Iota-Epsilon Nursing Honor Society

In 1922 six nurses founded Sigma Theta Tau at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, now the Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis, Ind, USA. The founders chose the name from the Greek words Storgé, Tharsos and Timé meaning "love," "courage" and "honor." The honor society became incorporated in 1985 as Sigma Theta Tau International, Inc., a not-for-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) tax status in the United States.

Organizational Mission

The mission of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International is to support the learning, knowledge, and professional development of nurses committed to making a difference in health worldwide.

Society Vision

The vision of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International is to create a global community of nurses who lead in using knowledge, scholarship, service and learning to improve the health of the world’s people.


Membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing. Here are some additional facts about our membership:

  • More than 405,000 members have been inducted worldwide.
  • More than 130,000 active members make Sigma Theta Tau International the second largest nursing organization in the United States.
  • Members reside in more than 114 countries.
  • Sixty-one percent of active members hold master’s and/or doctoral degrees; 26 percent are staff nurse/clinicians; 20 percent are nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, or clinical specialists; 16 percent are administrators or supervisors; and 23 percent are educators or researchers
  • There are 463 chapters on college campuses in Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Swaziland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Wales and the United States.
  • The honor society communicates regularly with more than 100 nurse leaders who have expressed interest in establishing a chapter in other countries and territories, including Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, India, Ireland, Israel, Germany, Jamaica, Lebanon, Lithuania, New Zealand, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom.