Suzanne S. Prevost, PhD, RN, COI
The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) has been an international organization for more than 30 years; but throughout those years, the overwhelming majority of our members have been Americans. Since 2009, we have made a concerted effort to become a more “intentionally global” organization. Today I will share a few of the indicators of forward movement with this globalization agenda.
During 2012, our membership peaked at 131,980 with 486 chapters spread across 24 countries and members residing in 86 countries. At our last biennial convention, we officially transitioned from an organizational structure based on North American regions to our new global regional structure, which is a slightly modified version of the United Nations regional structure. We elected coordinators for each of our six global regions. Those coordinators are now actively facilitating the growth of our society in each of those regions of the world. Last year we established our first international office outside of North America. This new office in South Africa is providing support to our members and leaders across the African continent. At our forthcoming biennial convention in November 2013, President-Elect Hester Klopper, who is from South Africa, will transition to the office of president; she will be the first member from beyond North America to do so.
Local groups are forming nursing honor societies around the world; and many of those are moving forward through the process to be chartered as official STTI chapters. New chapters will soon be chartered in Armenia, Thailand, and Lebanon; and new honor societies are evolving in Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, England, Ghana, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, New Zealand, Norway, Macao, Panama, Peru, and the Philippines. Many of our long-standing chapters are reaching out to collaborate and provide support to individual members, honor societies, and new chapters in developing regions of the world.
The venues, participants, and presentations at our major conferences demonstrate our expanding global impact. Presenters from 30 countries and participants from 36 countries attended STTI’s International Nursing Research Congress in Brisbane, Australia, in 2012.
Our international staff members are currently busy planning our next congress, to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, in July 2013. More than 1,000 research abstracts were received for the 2013 congress, and more than 60 percent of those abstracts were from nurses who live outside of North America. Of those abstracts accepted for presentations for the 2013 congress, the authors hail from 46 different countries. Additionally, regional conferences were hosted during the past year in Africa, Europe, and North America.
Our members around the world are collaborating to share common challenges and innovative strategies through our committees, councils, task forces, and communities of interest on The Circle
, our social networking site. More than 260 of our members are collaborating as participants in our International Academic Nursing Alliance
Seventy-eight of our members are engaged in formal leadership development activities under the guidance of expert mentors through our Geriatric, Maternal-Child Health, and Nurse Faculty leadership academies. This includes our new South African cohort of the Maternal-Child Health Nurse Leadership Academy.
One of our most exciting international initiatives is our growing partnership with the United Nations. As we continue our support for the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and other activities to promote world health, our honor society was officially approved as a new member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Each of these activities and accomplishments affirms our progress toward our Vision 2020
as an intentionally global organization. We remain grateful for our growing network of nurse scholars and leaders who are committed to working together to improve the health of the world’s people.
Suzanne S. Prevost, PhD, RN, COI
Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International