by Sid Goldwell
La Vonna J. Walker, MSN, RN, and Teresa Trabert, BSN, RN, OCN, two nurses from Denver Health, were inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing recently.
Walker and Trabert, who are the Teresa Trabert, BSN, RN, OCN, who are the only STTI-recognized nurses in Colorado, were honored for their nursing leadership, scholarship, research and commitment to the profession.
In 1922 six nurses founded Sigma Theta Tau at the Indiana University Training School for Nurses, now the Indiana University School of Nursing, in Indianapolis. The founders chose the name from the Greek words Storgé, Tharsos and Timé meaning "love," "courage" and "honor."
The honor society became incorporated in 1985 as Sigma Theta Tau International, Inc., a not-for-profit organization in the United States.
The Honor Society of Nursing provides leadership and scholarship in practice, education and research to enhance the healthcare on a global scale. The organization supports the learning and professional development of its members.
Membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship, and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing.
There are more than 405,000 members worldwide; more than 130,000 active members make Sigma Theta Tau International the second largest nursing organization in the world.
The induction ceremony was held at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Dennison Auditorium in Denver. To have two inductees from not only the same state, but the same hospital "is a huge deal," Walker said.
"It's very unusual," Walker said.
Walker has 29 years of experience as a nurse. She has served as assistant chief nursing officer at Denver Health for six years for nearly half of its clinical operation. In 2003, she was awarded Boss of the Year after her team nominated her. She is engaged in other professional, community and military roles as well.
With 20 years of service, she was recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. She is also assistant deputy commander for nursing, where she has led efforts to secure clinical trauma training for soldiers of the 5502nd United States Army Hospital. In her nominating letter, someone wrote that Walker's strengths include being a highly committed and professional nurse and administrator.
"It's such a honor," Walker said. " I've worked hard as a nurse and during my experience I've pretty much been in a leadership role in a nursing organization. So belonging to this society appealed to me."
"My nursing choices through the years, they were all right," she continued. "I've had a wonderful career and I would do it the same all over again. It's been fulfilling and rewarding, full of good experiences."
She added that she looks forward to being active in the society and participating in a leadership role.
Trabert, who was nominated by her chief nursing office also said her induction into Sigma Theta Tau was an honor.
"I was nominated by my chief nursing officer, who asked me what I thought about being in the society. Then she told me she was nominating me, and I was quite surpised," she said.
"It's great to have been recognized by a peer as wonderful as my chief officer," Trabert continued. "It was pretty exciting to have been chosen. To be accepted by Sigma Theta Tau is a great honor and priviledge."
Trabert, a certified oncology nurse and staff nurse, has six years of experience as a nurse. She is a level IV RN in the outpatient infusion center of Denver Health.
She and her team received the 2006 Award of Excellence for Outstanding Research for their EBP project "Chemotherpay Induced Neutropenia and Relative Dose Intensity."
She serves as co-chairwoman of the Staff Nurse Council and is active in professional organizations, as well as a community volunteer with cancer support groups and health fairs.
Her nominating letter stated that Trabert "is an outstanding nurse in the areas of clinical expertise, academic enrichment and nursing research."
"It's a great organization that values education and truly having an impact on healthcare and taking a global stance rather than just local issues," she said.
Sigma Theta Tau is establishing partnerships with international health care organizations, supporting global nursing initiatives, collaborating with nurses worldwide and connecting with members on an international level.
With its chapters and grant partners such as corporations, associations and foundations, contributes more than $650,000 annually to nursing research through grants, scholarships and monetary awards.
Also, the society supports education and research conferences, including a yearly research congress that presents the latest nursing research from around the world and a biennial convention that offers nursing’s best practices in clinical, scientific and leadership areas.