SALT LAKE CITY — Western Governors University’s (WGU) newly chartered chapter of the International Honor Society of Nursing was recently awarded two Regional Excellence Awards for its contribution and commitment to the mission of Sigma Theta Tau in promoting nursing excellence. The awards received by WGU’s Psi Upsilon Chapter recognized the organization for activities that supported two key aspects of the Sigma President Call to Action: promoting the importance of influencing world health through policy and promoting lifelong learning.
Achievement of the awards followed an extensive two-year process during which the competency-based academic criteria was recognized by Sigma as comparable to traditional models of demonstrated academic excellence. Approval of the academic excellence criteria was part of the process of transitioning from the WGU Nursing Honor Society to a Sigma Chapter, chartered as Psi Upsilon.
“Having an internationally approved process for recognizing academic excellence at WGU is a great opportunity for our students and further underscores how academic excellence is demonstrated in competency-based education,” said Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk, WGU’s College of Health Professions Academic Vice President. “The approval of WGU’s academic criteria illustrates that all students identified eligible for membership in STTI have demonstrated academic “honors” comparable to nursing students in the U.S. and abroad.”
As an international organization, Sigma has a comprehensive and inclusive methodology for evaluating criteria to verify academic excellence at nursing programs worldwide. Membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievement in nursing. Sigma’s global outreach extends to more than 500 chapters and uses its consultative status at the United Nations to promote world health and nursing excellence.
WGU’s Psi Upilson Chapter was chartered at a ceremony officiated by Dr. Ken Dion, Secretary of the Sigma Board, in July. Nearly 400 members were inducted and the chapter continues to grow with more than 1,500 WGU students and accomplished nurse leaders invited to join at the upcoming induction ceremony in January.
“The benefits to membership in Psi Upsilon are endless,” says Dr. Carole Liske, President of Psi Upsilon. “Sigma members develop friendships with nurses around the globe, all striving to advance excellence in nursing through professional networks, mentoring programs, scholarship and research grants, and scholarly publications. WGU and Sigma are a perfect partnership because we share the same principles of leadership in serving our consumers — students and clients — Love, Courage, and Honor.”