Glossary of Sigma Theta Tau International Terms
Academic Integrity – Academic integrity is the commitment by scholars, even in the
face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect and
responsibility. (definition from the Center for Academic Integrity, USA)
Active Member – An active member is an individual who has paid her/his international
and chapter membership fees for the current year. This entitles him/her to specific
Advisory Council – An advisory council is a group of members who have been
appointed by a board of directors to provide advice on current and future issues,
directions and priorities of the society and/or chapter.
Alumni Chapter – An alumni chapter is a chapter in which the school of nursing where
the chapter was originally established has since closed. Alumni chapters induct only
nurse leader members but meet all other chapter requirements.
At-large Chapter – An at-large chapter is an organized group of nurse students and
leaders from two or more schools that has met all of the requirements for establishment
of a chapter and has been granted a charter in accordance with the procedures required
by the Society. Each school receives recognition as the chapter of the organization.
Board of Directors – The Board of Directors (whether at the international or chapter
level) is the elected group of members given the executive and administrative powers
for the society (or chapter). Specific responsibilities and functions of the international
board of directors and chapter board of directors are outlined in the respective group’s
Bylaws – Bylaws are the governing document of the international organization (or
chapter when referring to chapter bylaws) outlining the laws of the organization, rules
for general management and operation of the organization and duties and
responsibilities of members and leaders. Model chapter bylaws are provided as a
general framework for chapter governance and activities.
Chapter – A chapter is an organized group of nurse students and leaders that has met
all of the requirements for establishment of a chapter and has been granted a charter in
accordance with the procedures required by the Society.
Chapter Assessment Fee – The chapter assessment fee is an annual fee each
chapter pays to support the society ensuring dependable access to chapter services
Chapter Membership Fee - Each chapter sets an annual chapter membership fee for
its members to pay to continue being an active member of the organization. The
average fee for chapter membership is US$25 but the amount is determined by the
chapter’s board of directors. The chapter receives the entire amount of the chapter fee.
Charter – The charter is a listing of the members inducted into the group when the
chapter officially became part of Sigma Theta Tau International.
Charter Member – A charter member is one who joins the chapter during its chartering
ceremony. The member can be joining Sigma Theta Tau International for the first ti me
or can be transferring her/his membership to the new chapter or joining the new chapter
in addition to another chapter to which he/she belongs. Charter members’ names
appear on the chapter charter.
Chartering Ceremony – A chartering ceremony is an event in which a chapter officially
becomes a part of Sigma Theta Tau International. An induction of members into the
chapter and the international organization is a part of the chartering ceremony.
Chartering Officer – A chartering officer is a person designated by Sigma Theta Tau
International headquarters to officiate or lead the chartering ceremony.
Consumer Price Index – The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average
change in prices of goods and services purchased by households. This figure is
researched and issued by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and is based
only on price activity in the United States.
Dual Membership – Dual membership means maintaining membership in more than
one chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. Dual members pay one international
membership fee and chapter fees for all of the chapters to which they choose to belong.
Fidelity Bonding – Fidelity bonding is an insurance coverage available in some
countries that protects an organization’s assets in the e vent of fraudulent activities of an
employee, group of employees, member or leader.
Fiscal Year – A fiscal year is a period of 12 months designated for accounting
purposes. Sigma Theta Tau International’s fiscal year is 1 July – 30 June.
Grade Point Average – Grade point average is a scale used to measure academic
achievement at some institutions of higher education.
Headquarters – Headquarters is the location for most STTI staff for working purposes.
It is also known as the International Center for Nursing Scholarship.
Honor Society – An honor society is an organized group of nurse students and leaders
whose intent is to meet the requirements for the establishment of a Sigma Theta Tau
Honor Society Membership Fee – Each honor society sets an annual membership fee
for its members to pay to the honor society. The average fee for honor society
membership is US$15 but the amount is determined by the honor society’s board of
directors. None of this money is sent to international headquarters.
Honorary Member – An honorary member is a person 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.
House of Delegates – The House of Delegates is the biennial business meeting of
Sigma Theta Tau International. 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.
Inactive Member – An inactive member is one who was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau
International at some time in the past, but has not paid her/his membership fees for the
current year. An inactive member can become an active member at any time by paying
the current year’s membership fees based on the chapter in which she/he is a member.
Indemnity Insurance – Indemnity insurance provides coverage for an organization that
protects the organization from any liability claims. This may not be available in all
Induction Ceremony – An induction ceremony is an event in which nurse scholars and
leaders become members of the organization. The ceremony is the official recognition
of new members however, if approved for membership can begin receiving membership
benefits as soon as the membership dues have been paid. Chapters are required to
have at least one induction ceremony per year.
Induction Fee – An induction fee is the amount of money owed for a qualified
candidate to become a member of Sigma Theta Tau International. The induction fee
also serves as the international membership fee for an individual’s first year of
International Center for Nursing Scholarship – The International Center for Nursing
Scholarship is the permanent headquarters for Sigma Theta Tau International. It was
envisioned to be a “nerve center” for nurses worldwide providing continuing commitment
to knowledge, the strengthening of the scientific base of knowledge and the ability to
share that knowledge.
International Membership Fee – Once an honor society becomes a chapter, each
member must pay an annual international member fee in addition to a chapter fee
entitling him/her to international membership benefits . The international membership
fee for residents of high-income countries is currently US$55. STTI headquarters
receives the international fee.
Life Member – A life member is a special category of membership offered by 44
chapters prior to 1976. Those members who took advantage of this special category
are still designated as life members, but since 1 July 1976, this category has no longer
been available. Some chapters recognize this special membership category through
reduced annual chapter membership fees.
Membership Subsidy Fund – The membership subsidy fund is monies used to
underwrite or subsidize up to 75% of the annual membership fees for members needing
temporary financial assistance. The stipends are furnished on a confidential basis.
Members may use the subsidy up to two times during his/her membership with the
Nongovernmental Organization - A nongovernmental organization is a corporation
formed for the benefit of its members and/or the general public outside of a country’s
governmental system. Monetary disbursements are not made to members in such a
corporation. See also nonprofit organization and not-for-profit organization.
Nonprofit Organization – A nonprofit organization is a corporation formed for the
benefit of its members and/or the general public outside of a country’s governmental
system. Monetary disbursements are not made to members in such a corporation. See
also nongovernmental organization and not-for-profit organization.
Not-for-Profit Organization - A not-for-profit organization is a corporation formed for
the benefit of its members and/or the general public outside of a country’s governmental
system. Monetary disbursements are not made to members in such a corporation. See
also nongovernmental organization and nonprofit organization.
Nurse Leader – Nurse leader is a category of membership in the organization for
practicing nurses. Qualifications include being a registered nurse, legally recognized to
practice in his/her country, who has earned a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the
equivalent in any field, and who has demonstrated achievement in nursing.
Organizational Affiliate – An organizational affiliate of Sigma Theta Tau International
is a legally recognized organization whose purposes, goals and initiatives are consistent
with and supportive of Sigma Theta Tau International’s purposes, goals and initiatives.
Organizational affiliates have entered into a formal agreement with the society.
Quorum – A quorum is a minimum number of members required to be present at a
meeting to legally conduct business for the society.
Region – There are two divisions of regions within Sigma Theta Tau International.
Chapters are assigned to one of 15 geographic regions for governance and
administrative purposes. These regions are led by volunteer regional coordinators.
Sigma Theta Tau International also has categorized countries into 9 regions of the world
that are referred to for organizational reporting purposes.
Scholarly Program – A scholarly program is an event in which nursing knowledge is
shared among nurses. It can be a presentation on nursing research, new products for
nursing, new technologies that can assist nurses, management techniques, efforts in
nurse retention, health care reform, social issues, ethical issues , professional growth
and development, just to name a few.
Scholarship – Scholarship reflects a high quality of work and commands respect and
recognition. Over time, scholarship is deeply c herished and used. (From “scholars,
scholarship and nursing scholarship” by Madeleine Leininger)
Task Force – A task force is a group of members or otherwise qualified individuals
formed to completed an assignment within a specific timeframe.
Transfer Membership – A member who is inducted into one chapter of Sigma Theta
Tau International can choose to change her or his chapter membership by notifying
headquarters. Membership in one chapter is frequently transferred to another chapter
when a new chapter forms in an area and when a member moves to an area with
another chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International so she/he can participate in local
meeting and events.
Abbreviations Frequently Used
CLA – Chapter Leader Academy, a training conference for the organization’s chapter
CLE – Chapter Leader Emphasis, a publication for chapter leaders
CTF – Create the Future Through Renewal, STTI electronic publication for members
after their first two years of membership
ENK – Excellence on Nursing Knowledge, STTI electronic publication
JNS – Journal of Nursing Scholarship, STTI publication
NKI – Nursing Knowledge International, a subsidiary of STTI
RNL – Reflections on Nursing Leadership, STTI publication
STTI - Sigma Theta Tau International
YBH – You Belong Here, STTI electronic publication for members during their first two
years of membership