Honor society on track to become Sigma’s first chapter in Italy

By Elizabeth Rosser | 03/20/2019

More than 80 nurse leaders and students recently inducted.

More than 80 nurse leaders and students were inducted into the Genoa University Nursing Honor Society on 12 March 2019.

Induction ceremony and keynote addresses honor first members of the Genoa University Nursing Honor Society.

Elizabeth RosserI had the great privilege of joining my esteemed colleagues in Genoa on 12 March 2019 to celebrate Sigma’s first presence in Italy. More than 80 nurse leaders and students—all drawn from the Liguria region in the northern part of Italy—were inducted into a newly established nursing honor society. Formation of a developing honor society is the second phase in the process of starting a Sigma chapter.

Loredana Sasso, MedSc, RN, FAAN, and Annamaria Bagnasco, PhD, RN, chair of the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Nursing Program in the University of Genoa Department of Health Sciences, led the ceremony. Sasso, the driving force behind the Sigma developments in Genoa, will serve as president of the new chapter when it comes to fruition. Milko Zanini, PhD, RN; Gianluca Catania, PhD, RN; and Giuseppe Aleo, PhD—in truth, the real masterminds of the flawless organization—ably supported Sasso and Bagnasco.

This amazing achievement represented months of intensive preparation and considerable attention to detail. Photos of inductees were displayed alongside their achievements on large screens around the expansive lecture theater. Inductees proudly stood, and Bagnasco gave a few words of recognition whilst Sasso presented them with a certificate specially designed for the occasion. The bespoke crest of the Genoa University Nursing Honor Society, designed by Zanini and Catania, was prominently displayed on the certificate. Inductees also received a sterling silver pin designed by Zanini and handcrafted by a local artisan. It was clear to all—directors of nursing, eminent teaching staff, dean of faculty, and students—that inductees were made to feel proud of being inducted into the Genoa University Nursing Honor Society.

Three keynote presentations followed the opening ceremony. As a member of Sigma’s board of directors, I was privileged to give an address identifying Sigma’s growth and impact in Europe. Once the honor society attains chapter status, it will stand firmly in the family of seven chapters that already exists in Europe.

For some attendees, learning that Sigma has a presence in Europe was an eye-opener. We are already promoting leadership and scholarship for nursing practice in the region. I was extremely grateful for the support I received from headquarters staff in preparing a special presentation that was well-received by the audience. The department’s doctoral students ably translated the slides, and Aleo translated and interpreted my verbal presentation.

Two esteemed colleagues from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom—Mark Hayter, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open, also gave presentations. They have been working with the University of Genoa Department of Health Sciences for several years to develop the school’s research and scholarly activity, which has culminated in an impressive publication portfolio and well-qualified doctoral graduates.

Hayter’s presentation, “Leading and developing nursing research in Europe and beyond through Sigma Theta Tau International activities,” and Watson’s address, “Leadership in scholarly publication in nursing,” were humorous yet rigorous and kept the eager inductees focused and inspired before the ceremony. I felt privileged to be part of this historic occasion.

Sigma’s presence in Europe is relatively recent. I was inducted into England’s Phi Mu Chapter in 2011. Since then, three additional chapters—in Portugal, Armenia, and Ireland—have been added, and nine more are in development. Indeed, we hosted the inaugural Biennial European Regional Conference in Wales in 2012 with just over 100 delegates in attendance. We are now preparing for the fifth regional conference in Coimbra, Portugal, in 2020. I was delighted to contribute to the highly successful conference in Cambridge, England, in 2018, which welcomed well over 300 delegates from more than 29 countries.

Sigma’s reputation is certainly growing, and the honor society is making its mark on professional nursing in Europe. When I reflected on the day, I felt proud to have played a small part in developing the Genoa University Nursing Honor Society. I anticipate that when it becomes a chapter, it will continue to strengthen as members join Sigma’s growing presence in Europe. RNL

Elizabeth Rosser, DPhil, RN, MN, Dip N Ed, Dip RM, RNT, PFHEA, is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma) board of directors.

Editor's note: Roger Watson also reported on the Genoa University Nursing Honor Society induction in "A farewell tour of Europe."

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  • Gianluca Catania
  • Milko Zanini
  • Loredana Sasso
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  • Genoa University Nursing Honor Society
  • Sigma
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
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