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Home : Chapter Information : Start a Chapter : Frequently Asked Questions about starting an STTI chapter

Frequently Asked Questions

Read these frequently asked questions about starting an STTI chapter or joining an at-large chapter.

Q: Can a chapter or at-large chapter be established in a state, region or country, or must it be formed at an institution of higher education?
A: According to Sigma Theta Tau International Bylaws Article IV, Section 2.a: “A chapter may
be established in an educational unit which is an integral part of an institution of higher
education and that grants a baccalaureate or equivalent degree, which leads to the first
professional nursing degree.” However, schools and/or institutions of higher education from
various states, regions or countries can collaborate to form one at-large chapter.

Q: The highest degree granted at my school of nursing is an associate’s degree. Can we still have a chapter?
A: No. According to the bylaws, only universities and institutions of higher education that grant
a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent are eligible to establish a chapter or at
large chapter, or to join an existing chapter or at-large chapter.

Q: How do I know if the institution of higher education where I want to start a chapter or
at-large chapter is properly accredited?

A: According to Sigma Theta Tau International Bylaws Article IV, Section 2.a: “The
baccalaureate or equivalent degree nursing program within the institution of higher education
shall be accredited by a recognized accrediting body. In the event there is no nursing
accreditation system in place in the potential chapter’s country, the program shall provide
evidence of its quality.” Please note that it is the actual degree program, not the overall
institution, that must be accredited. In the United States, recognized accrediting bodies
are the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. For other countries, the accrediting agency may be the Ministry of Health or Education or a national or provincial nursing council.

Q: According to the guidelines, we need to have functioned for one year before applying to become a chapter or at-large chapter. How do we determine what is one year?
A: One year is marked from the day of your first induction ceremony. Also note that honor
societies need to have collected renewal fees at least once prior to applying for chapter charter.

Q: May our inductees purchase and wear STTI honor cords?
A: The privilege of wearing an honor cord is a benefit of STTI membership and is a symbol of that recognition. Therefore, honor society inductees are not allowed to purchase or wear honor cords.

Q: Are we required to send representatives to the biennial convention?
A: All chapters and at-large chapters are required to have representation at the House of
Delegates during each biennial convention. Honor societies that are still in the development
stages are welcomed and encouraged to attend, but are not required to attend.

Q: There is so much to do! Where do I start?
A: A good place to start is to determine whether or not there is interest and support at your
institution of higher education for a chapter or at-large chapter. If adequate support is found both from university officials and potential members, officially establishing the honor society by choosing a name and appointing a board of directors is the next step. More information can be found on start a chapter webpage

Q: How much do we charge for honor society membership?
A:  Your honor society induction/membership fee is determined by your board of directors. The amount of the fees should provide the honor society with enough income to pay for its expenses for a minimum of one year.

Q:  What is the difference between an induction fee and a renewal fee?
A:  An induction fee is the amount that is charged when a candidate becomes a member of your honor society and is inducted. A renewal fee is the amount of dues that is charged annually for a member to remain active with your honor society.

Q:  Do we have to charge different amounts for the induction fee and the renewal fee?
A:  No, the amounts can be the same if the honor society wants. It is a decision for the honor society board of directors what amounts to charge.

Q: Do we pay any money to STTI before we apply to become a chapter or at-large chapter?
A: No. You owe no money to STTI until the actual chartering ceremony. At that time, the chapter or at-large chapter will be expected to pay a US$300 chartering fee and all members that join the chapter or at-large chapter in a high-income country will be responsible for paying a US$65 international induction fee; for middle- and low-income countries, please refer to the International Sliding Scale of Fees.

Q: Can we keep our finances in a university bank account?
A: Many honor societies find that it is beneficial to keep their finances in an institution of higher
education’s bank account. Once an honor society becomes a chapter or at-large chapter, it is
encouraged to investigate opening its own bank account outside the institution.

Q: Can nurses who are already members of STTI be inducted into our honor society?
A: No, they cannot be inducted. They can join your honor society in addition to the STTI chapter that they currently belong to, regardless if they are active or inactive in that chapter. Any STTI member that wishes to become part of an honor society may simply pay the regular honor society renewal fee and join as a regular member. There is no need for these individuals to submit an application or go through the induction ceremony.

Q: Can alumni of our nursing program that would not have qualified for membership as a
student be considered as candidates for nurse leader membership?

A: Yes. As long as the alumni meet the requirements stated in the bylaws for a nurse leader.
You can review the nurse leader candidate criteria. As an honor society, you also have the option of considering these members as “alumni” members within the student membership category. If they met the student criteria for membership while they were a student, even though there was not a honor society at that time, they can be inducted within that student category.

Q: There is a nurse in the community that does not have a baccalaureate or equivalent
degree, but has done some state and nationally recognized leadership initiatives to
influence health care. Is a baccalaureate or equivalent degree an absolute requirement
for membership?
A: Yes, nurse leader candidates are required to have a minimum of a baccalaureate or equivalent degree. The degree does not necessarily have to be a degree in nursing as long as the potential member is a registered nurse and has made achievements in the field of nursing. Chapters may nominate individuals who do not qualify for STTI membership as Honorary Members of STTI and the International Board of Directors will review their application. Read more information on honorary membership.

Honor Society/Chapter Leaders
Q: Can students be elected as members of the honor society’s board of directors?
A: Students do serve on some honor society’s boards of directors. There is nothing in the bylaws that prohibits it. Having diversity on your board of directors ensures a variety of nursing perspectives are represented within the chapter and can lead to greater membership retention.


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