The CEO of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) reminds readers of the three C’s in the president’s call to action and highlights another C—The Circle.
By now, you have seen President Beth Tigges’ call to action: Connect, Collaborate, Catalyze. Over the course of the biennium, I’ve certainly seen member and chapter activities that exemplify the three C’s of her call. Here’s a fourth C to consider: The Circle.
The Circle is Sigma’s social and professional networking site, and it provides a place for all members to implement the three C’s. There are now 18 communities of interest on The Circle in which to connect with others, the most recent being the community for nursing research. These topical communities serve as conversation hubs, engaging members globally in thoughtful exchanges about the nursing profession.
The Circle is also home to Sigma’s Career Center, where members can catalyze their careers by accessing the job board and receiving support from peers in the Career Advice Forum. Members can also find opportunities to collaborate locally on The Circle by visiting their chapter websites or creating contacts through the member directory. Thanks to the hard work of Sigma volunteers who serve as community facilitators and staff members who assist with infrastructure and support, The Circle’s communities boast a combined total of—at last count—8,674 members and almost 900 discussions per month.
I see many examples of connecting on The Circle. New members are encouraged to introduce themselves and their interests. I am both proud and gratified by the warm welcome our new members get, whether students or nurse leaders. This hospitable environment helps them develop instant connections with the organization, making Sigma stronger as we pursue our mission.
It may surprise you to learn that the age range of those using The Circle represents the entire span of Sigma’s membership. Not only do our younger nurse colleagues use the technology but also members transitioning (or already transitioned) into retirement—and everyone in between. Daily, members access The Circle from all over the world, from each of our seven global regions. More than 7,500 members have developed one-on-one connections with other members on The Circle, adding one another to personal networks on their profiles.
Collaboration via The Circle’s discussion forums spans countries, language barriers, and other societal divides. Most recently, the pediatrics community has been discussing vaping and electronic cigarettes, with dialog focusing on how to engage adolescents on the topic. In the community/public health nursing forum, members from multiple regions have been dialoguing about programs for sexually transmitted illnesses in response to a member query. I’ve seen several conversations about starting home health agencies in countries with developing healthcare systems. This is perhaps what I enjoy most when reading posts on The Circle—the global collaboration. It reminds me that we have more in common as nurses than we might think!
Catalyzing is about transformation. As President Tigges stated in her initial presentation to members at the 44th Biennial Convention in Indianapolis, we all need to act “glocally”—applying global principles to our local areas and practices. The Circle helps members from across the world share thoughts, ideas, and resources that can directly affect advancement of world health.
This transformation may be personal, aided by support from others. Evidence for this is Laura’s Broussard’s story in Reflections on Nursing Leadership in which she tells about her search for a residency position that a Career Advice Forum helped facilitate. With support from fellow members on The Circle, she enlisted help, made changes to her résumé, and obtained a residency. (The offer came the same day her article was posted in RNL!) When I read Laura’s story, it demonstrated once again that The Circle really does facilitate effective networking.
That’s the beauty of The Circle—it’s your member-to-member community. It’s a welcoming space to seek advice or share your own, to volunteer with a community or apply to start a new one, and to engage with your local chapter or add contacts to build your network.
The Circle is available to all active members. If you haven’t made your visit yet, there isn’t a better time to start! Your peers and colleagues are waiting to connect on topics important to nursing, and your collaboration is needed. Together, we’ll continue to work on catalyzing via The Circle, whether it’s improving health standards around the world or helping our peers realize their career dreams.
If you need help getting started, Sigma staff members are here to answer your questions. We’re interested in helping you Connect, Collaborate, and Catalyze through The Circle! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To visit The Circle now, click here. RNL
Elizabeth “Liz” Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN