Sigma Theta Tau Induction Ceremony

Matthew L. Self

Monday, Dec. 3, a select group of 36 nursing students from Washburn University, Baker University and Emporia State University, along with a few registered nurses, were admitted into Sigma Theta Tau, the nursing honor society, which is one of the largest nursing honor societies in the world with thousands of active members in various countries helping those who need them most. The students and nurses who applied for admittance into the honor society in Kansas, which has its own local chapter named Eta Kappa Chapter-at-Large, were recognized as the newest members of the Kansas chapter. Each new member left with a certificate of recognition, honor cords to wear at graduation and a purple membership ribbon.

Washburn University is proud to have 26 undergraduate students from the nursing program admitted into this incredible organization. The Washburn students who were inducted into the organization include Grace Bailey, Adrienne Bieker, Samantha Cockrell, Lindsey Hammes, Jeri Harvey, Hayden Hernandez, Rachel Holder, Tristen Lutz, Miranda Mansfield, Danielle Milazzo, Deb Rector, Alison Roggenkamp, Morgan Simmonds, Annie Tessendorf, Caroline Barnes, Andrea Blaauw, Kacie Herring, Natasha Manning, Carlee Meier, Emily Nolte, Courtney Panter, Rebecca Robbins, Mallory Schardein, Cara Simon, Shane Sumner and Kristen Thiessen.

Sigma Tau Theta began in 1922 when six Indiana University students founded the society with a vision for a new honor society meant to advance the nursing profession as a science and support nursing scholarships. The Eta Kappa Chapter-at-Large group in Kansas began in 1984 and at first, was meant for Washburn students but later added Baker University in 1998 and Emporia State in 2014. The society’s name comes from the Greek words meaning love, courage and honor.

Undergraduate students are required to be in the top 35 percent of their class, have above a 3.5 GPA and have no academic integrity issues to be able to qualify for membership in the organization. Registered nurses who become a part of the organization must apply for membership and excel in leadership, research or their professional practice to be able to become members in the honor society.

Sarah Tidwell, the president of Eta Kappa Chapter-at-Large, spoke about how Sigma Theta Tau benefits people around the world by supporting experts in the healthcare fields and by bringing together nurses from around the world to collaborate on research. She also spoke about how the Eta Kappa chapter helped to benefit Kansas residents in our local area.

“Eta Kappa collects food and hygiene items for homeless people in the community and participates in activities that raise money for homeless shelters. We also did a shoe drive that collected shoes for an African nation one year. At the national level, our organization is fully involved with nurses from around the world and has a seat at the UN,” said Tidwell.

The many activities and programs the organization sponsors on a worldwide level have benefitted thousands of people and the new inductees into the organization will help to further their goals of becoming the global organization of choice for nursing.

Alison Roggenkamp, one of the undergraduates who was inducted into the organization, said that she felt proud of herself for being admitted into the prestigious group.

“I felt very proud that my hard work had finally paid off and I got to be inducted into such an elite group. I think it will help continue to form me as a leader and network with nurses of all different backgrounds and specialties,” said Roggenkamp.

The undergraduate nurses who are now part of the organization will be graduating from Washburn next week to pursue their careers in healthcare. Each of them will bring with them a background of integrity, academic excellence, professionalism and leadership to the healthcare profession that they choose to go forward with. Each of them will also be a member of the honor society’s extensive network of healthcare professionals from around the world and will have access to their network to help advance world health.