Travel Health Nurses Make a Difference
Throughout the year, ATHNA joins with the ANA to celebrate the commitment and contributions of US nursing professionals to the health and well-being of our nation and our world. The ATHNA Board of Directors sincerely appreciates the many efforts of nurses in our specialty providing pre- and post-travel services in a multitude of clinical settings to individuals, families, groups, and organizations. Travel health nurses contribute to the health and safety of their travelers, the destinations they visit, and the communities to which they return. ATHNA is grateful for our more than 3000 members who provide customized, quality healthcare to students, tourists, missioners, business travelers, the military, and other travelers every day. As the professional association for the specialty of travel health nursing, ATHNA is honored to work on your behalf.
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 more than 3,300 members across the United States and internationally, ATHNA is committed to professional development, networking, research, and advocacy in travel health nursing. If you provide health care services for travelers – both domestic and international – ATHNA is the nursing organization that supports you and your patients. Join us as we build our professional community!
Our Mission Statement
As the U.S. professional organization and voice for the specialty of travel health nursing, ATHNA's mission is "to advocate for nurses engaged in the care of all travelers through professional development, scholarship, evidence-based practice, and specialty board certification."
The Specialty of Travel Health Nursing
Recognized by the American Nurses Association in 2020 as a distinct nursing specialty, Travel Health Nursing is the specialized nursing practice that advances the well-being of all travelers in all phases / stages of travel, both domestic and international.
Travel health nursing professionals 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. We practice in a variety of settings that include hospitals, private travel health clinics, universities, corporations, the military, public health centers, and community clinics. As clinicians, we 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 provide services to travelers, please consider joining our professional association.
On Saturday, June 22, 2024, ATHNA will hold its annual
NED: Networking, Education and Development Day
This unique opportunity for professional development, CE credits, and face-to-face networking is offered simultaneously at multiple regional sites and is available for Members Only.
Full details and registration will be available mid-April.
Not a member? Join Today!
Rabies Learning Module: Free & Accredited
Rabies: Dazed or Confused? Successfully Implementing the Revised ACIP Rabies Vaccine 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 May 6, 2022 www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7118a2.htm.)
With this reduced dosing schedule, more travelers can potentially benefit from rabies vaccination predeparture. To assist clinicians seeking to protect travelers from the potentially fatal infection of rabies, ATHNA now offers a FREE and On-Demand Educational Activity. Accredited by AANP for 1.0 contact hour of continuing education (which includes 0.5 hours of pharmacology) this program:
- Provides a basic review of rabies infection and pathogenesis
- Defines a variable incubation rate
- Includes clinic tools to teach rabies prevention: RABID
- Explains how to implement the new ACIP 2 dose rabies primary series
This learning module is suitable for NPs, RNs, MDs, DOs, PAs, Pharmacists, and anyone interested in knowing how to prevent a potentially fatal case of rabies.
This educational activity was made possible with the support of a Bavarian Nordic educational grant and is available on the ATHNA learning platform.
ATHNA is celebrating a 20-year milestone in 2024! Our American Travel Health Nursing Association, ATHNA, was officially incorporated and launched in 2004. So much has been accomplished in 20 years! In addition to providing resources and ongoing education for travel health nurses to use in practice, ATHNA board members worked tirelessly to expand membership, secure recognition by the American Nurses Association, ANA, as a distinct nursing specialty, and partnered with the ANA to align and publish Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 1st edition. We continue to maintain active partnerships and collaborations with other key organizations affiliated with travel health issues. We hope you share in celebrating all that has been achieved for you, our travel health nurses.
Looking into the next 20 years, we are excited to be building pathways for you and all travel health nurses to become board-certified in our specialty practice. We are in the preliminary planning stages and many thanks to the many members who volunteered to help – stay tuned! This United States nationally-recognized board certification will be the first of its kind, and this is just one major example of what ATHNA is doing to advance our specialty and support you, our members.
At our December 2023 board meeting, the Board of Directors approved updates to ATHNA’s Mission Statement to reflect the addition of specialty board-certification, and our revised mission is provided below:
As the professional organization for the specialty of travel health nursing, ATHNA’s mission is to advocate for nurses engaged in the care of all travelers through professional development, scholarship, evidence-based practice, and specialty board-certification. (December 14, 2023)
So, what is coming next? Look for more information about these developments in the coming weeks and months:
1. We want to hear from you! Complete the short survey when you receive the link.
We will be sending a membership survey to your inbox very soon. We want to know what you need from ATHNA, your travel health nursing specialty organization. An important component of this survey concerns certification. We hope you will respond and enter a drawing to win some prizes!
TravelBytes are engaging, substantive, and concise posts from a variety of fellow professionals in the field of travel health. The writers strive to illuminate challenging clinical issues, share timely evidence-based recommendations, and keep you apprised of relevant global health and policy developments.
Access former TravelBytes here.
Travel health risks and prevention strategies are always changing. Keeping current is a challenge for our professional specialty! At various times throughout the year ATHNA posts relevant, peer reviewed content for travel health professionals to keep our travelers healthy and safe "on the road." Here is some recent content:
Are you preventing SIRVA at your clinical site? (January)
Do you know the safety guidelines for prescribing Tafenoquine? (February)
Are you using the CDC App to vaccinate with the appropriate Pneumococcal regimen? (April)
Do you know the 5Ws of sun protection? (May)
Mpox is now a WHO designated global emergency. We have resources to help you better understand this infection. (June)
FGM – female genital mutilation is not often discussed in travel health meetings. This presentation addresses a potential health risk for girls living and traveling to more than 30 nations. (September)
Health Literacy – you may be surprised at how little of your counseling messages are understood by your patients – and ways you can improve understanding. (November)
Members Only Portal
In addition to the information offered on our homepage, we offer our members additional content and resources available on the Membership Portal. Not yet a member? Join today – we offer free membership and welcome your participation in the U.S. 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. Here you will find the Model Travel Health Nursing Curriculum and the Travel Health Nursing Glossary.
From time-to-time ATHNA shares new forms, checklists, and clinical tools to facilitate efficient and effective patient care. This includes the ATHNA template for a pretravel assessment questionnaire updated every year as needed, a screening tool for yellow fever vaccination, a checklist for rabies pretravel prevention counseling, and more. Members will want to adapt these documents to their own practice settings and travel populations and review and revise prn.
Members are welcome to post open positions or announce their availability for travel health nursing employment. Employers are welcome to post employment opportunities.
A certificate suitable for framing is available as a download to our members.
Announcements about registration, CE topics and speakers are posted here for our members who plan to attend one of the regional and unique Networking, Education and Development conferences ATHNA offers each summer.