ATHNA would like to honor our members and all nurses during National Nurses Week 2022!

We are inspired by you, and we recognize the dedication, commitment to patient care, and professionalism that goes into your work every day. As domestic and international travel starts to resume in great numbers, we applaud travel health nurses committed to traveler health and the prevention of global disease and injury. Our work and purpose are more important than ever. We wish you all Happy Nurses Week!

National Nurse's Week begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th which was Florence Nightingale's birthday. Florence Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing and is known as "The Lady with the Lamp" because of her nightly rounds caring for soldiers during the Crimean war. We remember the work of this amazing founder who was not only a caring individual, but one who pursued education, mentored fellow nurses, and acted as a pioneer and change agent by stressing hygiene, sanitation, and epidemiology thereby improving patient outcomes and reducing deaths. Recognized for her work with wounded British forces in Turkey, it can be said that Florence Nightingale also embodied the spirit of our specialty, travel health nursing.

The US has 4.3 million nursing professionals. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, nurses have been stretched to the limit and stressed in the workplace due to initial inadequate supply of PPE, massive numbers of patients admitted to hospitals needing critical care, and an ever-increasing nursing shortage as baby boomer nurses retire and not enough nurses enter the field. To make matters worse, there are fewer qualified nursing professors to educate future nurses, thereby exacerbating the shortage.

As a specialty, travel health nurses have felt the Covid impact as they experienced a calamitous decline in travel across the globe. As a result, many in our specialty have moved on to other nursing roles.

This year, on the last day of National Nurses Week, there will be a Million Nurse March on Washington, DC to help spread awareness of the hardships faced by nurses throughout the healthcare system: calling attention to fair wages and safe nurse-patient ratios among other issues. Whether in the nation's capital, or wherever you may find yourself on May 12th, we encourage ATHNA members to advocate for our profession and our patients.

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. Next month ATHNA will start a series of educational offerings to help all nursing professionals understand the threat of rabies, know how to counsel prevention measures, and address FAQs about the new 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

Education Resource 2022: May

Initiated in January, Educational Resource is a monthly ATHNA educational feature to help travel health nurses keep current. Each topic includes some general information coupled with resources that can be used for more professional learning as well as for patient counseling. In April we featured World Immunization Week with recent updates in the ACIP Immunization Schedule pertinent to travel health. This month we start to address the WHO 20 NTDs- Neglected Tropical Diseases, share some resources for educating travelers about sun risks as the summer travel season kicks in, and introduce some new travel health terminology. Do you know what a familymoon is? Screen tourism? Gramping (not glamping)?

Past content is archived, so if you have not had an opportunity to read previous postings, we encourage you to look through the calendar for topics of interest and value.

Call for Nominations: ATHNA Board of Directors

Effective immediately, The American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA, a 501C3) is now accepting applications for three open director positions on the Board of Directors. Nominations remain open until May 20, 2022. Members are encouraged to nominate fellow members or to self-nominate using the nomination application.

In addition, the terms for our current ATHNA Secretary and ATHNA Treasurer end this July and we are seeking qualified and interested individuals to fill these officer positions.

Now is an exciting time to join the ATHNA Board. Travel health nursing was officially recognized as an ANA specialty in 2020 and Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice was published in 2021. ATHNA membership now approaches 3000 members representing all 50 states and several international countries. ATHNA has also initiated the process to establish a US travel health nursing certification by portfolio.

Participation on the ATHNA Board provides an opportunity to work with a dedicated group of colleagues who are passionate about our specialty. Board directors are elected to serve a two-year term from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024. This position requires participation at quarterly teleconference board meetings and active involvement in ATHNA projects and initiatives. We seek nurses with energy and enthusiasm for the success of our organization and the growth of our professional specialty.

Membership on the Board affords nurses professional and leadership opportunities. Read what other directors say about their participation on the ATHNA Board:

"Serving on the ATHNA Board of Directors has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I have the privilege of working with many dynamic professionals who have clear goals and are interested in accomplishing them. I have benefitted enormously from all the wonderful mentors I discovered at ATHNA and would encourage anyone who wants to make a real difference to add their talents to the board - they'll get much in return for their contribution.

Being on the Board of ATHNA has been a great opportunity for me to support and influence the direction of how ATHNA serves its members. I've enjoyed collaborating with board members as well as sharing experiences and best practices with other travel health nursing professionals. It's been a worthwhile and gratifying experience to advocate, and help set the standard, for our specialty."

We encourage our members to consider joining the ATHNA Board. If you have questions, please contact Maureen Thompson at or any member of the 2022 Nominations Committee.

And if you are interested in either the position of Secretary or Treasurer, please contact Maureen Thompson for more information and an application.

Thank you,
Maureen Thompson, Chair 2022 ATHNA Nominations Committee
Members: Maureen Thompson, Tammy Degenhardt, Linda Sapio-Longo

Now is the time of year when the Nominations Committee is hard at work to fill vacancies on the ATHNA Board. We need the active participation of our diverse membership to continue to keep ATHNA a strong, vital, and growing professional organization. When reading the Call, please seriously consider how you can contribute to ATHNA's future. And if a member of the Nominations Committee reaches out to you personally, please listen with an open mind and, hopefully, say Yes to a nomination request. With much appreciation, The ATHNA Executive Committee.


The American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA) is the professional organization for travel health nursing in North America. We are recognized as an official ANA nursing specialty that is dynamic and evolving. With nearly 3000 members across the United States and internationally, ATHNA is committed to professional development, networking, research, and advocacy in travel health nursing.


As travel health nurses we specialize in advancing the well-being of all travelers in all settings 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 and community clinics. As clinicians, travel health nursing professionals are specially educated and trained to assess traveler health and safety risks and to manage risk reduction 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" who provides temporary traditional nursing care throughout the US where staffing needs are high and supplemental staffing is needed during times of peak capacity.

ATHNA Offers Free Membership: Join Today

Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice

Do you prepare individuals and families for international travel?

As international travel returns, nurses will need to be prepared to offer travel health services according to best practices and the latest legal guidelines. An essential resource for delivering comprehensive and quality care is Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 2021, a joint publication of the American Travel Health Nurses Association ( and the American Nurses Association.

  • Did you know? Fewer than twenty percent of travelers seek pretravel services at travel health clinics; most travelers seek immunizations, medications, and counseling guidance from their primary care provider.
  • Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice is written not only for nurses in this new specialty, but also for any nursing clinician with patients who travel
  • This text is the legal foundation for the nursing care of US travelers
  • If you provide any travel health services: pre-travel assessment, immunizations, or health counseling (e.g., malaria, zika, traveler's diarrhea, jet lag, altitude illness) you will find this text essential
  • Post travel care is mentioned as well- Recommendations for post-travel triage and evaluation are included
  • To access the Table of Contents, go to:

To purchase your personal copy or multiple copies for your clinical setting:

Support American Travel Health Nurses Association Inc

Support ATHNA's by using our direct link the next time you shop


ATHNA Crossword Returns

Over the years, ATHNA has periodically offered a crossword for our members. With the soaring popularity of Wordle and the spinoff Worldle ( we thought it the right time to start publishing our puzzles again. This crossword features general travel health terminology- some of it quite new. Vocabulary in our field is always changing. See if you know these terms. It can be challenging. Good Luck!

To access the puzzle, go to:

Support U.S. Certification for Travel Health Nurses

With the 2020 official recognition of travel health nursing by the ANA and now the publication of the foundational text for our specialty, Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 1st edition, the ATHNA Board of Directors is ready to achieve its next goal for our profession: the achievement of U.S. certification.

As many of you know, there is currently no professional nursing certification for travel health nursing in the United States. Unlike other specialties- occupational health nursing, oncology nursing, ambulatory nursing and the like- travel health nurses have not established an equivalent national certification. Lacking a U.S. specialty credential, some nurses have undertaken international or interdisciplinary certificates and courses to demonstrate professional achievement. However, none of these are specific to professional nursing, nor do they confirm knowledge of U.S. standards of care. Acceptance of these alternatives by employers and academic institutions is mixed at best.

Now that our specialty has obtained formal recognition in this country, we can proceed to establish a U.S. certification that adheres to the eligibility and renewal criteria consistent with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). We can achieve equal standing with other U.S. nursing specialties.

ATHNA envisions a certification process that will feature a professional portfolio rather than an examination and we have already initiated contact with organizations that can help us achieve this goal in 2022.

But we need your financial support! As you know, during this pandemic crisis, ATHNA has waived all membership dues. We know how Covid-19 has affected so many of you. However, the process for creating a legally recognized professional certification has a cost.

Please consider making a donation today to ATHNA's Certification Fund. As a 501(c) (3) organization, your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. No amount is too little. And every donation will help us towards this important, final professional goal.

Recognition Standards Certification
2020 2021 2022

Thank you!

ATHNA is tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the US Internal Revenue Service and is registered with the NY State Charities Bureau.

Book Review: Do You Provide Health Services to College Students?

Not sure how to prepare study abroad students? Wondering about resources for students with anxiety or eating disorders? Looking for new ways to fund student health services?

Whether you practice within a college health service or care for college students in another setting, the newly published Principles and Practice of College Health is a worthwhile guide for delivering comprehensive quality health services to this population. Just released by Springer, this important text is edited by John A. Vaughn, M.D., Director of Student Health at Duke University since 2013 and Anthony J. Viera, M.D., Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Duke.

A Seismic Shift in US Travel Health Nursing: The Achievement of Specialty Recognition and its Implications

Richards JA, Rosselot GA
J Travel Med, Volume 28, Issue 1, 2021, taaa202

Past Presidents Julie Richards and Gail Rosselot recently published an article in the Journal of Travel Medicine about the implications of ANA specialty recognition for Travel Health Nursing here in the US. The Perspectives piece is timed to coincide with the soon to be published Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice. According to Julie, "We believe specialty recognition will go a long way to recognize travel health nursing professionalism and promote quality care for travelers and the communities they impact. We hope travel health professionals in all 50 states can benefit." The article details the process for specialty recognition and its benefits, including the opportunity now to establish a U.S. certification for travel health nurses comparable to other U.S. nursing certifications.

ATHNA will feature an article on this website introducing the new Scope & Standards when they become available early in 2021.

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