The University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing became the 500th chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, an organization of nurse leaders, scholars and researchers. The chapter will be known as Phi Chi, according to a news release.
Jere Hammer, RN, MSN, PhD, a UHV assistant professor of nursing who will serve as Phi Chi president, said being the 500th chapter adds to the excitement.
“Its like a good fortune cookie,” she said in the release. “We wanted to keep that number because it seems like a special position in the international organization.”
An on-campus ceremony and reception capped a three-year application process directed by UHV School of Nursing faculty and alumni.
Kathryn Tart, RN, EdD, founding dean of the UHV School of Nursing, said in the release that having a Sigma Theta Tau chapter was a dream of the faculty since the university began its nursing program in 2006.
“This has always been something I supported,” she said. “It’s the only international honor society in our profession. There’s nothing else like this.”
Sigma Theta Tau was founded in 1922 and has chapters in 86 countries. The organization just celebrated its 90th year and has about 130,000 active members. The society contributes more than $200,000 annually to nursing research through grants, scholarships and monetary awards.
UHV School of Nursing officials began the process of establishing a chapter after the school’s programs received accreditation in March 2010 from the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education, according to the news release. UHV also partnered with the leadership team of the Beta Beta Houston Texas Woman’s University Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau during the application process.
In other news, the 2013 Hands of Caring ceremony Jan. 25 formally introduced second-degree nursing students into the profession and gave family members an inside look at the school of nursing and program.
“The Hands of Caring is an important event because these students are dedicating their lives to caring for others in the nursing profession,” Tart said in the release. “One of the best tools nurses have is their hands. Our hands become instruments of caring.”
The second-degree BSN program allows individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another field to become nurses in a year after meeting admission criteria. Most students start the program in January and graduate in December, the release stated.
Families met faculty and students, and received a tour of nursing educational facilities. “The more families understand the amount of work that these students will encounter, the more support they will give them,” Tart said in the release.