Sigma, Global Nursing Excellence

Founded in 1922 by six nursing students at Indiana University, the nursing honor society, which later became Sigma Theta Tau and as of 2018 is now known as Sigma, began with one chapter and six members. During the past 94 years, it has evolved to 500 chapters across the globe, with more than 135,000 active members who live in more than 90 countries and territories. It also partners with more than 25 organizations including the World Health Organization, Johnson & Johnson, the People to People Ambassador Program, and others.

Sigma Global Nursing Excellence Logo

Upsilon Lambda

Upsilon LambdaHere at the MGH Institute, the impetus to establish the nursing program’s honor society emerged in 2003 as a joint effort between faculty and students of the Graduate Program in Nursing. Many of the nursing faculty were active in their local Sigma chapters and at a national level; they believed that the establishment of an honor society would further the professional development of leaders and scholars within the MGH Institute.

A cohort of faculty members stewarded the early years of the chapter development. These included Dr. Patrice Nicholas, Dr. Inge Corless, Dr. Joanne O’Sullivan, and Dr. Carol Picard.

Current Officers - 2023


The MGH Institute and its School of Nursing have strongly supported the growth of the honor society from its inception, and have offered in-kind support for educational and induction programs, developing a new website, and integrating the nursing honor society into the intellectual life of the MGH Institute community since the first induction in 2004. 

Current membership is nearly 500. Our application to join Sigma was approved May 2007, and accepted November 2007 at the annual meeting in Baltimore, MD. In spring 2008 a chartering ceremony of our chapter, Upsilon Lambda, and a celebration were held. We hope that you will be a member of the MGH Institute chapter of Sigma.

Our Purpose

The purpose of the honor society is to:

  • Recognize superior achievement and scholarship
  • Recognize the development of leadership qualities
  • Foster high professional standards
  • Encourage creative work
  • Strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession

Its mission is to provide “leadership and scholarship in practice [and] education and research to enhance the health of all people.” Numerous opportunities exist to design a meaningful membership experience, and as you move through stages of your professional career, you may discover membership benefits that meet your needs at specific points in time.

New member inductions are held every spring, and information about eligibility is available from faculty advisors and Sigma chapter officers.