You Make a Difference

This month ATHNA joins with the ANA to celebrate the commitment and contributions of US nursing professionals to the health and well-being of our nation. The ATHNA Board of Directors sincerely appreciates the many efforts of nurses in our specialty across the country. Providing pre- and post-travel services in a multitude of clinical settings to individuals, families, and groups, travel health nurses contribute to the health and safety, not only of their travelers, but to the world at large. ATHNA is grateful for our more than 3000 members who provide customized, quality healthcare to students, tourists, missioners, business travelers, the military, and others every day. ATHNA is honored to work on your behalf.



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

Travel health nursing is the specialized nursing practice that advances the well-being of all travelers in all phases/ stages of travel and in all settings.

Recognized by the American Nurses Association in 2020 as a distinct 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.

ATHNA Offers Free Membership. If you prepare travelers for their journeys or care for them upon return:

President's Message

To Our Members-Happy National Nurses' Month!

My hope is that although life will never return to “the before times”, your lives are returning to a new normal. Travel is increasing and with it the need for travel health nurses. As always, ATHNA is here to support you in your practice. On behalf of the Board, I thank all of you for what you do every day to keep travelers healthy and safe.

In the next few months, we have many exciting endeavors on the horizon that will assist you in caring for your travelers. ATHNA has a long tradition of active participation in CISTM meetings through participant attendance, abstract presentations, and a Meet & Greet at each conference. That tradition will continue at the 18th CISTM in May in Basel, Switzerland. Several ATHNA board members will be attending in person and 2 board members are attending virtually. Board member Jane Chiodini will be presenting. Board member Julie Richards has a poster about her DNP project. Board members Jane Chiodini, Sue Ann McDevitt, Julie Richards, and Gail Rosselot have a poster on the recent Scope & Standards survey. If you are attending CISTM, please stop by the ATHNA exhibit table C31 to say hello and enter the daily raffle for a copy of Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards. Check for signs announcing the time and place for our Meet & Greet get-together. Not attending the conference? No problem, you can purchase your copy at ATHNA offers sincere wishes for a successful CISTM!

Coming soon, ATHNA will be launching an on-demand rabies learning module that will offer FREE CE including Pharm credit. This educational activity will address the current ACIP recommendations for rabies vaccine including the revised 2 dose PrEP vaccination schedule. We thank Bavarian Nordic for the educational grant that supported the development of this important educational program. Check our website next month for registration information.

There was a tremendous response to our call for volunteers to work on the Certification Task Force. We thank everyone who offered to help with this important task. Now forming, the Task Force will begin its work in June to develop a US certification by portfolio in travel health nursing. Members will be updated as we make progress with this important professional milestone.

ATHNA will initiate an occasional 45-minute Zoom Clinical Forum in the next few months. This new, informal educational benefit for members is designed as an open forum limited to 30 participants. The intent is to share members' understanding of current travel health clinical issues and build consensus for best practice. Members will be notified of these events via Constant Contact email. Be sure your email can accept ATHNA Constant Contact messages, open your Newsletters when they arrive, and RSVP early.

Happy Spring!

Sandy Weinberg, ATHNA President

Rabies CE Learning Module- Debuting Soon

Rabies: Dazed or Confused? How to Successfully Implement the Revised ACIP Vaccination Recommendations

In the May 2022 MMWR, ACIP issued modified recommendations for the use of rabies vaccine. The pre-exposure series has now been changed from 3 to 2 doses on a 0,7 day schedule (MMWR May6, 2022

With this reduced dosing schedule, many more travelers can potentially benefit from rabies vaccination predeparture. To assist clinicians seeking to protect travelers from the potentially fatal infection of rabies, ATHNA will offer a FREE and On-Demand Educational Activity starting this June. Accredited by AANP for 1.0 CE (includes 0.5 Pharm) this program explains the new rabies vaccine recommendations. This learning module was made possible with the support of a Bavarian Nordic educational grant and will be made available on the ATHNA learning platform. Check back on this website for the QR access code after June 15.

The American College Health Foundation Guide for Travel Health Practices Now Available!

ATHNA has been alerted to a new publication available to assist any travel health provider prepare university populations for international travel. Whether you work in a college setting or see college students, faculty, or administrators off-site, this text can provide helpful pre-travel guidance and information. Here is a short description of the ACHF Guide which is made available without charge through a Valneva support grant.

As institutions of higher education (IHEs) have increasingly adapted curricular and co-curricular programs to include more study abroad programs, travel health programs are becoming increasingly common in college health and well-being settings. The American College Health Foundation's (ACHF) Guide for Travel Health Practices at Institutions of Higher Education aims to assist IHEs in addressing the unique aspects and challenges of providing travel health services on campus. This comprehensive guide is meant to serve as a resource for both clinicians and non-clinicians who work with students, faculty, and staff who travel abroad. To download your guide and/or the guide's many appendices and handouts:

Education Resource

As we work to publish new 2023 content to this regular ATHNA educational feature, we want to remind you that content for all of 2022 is archived. Why not give this well-regarded ATHNA website feature a second look? Perhaps you've had no opportunity to read some of the topics posted last year. Keeping current is always a challenge for our professional specialty! Here is a recap of some of the content you may have missed: Are you preventing SIRVA at your clinical site? Do you know the safety guidelines for prescribing Tafenoquine? Are you using the CDC App to vaccinate with the appropriate Pneumococcal regimen? Are you encouraging your travelers to always pack a Contact Card? ATHNA provides a nice template for one to use in your clinic...

Gail Rosselot and Jane Chiodini, Co-editors

ATHNA Advocacy

Integral to the mission of ATHNA is advocacy for the health and safety of travelers and the advancement of our specialty.

Recently one of our directors, Julie Richards, shared a vlog that depicted travel health care in a somewhat negative light. In response, ATHNA authored a response to that vlog. We encourage you to read both the initial comment and our response on behalf of the role of travel health nurses.

Original commentary

ATHNA's response to Paul Sax

A Different - and Perhaps More Accurate- Perspective from Travel Health Professionals

Where to begin? You certainly raise some valid points in that some travel health resources are for-profit entities that may engage in the unethical practice of providing vaccines, medications, or other services that are not warranted given risks. You also make the point that travel health services are often not covered by health insurance, which is not only very problematic for many travelers but also the communities they impact.

Overall, though, this post does a disservice to patients and to all the committed health care professionals engaged in adhering to appropriate standards of travel health.

Travel health services are found in many types of settings that not only include hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and private travel health clinics, but also college health centers, occupational health units, public health departments, military bases, Visiting Nurses Associations, government offices (e.g., CIA, FBI, U.S. embassies, etc.), pharmacies, and even dental offices. Today travel health is a complex, dynamic specialty that is the focus of multiple professional organizations including The American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA), the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) and the multidisciplinary International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM). In fact, in 2020, after working with ATHNA for seven years, ANA officially recognized Travel Health Nursing as a new nursing specialty.

TravelByte #44: What is One of the Most Valuable Travel Health Resources? Hint: IAC

Each year ATHNA encourages our members and readers to sign up to receive the weekly email newsletter IZExpress from, the Immunization Action Coalition. This non-profit, located in Minnesota, is a much-appreciated source for "all things U.S. immunizations." IAC is the go-to resource for every immunizing professional who wants to keep up to date with our national standards of vaccination care. Changes to ACIP recommendations? Notice about ACIP meetings? VIS changes? Handouts for staff orientation, training, and patient care? IAC has them all and so much more… And of course, there is Ask the Experts, an archive of immunization answers provided by CDC experts in response to reader questions. Have a question about Hep A vaccine scheduling? Deciding who should get Prevnar 20? Unsure about the revised rabies vaccine dosing schedule? IAC provides the answers.

Members Only Portal

Membership Benefits

In addition to the updated content offered on our homepage, we are now expanding content for our members available only 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 Knowledge and Skills
Travel health nurses can access foundational information for the practice of our specialty.

Forms Archive: Every month, ATHNA will add one new form, checklist or clinical tool to the membership portal of this website. In September it was a template for a pretravel assessment questionnaire. Now we add a screening tool for yellow fever vaccination. 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.

Career Center
Members are welcome to post open positions or announce their availability for travel health nursing employment.

Membership Certificate


U.S. Certification by Porfolio for Travel Health Nurses

With the 2020 official recognition of travel health nursing by the ANA and the subsequent publication of the foundational text for our specialty, Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, the ATHNA Board of Directors is now working 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) and other similar national nursing organizations. We can finally achieve equal standing with other U.S. nursing specialties.

ATHNA envisions a certification process that will feature a professional portfolio rather than an examination. We have already initiated contact with organizations that can help us achieve this milestone by the 20th anniversary of ATHNA in 2024.

A task force of ATHNA members is assembled and working on this important project. Keep checking this website for regular updates on our progress...

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

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:

Talent Amongst ATHNA Members

We are never surprised to learn that ATHNA members have many talents and passions beyond travel health nursing.

In the past, we have shared the beautiful photographs of former Secretary Diane McHugh. This month we share the blue-ribbon success of Susan Cruz, a member of our Board who provides occupational and travel health services up in Maine.

Congratulations Sue on your beautiful artwork!

Susan Cruz's Biography: Susan grew up in the hamlet of Garrison, New York, in the beautiful Hudson River Valley. Her childhood was spent walking in the woods on the mountain behind her home, on trails around one of the castles in Garrison. Her art teacher encouraged her to continue watercolor painting. She studied at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, among the beautiful gorges, and later at Columbia University medical center along the Hudson River. After working in the medical field in such diverse places as New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington DC, living overseas in Thailand and the Philippines, and raising a family, she sought to return to her earlier passion of watercolor painting. Living in Northern Virginia, she took classes with Lou Negri and Jean Gill to resume this journey. She moved to Maine in 2010, enjoying the beauty of living on the Messalonskee stream. Here, she has pursued further study with Pat Binette and Doreen Paul-Hebda. As a board member of the Waterville Area Art Society, she has enjoyed being part of the art community here for over 10 years. She was recently selected by the Medical Center Art Committee for her own art show at the hospital in Augusta from September 2020 - March 2021. Her paintings were also selected as part of the Ebb and Flow Art exhibit, Reflections on the Kennebec River, at Common Street Arts in 2018. This year she won seven ribbons at the local Clinton Fair. Now she loves to portray the beauty all around her, both here in Maine, and to places she travels.

ATHNA is tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (3) of the US Internal Revenue Service and is registered with the NY State Charities Bureau. A copy of our latest annual report may be obtained, upon request, either from our organization or the NYS Attorney General's Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty St, New York, NY 10005. A copy of the annual report may also be available at the NYS Charities website.

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