SOHN History

SOHN – the Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Nurses – will be celebrating its 46th Anniversary at the Society’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this September.  SOHN is nationally recognized as the specialty nursing organization devoted to the practice of ORL nursing.  Led by a steering committee of five (Joan Bilger, Nan Sundquist, Tina Mitschke, Terri Masci, and Sandye Schwartz) the charter meeting of the Society was held in 1976 in Las Vegas, Nevada in conjunction with the American Academy of Otolaryngology’s annual meeting.   Since its inception, SOHN has continually pursued and expanded upon the goals established for the association by its 46 founding ORL nurses, led by Tina Mitschke, our first president. A top priority was, and remains, ensuring excellence in ORL and Head-Neck patient care.

From that charter meeting in 1976, SOHN now has 400 members in 33 states and 4 countries. Of this total membership, 312 are full members (RNs) and 5 are associate members (LPNs). There are 20 local/regional chapters of SOHN covering 18 states. There are also ten highly active special interest groups (SIGs), which represent various specialty areas of nursing practice.  The SIGs include: Advanced Practice, Allergy/Sinus, Head and Neck, Federal/Military, Office-Based Clinical Practice, Operating Room, Otology, Pediatric, Gerontology and Facial Plastics.  These groups are extremely popular among SOHN members for the learning and networking opportunities provided.

In 1993, SOHN launched a national certification program for its members.  This certification process recognizes RNs who are proficient in the field of ORL nursing practice.  Eligibility requirements include three years of experience with Otorhinolaryngology and/or Head-Neck patients prior to sitting for the exam.  To date over 600 nurses have passed this national certification exam.  Applicants successfully completing all certification requirements are able to use the designated credential CORLN (Certified ORL Nurse).  Recertification requirements must be met every five years either by re-examination or by continuing education.

In 1997, SOHN established the Ear, Nose and Throat Nursing Foundation (ENT-NF).  The Foundation seeks to enhance the care of the ear, nose and throat patient by advancing the art and science of nursing through education and research.  In addition to strengthening educational and research efforts of the Society, contributions to the ENT-NF support nursing scholarships and various lectureships.  Lectureships presented annually at various SOHN meetings include the Lois Moore Rogers Lectureship (Pediatric Nursing), the Cynthia S. Mabry Otolaryngic Allergy Lectureship, the Kalynn Quinn Hensley Head & Neck/Laryngology Lectureship, and the Sandra L. Schwartz Keynote Lectureship.

Past SOHN Presidents

2022-23 — Vinciya Pandian
2020-21 — Chester Hilton

2018-19 — Carolyn Waddington
2016-17 — Deena Hollingsworth
2014-15 — Maggie Chesnutt
2012-13 — Mary Huntoon
2010-11 — Cindy Dawson
2008-09 — Kari McConnell
2006-07 — Hope Andresen

2004-05 — Helene Krouse
2002-03 — Linda Miller Calandra
2000-01 — Ann Luther
1998-99 — Margie Hickey
1996-97 — Mary LeGrand

1994-95 — Linda Clarke
1992-93 — Penelope Fisher
1990-91 — Connie Yuska
1988-89 — Anne Bigelow

1986-87 —Linda Schuring
1984-85 — Kathryn Browns
1983 — Barbara Nolan Bolling
1982 — Carolyn Croft
1981 —Sandra  L. Schwartz
1980 — Barbara Sigler
1979 — Terri Masci and Karen Gray
1978 — Karen Gray
1976-77 — Tina Mitschke