News Releases

The University of Maryland School of Nursing Joins with Anne Arundel Medical Center for Sigma Honor Society Chapter Expansion

September 29, 2020

UMSON’s Pi Chapter becomes Pi at-Large Chapter during chartering ceremony.

Baltimore, Md. – On Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s Pi Chapter of Sigma international nursing honor society officially recognized Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) as a member organization during a chartering ceremony, thus changing the chapter’s name to Pi at-Large Chapter. Sigma’s at-large chapters are organized groups of nursing students and nurse leaders from two or more schools of nursing or practice settings.

The change to Pi at-Large reflects the chapter’s growth and will allow for greater collaboration between UMSON and AAMC. The union increases visibility of Pi at-Large in the workplace and promotes engagement, satisfaction, and retention of clinical nurses through opportunities to network and learn together 

The chartering also formalized an existing partnership between Sigma’s Pi Chapter and AAMC. While leading the chapter’s Leadership Succession Committee in 2016, Cynthia Sweeney, DNP, BSN ’76, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, vice president for nursing, The DAISY Foundation, now president of Pi at-Large Chapter, had an idea to engage and honor outstanding nurse leaders at local hospitals with Sigma membership. Sweeney worked with Barbara Jacobs, MSN, RN-BC, NEA-BC, AAMC vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer, to create a partnership to recognize outstanding nurse leaders at AAMC with an opportunity to join Sigma. To date, 32 nurse leaders from AAMC have been inducted into Pi at-Large Chapter. 

“This opportunity brings together academic and practice settings, allowing us to acknowledge the strong leadership of nurses,” Sweeney explains. “I am very happy to see the links of practice and academia come together to further the mission of Sigma: ‘Developing nurse leaders anywhere to improve healthcare everywhere.’ The possibilities multiply when academia and practice come together with a common goal such as this one.”

The chartering ceremony took place in conjunction with a virtual presentation from Ric Ricciardi, PhD, MS ’91, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, president of Sigma, on “The State of Nursing in the World: The Value of Infusing Joy.” During Ricciardi’s presentation, he shared the first report ever to collate the global state of nursing and midwifery, and he examined the impact of COVID-19 on the profession. Ricciardi also served as the chartering officer who ceremoniously designated Pi as an at-Large Chapter on behalf of Sigma. 

“We can’t thank our University of Maryland School of Nursing colleagues enough for allowing us to partner,” Jacobs said. “Many of us have been members of Sigma since our undergraduate years, but this will allow us to participate in Sigma’s global work to enhance nursing practice.”

Pi Chapter, which was established at UMSON in 1959, was founded as the 15th chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society (now known as Sigma), which today boasts over 540 chapters worldwide and more than 135,000 active members.

“I want to extend a very warm welcome to Dr. Barbara Jacobs and our many nursing colleagues from the Anne Arundel Medical Center,” said Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, at the opening of the program. “We come together to enthusiastically embrace this new and innovative incorporation of a practice setting into Sigma.”


The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools in the nation and is ranked among the top nursing schools nationwide. Enrolling nearly 2,100 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.