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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Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing 
You are invited to join Sigma through the Alpha Phi Chapter. Learn how a Sigma membership can benefit your nursing career!

  • 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
  • Please complete online application (If you have problem accessing the online application, then copy and paste the application link in a different browser with Gmail account access)
  • Deadline: October 10, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Application: https://forms.gle/wZSsgUaCLWwJugRPA

Chapter President's Message

I am honored to serve as President of our Alpha Phi Chapter and to follow the path that Dr. Kathleen Nokes has established and defined for our chapter.  With her leadership we have had success in several areas. Structures have been established that support programming, research, recruitment, retention and a sound financial plan. I would suggest that we continue on this path and further explore mentoring, collaboration and partnership with our local, national and international chapters. 

We as an organization recognize the value of scholarship, research, leadership and career development. The Sigma Mission Developing nurse leaders anywhere to improve healthcare everywhere” is truly meaningful, and in this year as we celebrate the year of the nurse, we recognize nurses globally for their overwhelming courage and clinical expertise in the face of a pandemic. It is my wish for us as a chapter to pay it forward and pay tribute to our nursing colleagues. Our heroes!

The unprecedented challenges we have faced as nurses during the past few months have highlighted our roles, the value of leadership and yes, many have risen to the occasion to courageously lead their team. There are many nurse leaders in our chapter that are deserving of leadership recognition. Please join me in identifying these individuals and acknowledging their contribution to care.

Our Sigma Vision speaks to stayingConnected, empowered nurse leaders transforming global healthcare”. So, let us collectively acknowledge those leaders among us and work to involve them moving forward to participate, and to join in chapter initiatives. Every Nurse is a leader and I suggest that the goal for our Chapter is to; encourage their contributions in strengthening professional roles, improve chapter membership, retention and to engage our members in a partnership to develop more programs, research, broaden our reach and to collaborate.

On behalf of all your Alpha Phi Board Members and Committee Chairs, we are delighted that you have joined our chapter. Sigma membership is a great way to participate in activities that contribute to professional growth. This is the 50th anniversary of our chapter and we have a rich history and programs that support research and scholarship such as 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

Please feel free to contact me at doflaherty77@gmail.com or any member of the Alpha Phi Board, with suggestions, questions, concerns, or ideas.

Warmest Regards,
Deirdre O'Flaherty, DNP, MSN, APRN-BC, NEA-BC, ONC

Upcoming Events

Alpha Phi Chapter Business Meeting, 2023
On June 15, Alpha Phi Chapter had a business meeting at the Osborn room at the Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing. Christine Gilchrist, PhD, MPH, RN, NC-BC, our 2022-2023 research grant recipient, presented her research titled, "Social Identities and Campus Belonging as Predictors of Flourishing Among College Students". Dr. Gilchrist is a 2010 MS/MPH Hunter alumna and recently received PhD at the Graduate Center. Her dissertation is a secondary analysis of a large national dataset of college students. Her study examined social identities, campus belonging, and college student flourishing. Her presentation slides are posted in the library.

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society recognized the Alpha Phi Chapter for 50 years of excellence at this year's 46th Biennial Convention which took place on November 6-10, 2021 in Indianapolis. The convention was attended by delegates Alpha Phi Chapter President, Deirdre O'Flaherty, DNP, MSN, APRN-BC, NEA-BC, ONC and CUNY Graduate Center PhD student, Janusz A. Kaleta, RN, BScN, MSCISc. 

Mr. Janusz A. Kaleta is a recipient of the Alpha Phi Chapter Research Grant award. He was able to share his research titled "Knowing the Patient as a Person: a Landmark of Precision Nursing" at the Biennial Convention. Dr. O'flaherty and Mr. Kaleta
will share a special presentation at our upcoming Alpha Phi Chapter Fall Social Meeting on December 16th, 2021 at 5:30-6:30pm about their experience at the convention and discuss further his research.

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

City & State has recognized VNSNY Gender Affirmation Program Director Shannon Whittington RN and VNSNY LGBTQ Program Director Arthur Fitting RN in the publication’s 2021 Pride Power 100” list. The list recognizes LGBTQ leaders who continue to strive for equality and push further LGBTQ protections here in New York and across the country. Congratulations on their outstanding leadership and advocacy work!

Annual Toy Drive
Our 2019 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

Click here for our 2020 annual toy drive for Rising Ground.

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

A warm welcome to our newest members! Faculty and new Sigma members alike were very inspired by our keynote speaker Jeremy Segall's presentation to go forward and optimize the health and well-being of our workforce. 

Hunter College
  • Graduate
    • Elizabeth Maria Cruz
    • Irene Ahenkora
  • Undergraduate
    • Dipa Afsana
    • Silvelis Alvarez
    • Jessica M. Anchundia
    • Amber Bryce
    • Crystal Chiang
    • Jessica Guncay
    • Janey Huang
    • Dominique Ilagan
    • Harsimran Kaur
    • Phyu Thandar Lin
    • Shirley Lin
    • Xiao Qing Liu
    • Yanil Perez
    • Rima Michel Saba
    • Madeleine Seidman
    • Kirsteen Wong
    • Undergraduate
      • Natasha A Castro
      • Giselle Alejandra Espinal
      • Phara Souffrant Forrest
      • Theodocia King
      • Virginia Villadiego Punto
      • Terri Robin Will
    • Graduate
      • Olajumoke Na Oyeleye
    • Nurse Leader
      • Vivian Lien
    New York City Tech
    • Deborah Andral
    • Emilia Ilarda
    • Borim Jeon
    • Cathy Annis Joseph

    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

    The Alpha Phi Chapter has been supporting nursing scholarship since 2013. Please click here for details on our Research Grant and EBP Grant

    Congratulations to Fernand A. De Los Reyes, MSN, MA, RN-PMHNBC for being the recipient of our Research Grant for his study titled 
    Biomarker and Socio-Demographic Factors Associated with Opioid Abuse Treatment Retention: A Longitudinal Study



    Congratulations also to our research grant recipient Elvy G. Barroso, MD, MSc, MPH, MS, RN for her research on Factors Associated with Household Contacts' Tuberculosis Testing and Evaluation



    Recognition through Showcase of Regional Excellence


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