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Sigma Theta Tau: worth the money?

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Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I'm an RN going back to school to get my BSN, and I was nominated to be inducted into the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau. I was flattered until I went to sign up, and realized that they want me to pay them $220 ($330 if I attend the induction ceremony). Really? Do all honor societies do this? Will any future employers really care if I was a member of Sigma Theta Tau? Are there any actual benefits to being a member of this organization (and please be real). I am on a really tight budget and work OT to pay my bills. I really don't have hundreds of dollars to drop on something that would be just a line on my resume.


joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

I was a member for 2 years while I was in school. STT looks good on a resume, as it is widely known. You might also make some connections. It depends. Personally, I felt it wasn't worth the money, so I opted out.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

There is no way I would pay 330 to attend a ceremony. I think my membership cost about 120. Furthermore, membership in STT will not be the deciding factor in you securing employment for sure. It looks impressive to some. Necessary? No.


Specializes in Emergency Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I'm just wondering how many connections I'll make given that it's an online program and I'm never on campus, and given I work 2 jobs and try to find time to take care of my kids, that leaves out volunteering/participating in events much at this point in my life. Is there a monthly or yearly maintenance fee? I do pay membership in other organizations such as AACN, because I like the magazines/journals that they send with information pertinent to my job.

BCgradnurse, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in allergy and asthma, urgent care. Has 12 years experience.

I paid $100 when I was invited to join, and have never paid again. It's listed on my resume but I don't get the newsletter, invites to functions, etc.. Once you're inducted they can't take it away from you, but you're not entitled to the "privileges" of membership if you don't pay.

You said it yourself, a line on your resume. A better use for your money is ACLS certification or your next year's premium for malpractice insurance. But consider that you won't get the opportunity again.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I agree that the price of membership is probably not the best use of your money now -- particularly not the price of the yearly renewal.

But the option that BCgradnurse suggested of paying the fee once to put the line on your resume is worth considering. Some day, you may be in a situation where you would want to re-activate your membership, go to local chapter meetings, apply for a small grant or scholarship, etc. The fee might be worth it to keep those options open for the future -- just the minimum induction fee, not the added one for the ceremony.

If you are ever asked why you did not maintain your membership after you were inducted, I would tell the truth. Just say you could not afford the yearly fee to maintain it, but were honored by the invitation to join.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

I was nominated, but I didn't want to pay the fee. I still listed "Sigma Theta Tau nominee" on my resume. I certainly haven't missed out on any perks of membership.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Ashley, PICU RN said:
I was nominated, but I didn't want to pay the fee. I still listed "Sigma Theta Tau nominee" on my resume. I certainly haven't missed out on any perks of membership.

And as long as you keep it listed as "nominee", IMO you are telling the truth.

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Depends on how active you want to be, or if your chapter is an active one.

Student fees were far less when I joined a few years ago, I think your chapter is ripping you off; student fee should be around $100 as I recall.

That said, I have been overseas, and seen plaques where a chapter has adopted an classroom or otherwise assisted less fortunated SONs in struggling areas. Members of the chapter visited and supported that SON. Our chapter has offered some pretty interesting sounding lectures, but the dinners usually conflict with my schedule.

The research/scholarship magazines are intense, useful if that is what you are interested in.

I joined, but then my MSN is in education, and almost all of the instructors in my school are members and proudly display the sticker on their doors, as well as the professors where I did my degree; so I had positive feelings about STT to begin with.

Is the chapter in your city? Might try calling and asking about activities, and what the benefits are locally. Can't hurt.

I joined for a couple of reasons. I'm a second degree nurse and in my first degree my academics were....subpar, to put it nicely. I was proud of my performance in nursing school, and wanted to have that recognition of being part of STTI. I also joined because you can let your active membership lapse and pick it up again at a later date- you're always an inactive member once you initially join.

I've been a little disappointed with my chapter's inactivity, (no meetings, no projects, no contact) but I anticipate there will be things I can gain from being a member as my career progresses. I'm not sure if it was a factor in my initial job search as a new grad- I think my ENA membership was much more helpful and useful, and THAT I keep active.

I think it depends on what you envision your nursing future to hold. Even if it's not useful NOW, will it be useful in the future for you?

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I never paid the first year (our school took care of it I guess) but I did pay a few years thereafter. I finally quit because it seems geared more to the academic nurse (instructors or research) than to the patient care nurse. The journals just had no affect on my practice.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I will add that the REASON the journals had no effect is because I am not in charge of making the decisions that change our nursing philosophy or models. I will add that our CNO is not a STT member

dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 10 years experience.

Your membership fee is excessive, and far more than the cost suggested by STTI. Is it a very active chapter that can justify the price?

If it's an inactive chapter, then it's nothing more than something to put on your resume. If it's active, and you are willing to participate, the networking and volunteer opportunities can be rewarding.

I'm willing to bet you can put something else on your resume or cover letter of interest, without the exorbitant fee. Do I think it's worth it? Nope. I qualified for something or other, never bothered, never suffered a bit. Others paid, and didn't further them at all.

Save the cash, and pay for some interesting CEU's :)

WildcatFanRN, BSN, RN

Has 25 years experience.

I have also been invited to join and the fee is only $100, plus $5 for each person I invite to attend the ceremony with me. So for me $115 max. I'm considering it because I need contacts to help find a job in an area oversaturated with nursing grads.

You might check out the costs you were quoted? does that include the pin? I did without one for many years. I do believe that membership confers a certain prestige, especially in the academic setting. I enjoy receiving the journal and newsletters. I'd recommend joining if you can swing the expense.