year. The annual (business) meeting,
where officers and committees present written annual reports to the membership, may be
held in conjunction with a scholarly program.
Section 8. Chapter Standing
To be in good standing, chapters shall fulfill the following requirements:
a. Support the purposes of this Society.
b. Select and induct eligible members a minimum of one time annually.
c. Cooperate with other chapters and the Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau
International in promoting these purposes.
d. Observe the provisions of these bylaws and comply with the Society's policies and
e. Meet all financial obligations.
f. File required reports promptly.
g. Participate in the biennial convention House of Delegates.
Section 9. Suspension, Revocation, Dissolution
a. The activities of a chapter may be suspended by the Board of Directors of Sigma
Theta Tau International for failure to comply with these bylaws or policies and
b. Upon recommendation of the Board of Directors, the House of Delegates may revoke the
charter of a chapter.
c. Any chapter may vote to dissolve itself.
d. Upon revocation of a charter, or dissolution of a chapter, all cash and other assets
remaining after the chapter's outstanding debts are paid should be returned to the
treasury of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Incorporated, or any
other appropriate non-profit organization approved by the Board of Directors. The
chapter's charter and coat-of-arms shall be returned to Headquarters. All members of the
chapter have the opportunity to transfer their membership to a chapter of their choice.
Section 10. Reactivation and Reinstatement of a Chapter
a. A chapter may be reactivated following suspension by action of the Sigma Theta Tau
International Board of Directors.
b. A chapter may be reinstated following revocation of its charter by meeting all the
requirements of a newly organizing chapter, If approved, the chapter shall receive a new
charter but retain its original name.
c. A chapter may be reinstated following dissolution by meeting all the requirements of
a newly organizing chapter. If approved, the chapter shall receive a new charter but
retain its original name.
Article V. House of Delegates
Section 1. Membership
a. Membership of the House of Delegates shall be 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.
Section 2. Meetings
a. The House of Delegates shall hold biennial conventions at a time and place
determined by the Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International.
b. The Board of Directors may call the House of Delegates into special sessions.
c. Each member of the House of Delegates has the right to cast one (1) vote; or, if any
chapter has only one (1) delegate attending, that delegate shall have two (2) votes.
d. Three (3) members of the Board of Directors who are not officers, together with four
(4) members of the Board of Directors who are officers of the Society and delegate
representation from three-fourths of the chapters constitute a quorum.
Section 3. Powers
a. The legislative and judicial powers of the Society shall be vested in the House of
b. The House of Delegates shall be vested with the following powers in addition to such
other powers as may be given in these bylaws to:
1 ) Revise and amend the bylaws.
2) Elect officers and other members of the Board of Directors and elected committees.
3) Make nominations from the floor for officers and committees.
4) Approve by a three-fourths vote such applications for charters as are recommended by
the Board of Directors.
5) Approve by a three-fourths vote the revocation of a charter when such action has
been recommended by the Board of Directors.
6) Adopt such rules and regulations for the conduct of its proceedings as may be
determined by a two-thirds vote of the House of Delegates at biennial convention.
7) Receive and act upon recommendations and matters referred to it.
8) Receive reports and the Board of Directors' approved biennial budget.
9) Levy special assessments when approved by a three fourths vote.
Section 4 Electronic Voting
a. Chapter delegates may vote electronically on chapter charter applications.
b. The procedures and time limitations for electronic voting shall be set by the Board of Directors. (procedure available)
Article VI. Annual Meeting of Members
Section 1. Annual meetings of members shall be on a date and at a place set by the
Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International.
Section 2. The agenda of the annual meeting is the presentation of annual reports and
other appropriate items.
Section 3. Active members shall receive notice of annual meetings through publications
and may register their intent to attend.
Section 4. In odd-numbered years, the annual meeting is the reporting session at the
opening session of the House of Delegates.
Section 5. In even-numbered years, the annual meeting is the reporting session of the
Board of Directors and committee chairs' meeting.
Article VII. Board of Directors
Section 1. Membership
The Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International shall consist of five (5)
elected officer directors, six (6) elected nonofficer directors, and the executive officer
who is a non-voting director.
Section 2. Focus
The Board of Directors' predominate focus is goal-setting, planning, policy
development, resource development, corporate oversight, evaluation and decision -making.
Section 3. Administration
The property, business and corporate affairs of the Society shall be managed by the
Board of Directors. The executive and administrative powers of the Society shall be vested
in the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall supervise and manage the Society,
its committees and publications; shall determine its policies or changes therein; shall
carry forward its objectives and monitor the disbursements of its funds. The Board of
Directors adopts such policies for the conduct of its business as shall be deemed
Section 4. Functions
The functions of the Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International include:
a. Reviewing applications for the establishment of new chapters and making
recommendations to the House of Delegates.
b. Granting charters to petitioning honor societies following a three-fourths
"yes" vote of the House of Delegates.
c. Granting approval for charter amendments.
d. Transacting necessary business of this Society between meetings of the House of
e. Making and enforcing rules and regulations for its own actions.
f. Filling any vacancy on the Board of Directors or on a committee occurring between
meetings of the House of Delegates, except for the office of president. These appointments
terminate at the following meeting of the House of Delegates.
g. Ratifying changes in the bylaws of the Society when approved by the House of
Delegates, as provided in Article XIV. Amendments to Bylaws.
h. Revoking the charter of a chapter upon a "yes" vote of three-fourths of
the House of Delegates.
i. Recommending the annual and induction fees in accordance with Article XI. Finance,
Sections 2, 3, 4 and 11.
j. Adopting a budget, setting the appropriate bonding level and selecting the auditor.
k. Investigating and recommending to the House of Delegates any matter pertaining to
the welfare of this Society
l. Electing persons for honorary membership.
m. Appointing an executive officer.
n. Submitting an annual report to chapters and a biennial report to the House of
Section 5. Meetings
a. The Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International shall meet as necessary to
conduct the business of the Society between meetings of the House of Delegates.
b. Three (3) members of the Board of Directors who are nonofficers together with four
(4) members of the Board of Directors who are officers shall constitute a quorum.
Article VIII. Officers
Section 1. Titles
The officers of this Society are required to be regular members of Sigma Theta Tau
International. The elected officers of the Society shall be: the president, the
president-elect, the vice president, the secretary and the treasurer.
Section 2. Duties
The duties of the officers shall be as follows:
a. The officers of the Society constitute the executive committee.
b. The executive committee shall conduct essential- business of the organization in the
interim between Board of Directors meetings as authorized by the Board of Directors.
c. The president shall be the presiding officer and shall administer all business of
the Society as provided for by the bylaws.
d. The president-elect shall succeed into the presidency at the end of the term of
e. The vice president shall perform the duties of the president in the president's
absence. In the event of the president vacating office during the term, the vice president
shall succeed into the presidency until the president-elect takes office at the next
meeting of the House of Delegates.
f. The secretary shall serve as the corporate secretary for the
Society and fulfill all duties authorized by the Board of Directors. g. The treasurer
shall be the corporate treasurer and fulfill all duties authorized by the Board of
Article IX. Elections
Section 1. Elections
Elections shall take place at biennial House of Delegates meetings.
Section 2. Positions
Elected positions shall be the five (5) elected officer directors, six (6) elected
non-officer directors, the Regional Chapters Coordinators, the chair of the Regional
Chapters Coordinating Committee, and members of the Nominating Committee and Research
Section 3. Vote
a. A majority vote shall elect officers.
b. A plurality vote shall elect the non-officer members of the Board of Directors and
elected committee members.
c. In the event of a tie, the election shall be determined by lot.
Section 4. Terms
a. Officer Directors
The five (5) officer directors will be elected for a term of two (2) years, or until
their successors are elected. Their term of office shall begin at the close of the meeting
at which they were elected. Officer directors may serve for a maximum of four (4)
consecutive years, with the exception of the president who may serve a maximum of eight
(8) consecutive years on the Board of Directors.
b. Non-Officer Directors
In 1999, those non-officer directors elected in 1997 for a two (2) year term will go
off the Board. Their successors will be elected to four (4) year terms. In succeeding
elections, the six (6) non-officer director terms will be staggered and they shall serve a
term of four (4) consecutive years or until their successors are elected. Three (3)
non-officer directors will be elected in alternating biennia. Non-officer directors may
serve a maximum of four (4) consecutive years on the Board of Directors.
c. Members shall hold no more than one elected office at a time.
d. Research Committee members and Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee members and
chair shall serve no longer than six (6) consecutive years.
Article X. Committees
1) Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee members’ term of office shall be two (2) years.
2) Two (2) members of the Governance Committee and two (2) members of the Leadership Succession Committee shall be elected each biennium for a four-year (4-year) term, and three (3) members of the Governance Committee and the Leadership Succession Committee shall be elected for a two-year (2-year) term.
Proviso for 2009: Five (5) members of the Governance Committee and five (5) members of the Leadership Succession Committee shall be elected to two-year (2-year) terms. Two (2) members of the Governance Committee and two (2) members of the Leadership Succession Committee shall be elected to four-year (4-year) terms. In 2011, those elected in 2009 for a two-year (2-year) term shall go off the Governance Committee and Leadership Succession Committee, respectively. Two (2) of their successors shall be elected to four-year (4-year) terms. The other three (3) successors shall be elected to two-year (2-year) terms.
Proviso for 2011: Three (3) members of the Governance Committee and three (3) members of the Leadership Succession Committee shall be elected to two-year (2-year) terms. Two (2) members of the Governance Committee and two (2) members of the Leadership Succession Committee shall be elected to four-year (4-year) terms. The members elected in the previous biennia for a four-year (4-year) term shall continue their service on the committee.
3) A committee member may not serve longer than six (6) consecutive years.
Section 1. Standing Committees
a.The standing committees shall be: Governance Committee, Leadership Succession Committee and Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee.
b. Each standing committee will provide consultation to chapters as congruent with
c. The president and executive officer are non-voting, ex-officio members of all
committees except the Nominating Committee.
d. Leadership Succession and Governance committee chairs are appointed by the president
e.Each standing committee chair shall present a biennial report to the Board of Directors and send an activity report to each Board of Directors meeting. (more information available)
f.A quorum shall be a majority of memebers on the committee.
h. A majority vote constitutes approval.
Section 2. Bylaws Committee
a. Mission - The Bylaws Committee shall submit amendments in accordance with Article
XIV. Amendments to Bylaws; shall consider, edit and/or correlate such amendments as it may
originate and as are referred to it by the House of Delegates, the Board of Directors or
chapters; and shall review all chapter bylaws periodically.
b. Membership - The Bylaws Committee shall consist of at least seven (7) appointed
members representing each region and a chair with the Eligibility Committee chair and the
Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee chair as nonvoting, ex-officio members.
c. The Bylaws Committee chair is a non-voting, ex-officio member of the Eligibility
Section 2. Governance
- Mission – The Governance Committee shall oversee bylaws compliance, make recommendations for bylaws changes, and oversee member and chapter eligibility issues.
- Membership – The Governance Committee shall consist of at least seven (7) elected members.
Section 3. Leadership Succession Committee
- Mission – The Leadership Succession Committee shall develop members in organizational leadership roles across the span of their careers and mentor members to assume organizational board and officer positions at all levels of organizations. The committee shall select nominees and prepare the biennial ballot. The ballot will be sent to the Board of Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International at least two (2) months prior to the biennial meeting and to the chapters at least one (1) month prior to this meeting.
- Membership – The Leadership Succession Committee shall consist of seven (7) elected members.
- The Leadership Succession Committee members shall be ineligible for any elected office on the ballot prepared by the Committee.
Section 4. Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee
- Mission – The Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee shall facilitate the work of the chapter leaders by advancing initiatives that meet the needs of the chapters and fulfill the mission of the Society.
- Membership – The Regional Chapters Coordinating Committee shall consist of the chair and each region’s Regional Chapters Coordinator, elected by the delegates at the meeting of the House of Delegates. Delegates from each region shall elect their Regional Chapters Coordinator at the House of Delegates. Each Regional Chapters Coordinator serves as chair of the Regional Committee appointed in his/her respective region.
Section 5. Board Advisory Councils
- Mission – Board Advisory Councils shall inform the Board of current and future issues, directions and priorities of the society.
- Membership – Board Advisory Councils shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for a term through the close of the biennial convention unless reappointed.
Section 6. Task Forces
- Mission – Task Forces are formed to complete an assigned task within a specified time frame.
- Membership – Task Forces are formed by the Board, Standing Committees, Board Advisory Councils and staff. They are made up of members who bring expertise, interest and commitment to complete an assigned task.
Article XI. Finance
Section 1. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year shall be July 1 through June 30.
Section 2. Chapter Fees and Assessments
a. The annual fee shall be collected from each chapter in September of each fiscal year
or, for new chapters, in September of the odd-numbered year after a charter is granted.
This fee will be based on the number of regular members excluding inactive members in the
chapter for the prior membership year ending June 30 (policy available)
Section 3. Fees
- Membership Fee: Each member shall pay an annual fee to maintain active member benefits.
- Induction Fee: Each new member shall pay a Society membership fee and a chapter induction fee as described in the chapter bylaws. This fee covers the cost of induction and active membership for one twelve-month period.
Section 4. Honorary Membership Fee
There shall be no induction or renewal fee for an honorary member.
Section 5. Expenses – Board of Directors
The expenses for the members of the International Board of Directors shall be paid by the Society treasury when they attend the meetings of the House of Delegates or the meetings of the Board of Directors.
Section 6. Expenses – Committee
Authorized expenses of standing and special committees, board advisory councils and task forces shall be reimbursed by the Society treasury.
Section 7. Expenses – Chartering of Chapters
The Society treasury shall pay for the charter, coat-of-arms, book in which the membership roster is recorded, and installing officer’s expenses at the time of the chartering of the new chapter. The chapter shall pay a chartering fee plus the cost of inscribing the names on the charter.
Section 8. Fee Changes
Adjustments to the fee schedule shall be approved by the Sigma Theta Tau International Board of Directors. Fee schedule adjustments shall not occur more than once a biennium and shall not exceed the cumulative Consumer Price Index (CPI) percentage rate. Any adjustments, accompanied by rationale, will be provided to membership sixty (60) days in advance of the effective date. (information available)
Article XII. Official Publications
The Board of Directors shall authorize publication of an official journal and other publications as it deems appropriate according to policies and procedures established by the Board of Directors.
Article XIII. Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws or special rules of order of the Society
Article XIV. Amendments to Bylaws
Section 1. Amendments with Notice These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the
House of Delegates by a three-fourths "yes" vote of members present and voting.
All proposed amendments shall be in the possession of the secretary two (2) months
preceding the biennial meeting of the House of Delegates. They shall be appended to the
Call to Convention, which shall be sent out at least one (1) month in advance of the
Section 2. Amendments without Notice
These bylaws may be amended by unanimous vote of the House of Delegates without
Section 3. Revisions
These bylaws may be revised only upon authority of the House of Delegates.
Section 4. Amendments
Any amendments to these bylaws approved by the House of Delegates or editorial changes
approved by the Board of Directors that are also applicable to the chapters shall be
incorporated into the chapter bylaws.
Article XV. Amendments to Articles of Incorporation
These Articles may be amended or repealed by a majority vote of active members present
and voting at any annual meeting of members of the Society. Notice of such changes is
required to be sent in writing to all active members at least thirty (30) days before such
meeting. Articles may also be amended or repealed by a majority affirmative votes of those
voting by a thirty (30) day mail ballot.
Article XVI. Dissolution
A resolution for the dissolution of the Society shall be signed by a majority of active
chapters entitled to vote and shall be presented at a regular meeting of the Board of
Directors of Sigma Theta Tau International. The Board of Directors shall then call a
special meeting of the House of Delegates for the purposes of considering and acting upon
such resolution. If three-fourths of those Delegates present and voting shall vote for
dissolution, the Board of Directors shall take the necessary steps to conclude the affairs
of the Society in accordance with statutory requirements existing at the date such action
is taken. After payment or making provision for payment of all debts and liabilities
incurred by the Society, the Board of Directors shall dispose of all assets of the Society
exclusively for the purposes of the Society to the American Nurses' Foundation or other
appropriate organization operated for educational or scientific purposes. The recipient
organization or organizations shall at the time qualify as exempt organizations under
Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for 1954 (or the corresponding provision of
any future United States Revenue Law).
Article XVII. General Provisions
Officers and employees shall be indemnified by the Society for any and all civil
liabilities for conducting their official duties, except in circumstances and cases of
conducting their duties in bad faith.
Sigma Theta Tau International
Honor Society of Nursing
550 West North Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202 USA
Toll Free: 1-888-634-7575(Canada/USA)
Web Site: www.nursingsociety.org