In a relationship with Sigma

Monina Hernandez |

It all began in 2010.

Monina HernandezShe has changed roles and venues, obtained an advanced degree, and earned clinical nurse specialist certification, but her commitment to Sigma remains a constant.

Monina HernandezI am in a long-term relationship with Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Sigma). I have changed jobs, changed countries, and aged a little, but I keep coming back to Sigma. I admit it: Although there are other research conferences, in recent years, I have only attended Sigma’s International Nursing Research Congress. In fact, I’ve orally presented at four. Truth be told, I’ve followed Sigma around the world—from Puerto Rico in 2015 to Cape Town in 2016 to Dublin in 2017 and to Melbourne in 2018—and I’m aiming to be at congress in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 2019. I just can’t get enough of Sigma!

I have changed roles: from working as a staff nurse to directing the largest professional nurses organization and union in New Zealand; from practicing as a clinical nurse specialist to teaching as a university lecturer; from pursuing my master’s degree to working toward my doctoral degree. But one thing that has remained constant in my life is my commitment to Sigma. It’s like having a relationship with nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service!

In my current nursing life here in New Zealand, it is Sigma I run to. Sigma has everything to offer, not only to students but also to academicians, clinicians, writers, leaders, and even nursing activists all over the world.

It is Sigma I embrace when it comes to excellence in scholarship. Sigma’s journals are renowned for their quality and global impact. Where else would I look to for publications I can recommend to my students and colleagues or literature that I need for my own publications? Well, yes, there are others, but I usually find myself turning to Journal of Nursing Scholarship and Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing.

Also, Sigma’s Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository has a voluminous collection of nursing research and evidence-based practice information from all over the world. It is my personal digital library of high-level evidence and a highly recommended resource. And when I need inspiration—and information—to take my career to the next level, I read Sigma’s online magazine, Reflections on Nursing Leadership.

Sigma lingers in my mind as I reflect on my own kind of leadership. My work ethic is driven by values of caring, integrity, honor, respect, excellence, and social justice. These align with Sigma’s values and commitment to the same. Sigma fosters leadership, academic excellence, and social and ethical commitment to the virtues of love, honor, and courage. It also recognizes its responsibility to address public healthcare and nursing issues that influence health globally. I share this sense of responsibility and am committed to working to improve world health wherever I am on the globe.

Finally, it is Sigma to whom I look when I want to connect with like-minded nurses all over the world. Engaging with a global network of more than 135,000 nurses in more than 90 countries—either online or face to face—is magnificent! It is like belonging to an extended family where you are warmly welcomed, appreciated, and received with positive regard. What is truly amazing is that this extended family is composed of nurses who, although they may speak different languages, connect with the same nonverbal language—the language of caring and excellence.

This relationship is definitely not short-term. Indeed, Sigma has all the qualities of a nursing organization that appeal to me, and it captivates my interest. What more can I ask for? RNL

Monina Hernandez, MNurs (Hons), RN, PGDipHSc, PGCertTT, CNS, is lecturer, School of Nursing–Albany, Massey University College of Health, Auckland, New Zealand.

Editor’s note:
Monina Hernandez presented “Indwelling Catheter Challenge” on Saturday, 21 July 2018, at Sigma’s 29th International Nursing Research Congress in Melbourne, Australia. The PowerPoint from her presentation is available in the Henderson Repository.

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