Honor society membership retention strategies: Promoting membership benefits from induction through transition to professional practice

Emily E. Hopkins, Meigan Robb, MaryDee Fisher, Julie D. Slade, Jennifer J. Wasco, Kathleen C. Spadaro, Michelle Doas


Being a member of an honor society is a long held tradition for recognition of student academic success. Honor societies have numerous benefits that include not only a level of prestige, but opportunities for continuing education, and networking for professional career advancement. The growth of online learning and education has changed the classroom to a virtual environment where a student’s learning achievement may go unrecognized since many honor societies tend to focus on traditional in class students. Recognizing the importance of an honor society and the need for a continued custom to acknowledge student excellence, a small private university in Southwestern Pennsylvania created a virtual nursing honor society that has become a chapter within an international honor society. This honor society chapter encompasses both online and on ground learners. Although a positive asset to students, the chapter has encountered challenges with membership retention after degree completion. Honor society membership retention is possible and enhanced by offering members tangible benefits. Retaining student membership in an honor society can significantly impact professional development as they transition to and grow within nursing practice. This is accomplished through contribution to knowledge development and use of evidence based practice. Therefore, the premise of this article is to share the strategies used by the honor society chapter and identify future recommendations for membership sustainability. The strategies presented in this article are applicable to both new and established honor societies, and professional organizations experiencing membership attrition.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v6n12p18

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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