From the CEO: What is scholarship for Sigma? Where do we go from here?

By Elizabeth A. Madigan | 10/02/2018

Liz Madigan outlines ways Sigma currently promotes scholarship and asks members to send her ideas on how the honor society can better support them in their scholarship efforts.

Elizabeth MadiganOne of our primary focus areas is scholarship, but what does that mean for Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma)? In the 2013-15 biennium, the board of directors commissioned a committee led by Tara Hulsey, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN; Laurie Nagelsmith, PhD, RN, CNE; and Nancy Sharts-Hopko, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, CNE, that defined scholarship based on past work by Sigma leaders and writings from contemporary nursing and higher education. The summary paragraph of their report gives us direction:

Sigma Theta Tau International’s position is that all aspects of scholarship as described by Boyer (1996), and expanded upon by others, contribute to advancing world health. Relevant nursing scholarship emanates from all types of settings and encompasses a wide and growing array of basic research methods; dissemination, implementation and translation sciences; interdisciplinary teams working with the communities whom they serve; quality improvement; harnessing of large data sets; health policy research, and the ongoing evaluation of evidence-based practice.

So what do we do in these areas? Here is a comprehensive but not exhaustive list:

  • We publish two scholarly journals, Journal of Nursing Scholarship and Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, both with top-10 impact factors among nursing journals. 
  • We convene the International Nursing Research Congress each year, which draws more than 800 attendees to share research findings and honors premier nurse scientists with induction into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. We recruit plenary speakers who report on the state of the scientific enterprise globally and provide direction. Selected breakout sessions focus on scholarship development. For example, journal editors provide sessions on how to get published and others focus on grant writing.
  • We provide space and resources in the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository for peer-reviewed research products—including publications, presentations, and multimedia contributions.
  • Many of our books are scholarship-focused, addressing topics such as evidence-based practice, writing a dissertation, completing a capstone project, or promoting a research-intensive organization.
  • To support nursing education research, we partner every other year with the National League for Nursing to convene the Nursing Education Research Conference, which focuses on educational research in the profession. We are delighted that global attendance continues to increase.
  • To support nurses in conducting research, we offer grants ranging from US $2,500 to $20,000. Sigma awards more than $200,000 each year in grant funding.

But what else can we do? What would help support you—our members—in your scholarship work? Do you have suggestions for online educational programming? Would collaboration groups on The Circle be useful? Should we establish a scholarship-focused leadership academy?

Talk to me. I can be reached via email at I welcome all kinds of ideas! RNL

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Elizabeth "Liz" Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN

Elizabeth Madigan signature

Elizabeth “Liz” Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN

Elizabeth Madigan signature

Elizabeth “Liz” Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN

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