A warm welcome from the Alpha Phi Chapter!
We are delighted to serve our active members and future leaders of the nursing community. This is our home on the web, so please feel free to take part in the discussion forum or explore our website for upcoming events, networking opportunities and panels for career advancement. If your Sigma membership has lapsed, then please click here to Renew Today.

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  • UNDERGRADUATE (generic and accelerated) Students:
    • have completed 1/2 of the nursing curriculum,
    • have greater than a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 grading scale,
    • rank in the upper 35% of the graduating class,
    • meet the expectation of academic integrity.
  • RN-to-BS Students:
    • have completed 12 credit hours at their current school
    • have completed 1/2 of the nursing curriculum,
    • have greater than a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 grading scale,
    • rank in the upper 35% of the graduating class,
    • meet the expectation of academic integrity.
  • GRADUATE Students (Master’s and Doctoral):
    • have completed 1/4 of the nursing curriculum,
    • have greater than a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 grading scale,
    • meet the expectation of academic integrity.
  • Nurse Leaders
    • Be legally recognized to practice nursing in their country
    • Have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent in any field
    • Demonstrate achievement in nursing

Chapter President's Message

Thank you for electing me as President of your chapter for a second, two-year term (2018-2020).  We have a strong foundation and now we need to turn towards more membership engagement.  On behalf of all your Alpha Phi Board Members and Committee Chairs, I am pleased that you have chosen this chapter. STTI is an excellent way to enhance your professional development and explore new opportunities for scholarship and service. Consider involvement not only in chapter activities but also in the International society. We have a number of committees including Community Outreach and Publicity; all of our committees have chairs so you would be able to contribute as a committee member. Make sure that you are accessing all of the benefits of membership in Sigma Theta Tau including the subscription to the Journal of Nursing Scholarship which is part of your membership dues. I have been struck with how there is a growing consensus about nursing science and, as Sigma Theta Tau members, we are shaping that paradigm internationally.

The Alpha Phi Chapter is an engaged and energetic chapter with many opportunities for members to be actively involved. We currently offer a number of special recognition activities for our active (dues paying) members; specifically the Creative and Scholarly Project award to a member graduating from one of the academic programs; two $1,000 evidence-base practice awards; and a research grant with $2,000 of funding for an IRB approved study.  We jointly sponsor the research day at Graduate Center where you can present your work and learn more about the PhD program.   Since the majority of our members have been working as registered professional nurses for less than 5 years, we offer a panel twice yearly for new graduates to address workplace issues and continuing education.  These panels are scheduled before the Fall social and the Spring business meeting.  Our web site has posted details.

Our work is supported by your dues of which we receive $35.00 and the chapter is financially sound. Sigma has decided that they will no longer accept donations to the chapter when you renew your membership but we appreciate your past support.  The laws regulating fund raising in New York State have resulted in the Board deciding that we will rely on dues as our only source of income.  We will celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2020 – some of the original members have already said that they would assist in the planning.  Hopefully this will be an inspiration for some of our newer members to renew their commitment to Sigma and nursing excellence.

Please feel free to contact me, or any member of the Alpha Phi Board, with any questions, concerns, or ideas you might have. Best way to reach me is kathynokes@aol.com.  Our in-person induction is April 22nd - we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary.  The Spring Business meeting is June 10th.  Your chapter is celebrating the 50th Anniversary in 2020 – the Year of the Nurse – stay tuned for update on those activities!!!! Since weather-related events can happen, please connect with me closer to the date of the event – I welcome hearing from you. 

Warmest Regards,
Kathleen M. Nokes, PhD, RN, FAAN

Educational Conference on Transgender Health

On November 6th, the Alpha Phi Chapter and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York collaborated on a conference where an expert panel discuss transgender health and home health care of the post-surgical transgender patient. Participants had the opportunity to learn culturally competent care for this unique population as they transition through surgery and to hear from clients about their experiences with the healthcare team.
Transgender Health Event

Annual Toy Drive
Our annual toy drive for Rising Ground (formerly Leake Watts and Edwin Gould Foster Care Agencies) kicked off at our Fall social on December 4th. Dr. Kathy Nokes was pleased to present the agency driver, Dexter Squires, with wonderful toys and the thirteen $20 each Old Navy gift cards purchased through membership dues. 
2019 Alpha Phi Chapter Toy Drive

Alpha Phi Chapter Social Event
Our chapter hosted a social event on June 19th for members to explore opportunities for career development and advancement in the Emerging Leaders RN Panel with 4 nurse leaders and a research presentation by Dr. Jin Young Seo. 

On June 19th, the Alpha Phi Chapter held an Emerging Nurse Leaders event with panelists Samantha Illiano, MSN, PMHNP-BC; Anita Clarke, DHA, ANP-BC; Maria Jasanya, MSN, CNM, RNC, CLC; and Richard Dorritie, PhD, RN, CEN, CNOR. Professional transitions and career development insights such as identifying mentors, developing your own voice, and thinking outside the box are among the many pearls of wisdom that were generously shared by our panelists with event participants. Panelists provided insightful perspectives on professional nursing transition and career development for emerging nurse leader attendees
Dr. Seo presenting findings from her study Jin Young Seo, PhD, WHNP-BC, RN, our 2016-2017 Research Grant recipient, presented her research titled "Health seeking and healthcare utilization among Asian immigrant women working in nail salons." Despite the considerable public attention following reports by the New York Times on the health and safety concerns among nail salon workers in the U.S., little is known about their health-related issues. Dr. Seo's study enhanced our understanding of factors influencing past year healthcare utilization among Asian immigrant women of child-bearing age working in nail salons who are at a higher risk for reproductive harm.


$240,000 NY State Research Grant awarded to Hunter Professor Jin Young Seo

On September 19, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $3 million grant supporting research and education projects focused on breast cancer prevention and treatment. Dr. Jin Young Seo's project on breast cancer education programs tailored to Korean immigrant women population was among the nine projects that was announced that day. This breakthrough research will establish "The Korean Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Program," a cultural-based education program promoting healthy lifestyle and regular health screening, addressing health disparities among the Korean immigrant community. Congratulations to Jin Young on your accomplishments.

Sigma Region 14 Biennial Meeting
The Region 14 Biennial meeting was held June 3rd 2018 in Neptune, NJ.  The Alpha Phi Board had voted to support the meeting with a $400 donation, which entitled us to 6 free registrations.  Since the distance from NYC was considerable and the conference started at 8am, the Board also voted to provide active members with up to a $240 travel grant.  News of the grant was circulated on the web site and 5 active members indicated their interest in attending and were supported: Amil Tan, Manuel Co Jr., Po Chan, Dorothy Hickey, and Kathy Nokes (who only took free registration – no grant).  The chapter was well represented: Manuel Co Jr. gave a podium presentation entitled Relationship between actual and perceived healthy food access among urban Hispanics; Kathy Nokes (co-authors: Marge Reilly and Kathy Falk) presented Creative Connections: Facilitating access for Sigma membership and immediate Past President, Nancy Bohnzrczyk presented a poster entitled: Developing, implementing and evaluating a long term care residency model.

Congratulations to our Alpha Phi Chapter Inductees

Congratulations and welcome to our newest members! We believe that you will truly benefit from the opportunities membership brings—and that, ultimately, nursing will benefit too.
Congratulation to our 2020 inductees and welcome to the Alpha Phi Chapter of Sigma

2019 Inductees

We celebrate the accomplishments and success of our 2019 inductees.

2019 Inductees

Honoring Dr. Nickitas with the Past President's Pin

Dr. Nickitas served the chapter for countless years on committees, as President, and most recently, as Faculty Counselor. In recognition of her service to the chapter, we presented Dr. Nickitas the Past President's pin for her dedication and contribution to the ongoing sustainability of the chapter.

Creative and Scholarly Project Award

For many years, the chapter has given a Creative and Scholarly Project Award to students graduating in January and May who are Alpha Phi members.  Students can be graduating from any of the five levels of nursing educational programs: Generic Undergraduate; RN to BSN; Accelerated Second Degree; Graduate and Doctor of Nursing Practice.  The criteria are that the award is presented to the student or group of students who has developed an outstanding creative or scholarly project significant to nursing or health care in its impact on the target population and its potential usefulness in a clinical setting.  There is a possible total of 8 awards annually.  Winners receive a certificate along with a check for $100 from the chapter (if there is a group, the total amount is divided among the chapter group members).  Faculty nominate candidates, but self-nomination is also fine. 

Our 2020 awardee is:

  • Minkyung Lee who graduated from the masters program, ANP/GNP specialty, at Hunter College. The project, titled, Determinants of eating performance in older people with dementia in long-term care, helped us to better understand strategies to maintain the residual eating performance of demented older people in Long-Term Care facilities. 

Our 2019 awardees are:

  • Lesen Mo from the Accelerated Undergraduate BSN program at Hunter College. The project, titled, Community assessment: Elmhurst Queens, zip code: 11373, helped us to better understand the strengths and needs of this community and guided future interventions.

  • Alicia Rondon from the Undergraduate BSN program at Hunter College. The project, titled Community Assessment on Crotona Park East of the Bronx, helped us to better understand the strengths and needs of the community, and guided the direction of future interventions.

  • Mary Ann Rosa from the DNP program at Hunter College. The project, titled Effect of a Lifestyle Modification Program on Metabolic Variables in Community College Students Identified with Prediabetes, helped identify effective intervention to promote health in a vulnerable population.

  • Paola Guevera from the RN to BSN program in the School of Professional Studies. The purpose of her project titled Performance Improvement among Pre-Licensure Nursing Students focuses on enhancing the skills of prioritization and time management for pre-licensure nursing students. 

Our 2018 awardees are:

  • XiaoXia Huang from the Undergraduate BSN program at Hunter College. The project, titled Mental Health Service Utilization Among Older Chinese-Americans, analyzed qualitative interviews and data by Chinese-Americans (age 60 and older) on their experience seeking mental health services using the NVivo software. Results from this study shed light on common barriers that hinder the populations’ accessibility to mental health services in hope of improving treatment and service availability to older Chinese-Americans.

Our 2017 awardees are:

  • Blimp Marcus from the DNP program at Hunter College. The project was titled Increasing BRCA Screening for Eligible Orthodox Jewish Ashkenazi Women. Women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have a tenfold increase in carrying the BRCA mutations, which are associated with a significantly increased likelihood of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other cancers. This study used the Health Belief Model (HBM) as a framework to understand women’s fears and health beliefs in a sample of 29 women in an Orthodox Jewish community. Findings from this study may result in appropriate interventions and culturally-sensitive methods to increase uptake of cancer screenings, and improve overall health outcomes in this community.

  • Jana Kozol’s from the RN to BSN program in the School of Professional Studies. The purpose of that project was to enhance nurses’ compliance with hospital patient safety policies. The expected outcomes were improved patient safety practices in comparison with data collected during the pre-intervention period. The room audits should be at 80% and above, thus earning a smiley face (😊) as a final score.

Sigma Theta Tau International 45th Biennial Convention

Sigma Theta Tau 45th Biennial Convention
More than 2,166 persons attended the scientific sessions including 1,948 non-exhibitors and 853 delegates participated in the two-day business session. The chapter supported the participation of the President (Dr. Kathy Nokes) and Membership Ambassador (Dr. So-Hyun Park). The Flag Processional during the opening plenary showcased the member countries of the international honorary society. 

Dr Park poster presentation
Dr. Park presented her poster entitled: Increasing Food Insecurity in Adult Cancer Patients. We attended scientific sessions addressing a number of topics including HIV-related stigma, advancing research using app-based innovation, research in online education utilizing a multi-site study and international collaborations, and Asian resilience enhancement for adolescents/young adults with cancer cooperative group, to name a few.
Prof Simmons podium presentationAnne Simmons, former chapter Secretary, presented on Nursing Students’ Clinical Judgment for a Patient in Respiratory Distress.

There were many opportunities to attend presentations focused on research, clinical, and educational innovations as well as occasions for networking with national and international colleagues.

House of Delegates
Drs. Kathy Nokes and So-Hyun Park, delegates, participated in the House of Delegates on Tuesday and Wednesay. We are happy to report that Region 14’s new Regional Coordinator is Selena A. Gilles, DNP, ANP-BC, CNEcl, CCRN. Dr. Gilles is a graduate of Hunter’s ANP program and will be adding our chapter – she is currently President of Upsilon’s chapter (NYU). We are excited to work with her.

Selena Gilles

Alpha Phi Chapter delegates

Upcoming new strategies include a New York Region Consortium (similar to the LI and NJ structures). In addition, Kathy went to a planning session for Retired Nurses. There is a new possible role in the Management system called Retired Nurse Ambassador – the chapter leadership will discuss this during an upcoming meeting.

Sigma President Dr. Richard Ricciardi called us to action by challenging us to INFUSE JOY.

Infuse Joy

He outlined the three interacting elements of infusing joy, specifically:

  • Awareness which includes a clear understanding of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to fulfill our professional responsibilies and achieve our goals. Awareness comes from deep scientific knowledge, continuous development, and autonomy and accountability for the actions that produce results.

  • Balance & Purpose includes taking care of ourselves, finding our own joy, and disconvering a motivating purpose. Achieving balance and purpose requires us to make time for creativity and serendipity, mindfulness, and rest, activities that foster health and well-being, as well as gratitude, service to others, and philanthropy.

  • Co-Creation includes relationship building, using team science, recognizing interdependencies, having a shared mental organizational model, taking pride in one’s work, and instituting policy initiatives to support a joyful organizational culture.

In summary, Kathy and So-Hyun would like to thank you for your support to attend this convention. Please mark your calendar for the 46th Biennial Convention in Indianapolis from November 6 through 10th, 2021.
Sigma Theta Tau 45th Biennial Convention Exhibit Hall
Building Knowledge through Scholarship

We would like to congratulate Fernand A. De Los Reyes, MSN, MA, RN-PMHNBC for being the recipient of the 2018-2019 Research Grant!

Title: Biomarker and Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Opioid Abuse Treatment Retention: A Longitudinal Study



We would like to congratulate Elvy G. Barroso, MD, MSc, MPH, MS,RN for being the recipient of the 2017-2018 Research Grant!  

Title: Factors Associated with Household Contacts' Tuberculosis Testing and Evaluation



Recognition through Showcase of Regional Excellence


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