South African to head global nursing society

4 December 2013

South African Hester Klopper was appointed president of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), at its 42nd Biennial Convention in Indianapolis in the United States last month.

She is the first non-North American to head up the 90-year-old non-profit organisation, which has a global network of 492 chapters throughout 90 countries.

Klopper is the chief executive of the Forum for University Nursing Deans in South Africa. A research scholar with more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, she has extensive networks in global health, policy development and nursing.

She also co-ordinates the PLUME programme, funded by the National Research Foundation in South Africa, which supports the development of post-doctoral research programmes.

Klopper’s appointment “marks an important step as we become more internationally global,” STTI chief executive Patricia Thompson said in a statement. “She will be an inspirational leader whose global vision will prove valuable now and in the future.”

The newly elected president said she would focus on “servant leadership, connectedness, transformation and gratitude” in her two years of service at STTI.

“By their very nature, nurses epitomise servant leadership,” Klopper said. “I am thrilled to see the transformational impact STTI members continue to make on a global scale.”

The role of nurses in influencing government policy and enhancing health systems worldwide are also focal points for Klopper. At her direction, STTI has taken the lead in creating the global advisory panel on the future of nursing, which will meet for the first time in Switzerland in March 2014.

STTI is a non-profit organisation, which supports the learning, knowledge and professional development of nurses in contributing to healthcare worldwide.

Founded in 1922 at the Indiana University School of Nursing, the society has more than 135 000 members – including practicing nurses, educators, researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and others – in more than 90 countries.

The society holds non-governmental organisation special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

SAinfo reporter