AMERICAN TRAVEL HEALTH NURSES ASSOCIATION
The American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA) is the professional organization for the specialty of travel health nursing in North America. Founded in 2004, ATHNA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit incorporated in New York. With nearly 3000 members across the United States and internationally, ATHNA is committed to professional development, networking, research, and advocacy in travel health nursing.
Our Mission Statement
It is the mission of the American Travel Health Nurses Association to advance nurses engaged in the care of all travelers- both domestic and international- through professional development, evidence-based practice, and advocacy.
The Specialty of Travel Health Nursing
Recognized by the American Nurses Association in 2020 as a nursing specialty, travel health nursing specializes in advancing the well-being of all travelers who travel both domestically and internationally. We provide care for individuals, families, and groups through all stages of travel including pre-travel preparation, in transit support, and post travel evaluation and management. Travel health nurses practice in a variety of settings that include private travel health clinics, universities, corporations, the military, public health centers, and community clinics. As clinicians, travel health nursing professionals are specially educated and trained to assess traveler health and safety risks and to provide risk management strategies that include immunizations, medications, health counseling, and referrals. Travel health nurses also function as researchers, faculty members, consultants to business and governments, entrepreneurs, and nursing leaders in this country and internationally.
Travel health nursing is not to be mistaken for the "travel nurse." That individual travels to provide temporary, traditional nursing care throughout the US where facility staffing needs are high and supplemental staffing is needed during times of peak capacity.
ATHNA Offers Free Membership.
ATHNA is proud to announce the election this summer of four new members of the Board of Directors. As ATHNA continues to expand its membership to nearly 3000, the Board has also grown. Our directors now number 15 representing diverse geographic, educational, and occupational settings. Here are the new directors who will serve two- year terms through June 2024.
Linda V. Bos, BSN, RN, CTH; Grand Rapids, MI
Linda has been an ATHNA member since 2008. Currently she serves as the Clinical Coordinator for Primary Care at the University of Michigan -West. She is a graduate of Calvin University. This past summer, Linda achieved certification in ambulatory care nursing. Previously, Linda worked in the health center of a liberal arts college where she developed her interest in travel health nursing as she prepared students and faculty for international trips. Linda is passionate about travel (Portugal, Rome) and about the importance of travel health services in the primary care setting. She loves to cook international dishes and has four daughters, three of whom are pursuing nursing careers.
Stu Levin, MBA; Palo Alto, CA
Stu Levin is the first non-nurse to join the ATHNA Board. He brings to ATHNA expertise in business operations, IT, strategic planning, and marketing. He has experience with some of Silicon Valley’s biggest name corporations and at Stanford University Stu has led the organization to move from a support-heavy Windows Electronic Health Record to a much more flexible and resilient cloud- based system. With his MBA and his many years training some of the world’s top corporations in marketing and technology, Stu looks forward to contributing to ATHNA’s accelerating growth and to our successes in support of the specialty of travel health nursing.
Kathryn B. Reid, PhD, RN, FNP-C, CNL; Charlottesville, Virginia
Kathryn is an accomplished nurse practitioner, educator, and researcher. Currently she holds multiple titles as Associate Professor, University of Virginia School of Nursing; Director, UVA SON Continuing Education; Coordinator, Nursing Research and Evidence-based Practice at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital; and as an FNP at Passport Health and the Greene Care Clinic. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Virginia, Kathryn earned a doctorate in nursing from Virginia Commonwealth University. As a member of ATHNA, Kathryn “believes connections to professional organizations is essential for networking, assuring up-to-date care, and advocating for advancement in specialized care.” Kathryn enjoys hiking and beach trips with her family – and loves pickleball.
Lori Wolfe RN, BSN, MSN NP; Pleasanton, CA
A long-time member of ATHNA, Lori works at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where she provides travel care as part of her occupational health responsibilities. A graduate of the University of Nebraska and the graduate nursing program as UCSF, Lori has worked as a flight nurse and participated in multiple mission trips with VOSH- Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity. In addition to a love of travel, Lori enjoys reading, cooking and photography.
Members Only Portal
In addition to the updated content offered on our homepage, we are now expanding content for our members available on the Membership Portal. Not yet a member? Join today- we offer free membership and welcome your participation in the US professional organization for the specialty of travel health nursing.
What does the Membership Portal Offer?
Travel Health Nursing Glossary
Every specialty has its professional terminology and travel health nursing has a wealth of terms used by providers, travelers, and the travel industry.
Forms Archive: PreTravel Assessment Questionnaire
Starting this month, ATHNA will add one new form, checklist or clinical tool to the membership portal of this website. This month we add an updated template for the pretravel assessment questionnaire suitable for many college and occupational settings. Members will want to adapt these documents to their own practice settings and travel populations and review and revise prn at least every 6 months.
Courses and Conferences
An expanded listing of national and international courses and conferences can now be found within the membership portal.
Members are welcome to post open positions or announce their availability for travel health nursing employment.
Travel Health Nursing Specialty Curriculum
We will poste the ATHNA Core Curriculum updated for 2022.
Fall is in the "air" and the ATHNA website editorial team is back from summer vacations. We have some new content for September but want to remind you that older content is always archived. Perhaps the summer did not provide as much "down time" as you anticipated. If so, we hope you will give this newest ATHNA feature a second look. We suspect many of you have been too busy earlier in 2022 as Covid continued, but international travel is now resuming with gusto. (Some are calling it "revenge tourism.") Keeping current again becomes a professional priority. Here is a recap of some of the earlier content you may have missed. And a brief description of what we have most recently added:
- January: An Update on SIRVA. Know what this is? How to prevent it? As we inoculate against monkeypox and await another Covid booster, knowing how to prevent this injection injury is important for you and your patient.
- February: Are you prescribing more Tafenoquine? Then you need to know everything about G6PD deficiency. We covered that topic during the dead of winter (hard to imagine we would love a dose of that cold air right now).
- March: Counseling travelers to prevent pregnancy? When first posted four months ago, this contraception content, provided by Director Julie Richards, was important. In light of SCOTUS and the Dobbs decision, this topic is even more critical as we counsel our travelers to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
- April: Are you up to date on ACIP guidance for Hepatitis B, Shingles, and the Pneumococcal vaccines? Guidelines are always changing, it seems. Read the latest guidance and also learn about two terrific vaccine resources recently revised.
- May: Travel health terminology is always growing. Can you define NTDs? What about familymoon? Gramping? Screen tourism? And because this is the "sun season," take a moment, to quickly learn the 5 W's and one H of sun protection. Help your travelers prevent sunburn and skin cancer as they head off to the shore or islands in July and August.
- June: During Pride Month we featured content on the LGBTQ+ traveler, but this population travels year- round. Learn some tips for promoting a safe and healthy journey. And since monkeypox is now a designated WHO global emergency, add these resources to the excellent ones already listed in the June content- Washington Post Monkeypox article and the WHO monkeypox factsheet.
- July/August: Time Out for the editors and a good time for our members to catch up on missed content...
- September: With the recently announced intradermal administration guidelines for monkeypox vaccine, we offer some training resources if you need an ID refresher. As a second feature, we revisit vaccine vial expiration dates and beyond use dates- they’re not the same! Finally, we have posted a presentation on FGM and hope you will take the time to learn about this international travel health risk for girls and young women in more than 30 nations.
For quick access to Educational Resource, go to:
The long- awaited change in the rabies PrEP vaccination schedule is now official!
On May 5, CDC published the new recommendation in the MMWR. This was the final step necessary to make this shortened 2 dose schedule the US standard for pretravel immunization against rabies. We encourage nurses to read the publication in its entirety. In the fall, ATHNA plans to offer educational offerings to raise rabies awareness among all nursing professionals, understand how to administer rabies vaccine according to the latest ACIP guidelines, utilize a checklist to counsel behavioral prevention measures, and address FAQs about the updated vaccination guidelines. Remember: always educate your patients to avoid direct contact with mammals.
Use of a Modified Preexposure Prophylaxis Vaccination Schedule to Prevent Human Rabies: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices - United States, 2022
TravelBytes #42 and #43: Important to Know Resources
This month ATHNA is posting not one but two new TravelBytes, both focused on excellent resources for nursing professionals. Julie Richards, DNP and former ATHNA President shares her thoughts about the value of the newly revised edition of The Pink Book. Mette Riis, current ATHNA Treasurer brings to your attention a community resource that has gained international attention since the start of the Covid pandemic.
TravelByte #42: Trying to Catch Up on non-COVID Concerns? Get Your Bearings with the New Pink Book Webinar Series.
I'm going to cut to the chase here. There are many good reasons to review the latest version of this reliable CDC resource, but this time around, it is imperative. There's a lot of brand new but essential content. The series also provides a fresh look at much of the older content based on the latest research and innovations. These webinars make up the building blocks on which much of your other knowledge depends and are a foundational course for anyone working with vaccines including all travel health nurses. Hence, we strongly recommend you set aside time to view the webinars and get up to speed. As usual, the entire series is free of charge, with continuing education credit as a bonus.
TravelByte #43: Your Local Epidemiologist (YLE)
Translating public health science for everyday use
A must-read newsletter for Travel Health Nurses
Dr. Katelyn Jetelina is the world-renowned founder and author of the newsletter YOUR LOCAL EPIDEMIOLOGIST (YLE). Dr. Jetelina is a scientist, epidemiologist and educator. Not only does she work as assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health but is the mother of two toddlers and in her "free time" writes this newsletter!
ATHNA Speaks Out: Intradermal Administration Skills
As part of ATHNA's ongoing commitment to advocacy for travelers, our specialty and the public health, the following letter was sent to CDC in August when monkeypox vaccine was approved for intradermal administration. ATHNA received a prompt reply thanking us for our commitment to professional education and quality care. To learn more about intradermal administration, go to the September offering in Educational Resources.>p?
To the CDC
On behalf of the American Travel Health Nurses Association, we are writing to share our concerns that most health care workers are not adequately trained or experienced to properly provide intradermal (ID) administration of the monkeypox vaccine. This injection technique is known to require special skill and practice. Clinicians providing TB testing or allergy testing may be familiar with ID administration, but many others are ill prepared to deliver any vaccine safely and effectively in this manner.
We are concerned that patients receiving an improperly administered ID dose of monkeypox vaccine may unfortunately learn, at some later date, that their vaccination was invalid, and a repeat dose is required. This would then further deplete the already limited monkeypox vaccine supply; it could also undermine the public's confidence not only in this vaccine, but in vaccination practices in general.
We ask that CDC alert all monkeypox vaccine providers of the need to confirm that proper ID technique is followed in their immunization clinics and to initiate training programs as may be required.
ATHNA appreciates HHS and CDC efforts to expand the current use of monkeypox vaccine. Our professional organization is a strong supporter of vaccination as a powerful weapon against the spread of infectious disease. If CDC already has a plan to offer specific training regarding ID administration, please let us know how we can assist in disseminating any content as a CDC partner.
On behalf of the American Travel Health Nurses Association
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