During the Fall of 1977, several faculty in the College of Nursing discussed and collaborated on ways to bestow honor on Students who exemplify superior achievement in the Nursing Profession, foster high professional standards and demonstrate commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession.
There was a consensus among faculty, that a local honor society should be established. They agreed that a Charter in Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society should be pursued.
Gail Bennett Camp, coordinator of the Honor Society Committee contacted the National Sigma Theta Tau office concerning the procedure necessary for creating a chapter. After instructions were obtained from the National office, approval was requested from the University Administration. On July 15, 1978 a steering committee was formed.
The steering committee on September 18, 1978 met to draft By-laws and establish committees to review records of perspective candidates and plan an induction ceremony. Seventy-two (72) perspective members were approved for membership. Letters of invitation were sent to each candidate, and 53 candidates were inducted into the honor society.
On April 18, 1979 the first induction ceremony was held and the Acting Dean of the College of Nursing, Roberta O. Watts presented each member with a certificate of membership through a formal ceremony. A reception was held after the ceremony in honor of the new members.
Membership meetings were held on a regular basis according to criteria By-laws and refining the application process for charter membership was a central focus. Leaders in health care presented topics that were visionary, innovative and integral to how health care would impact Nursing's future. Topics discussed were "Trends in Nursing", "Nursing Leadership", and "Being a Life Long Learner".
On November 6, 1981 the House of Delegates voted to grant a Charter to Jacksonville State University College of Nursing and the Zeta Xi Chapter was established.