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 3,000 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
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:
ATHNA is proud to announce the results of our 2023 board elections. As an all-volunteer professional organization, now in its 19th year with more than 3,200 members, the American Travel Health Nurses Association appreciates and values the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment of its officers and 16-member board of directors. Congratulations to our three new officers and a warm welcome to three new directors!
Effective July 1, these nursing professionals joined Gail Rosselot as they began their new 2-year terms on the ATHNA Executive Council:
Kathryn Reid, PhD, RN, FNP-C, CNL
Kathryn lives in Charlottesville where she is an Associate Professor at the University of Virgina School of Nursing. Bringing to ATHNA experience in multiple clinical, administrative, and educational roles, Kathryn also serves as Director of the UVA Nursing Continuing Education Program. We are excited to have Kathryn lead the only US professional organization for travel health nursing as we approach our 20-year anniversary in 2024. Please read her inaugural President’s Message on this homepage.
Amy Manion, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC
Amy lives in Indiana. She is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Northwestern Children's Practice, and an Associate Professor, College of Nursing, Rush University in Chicago. Amy also serves as President of the E-Chapter of NAPNAP where she brings much experience with running a virtual organization.
Susan Cruz, ANP-BC, MS, MPH, AFTM RCPS (Glasg)
Certificate in Travel Health®
A long- time member of ATHNA, Susan lives in Maine and works as an NP at the Maine General Medical Center in their Occupational Health Unit. In that unit, Sue also serves as the hospital’s primary travel health provider.
Gail Rosselot, MS, MPH, APRN-BC, COHN-S/R, FFTM, RCPS (Glasg), FAANP, FISTM, FATHNA
Certificate in Travel Health®
Gail continues in her role as VP and currently chairs the Certification Task Force to implement a Certification by Portfolio for the specialty of travel health nursing by December 2024.
ATHNA also welcomes three new directors for the 2023 to 2025 term to our board of 16:
Andrea Anderson from Washington DC, Colleen Jeffery from Houston TX, and Candace McAlester also from Houston, TX. Check back next month to learn more about these three dynamic nurse leaders.
Dear Travel Health Nurse Colleagues,
As we all emerge from the covid pandemic, travel is really picking up and we are busier than ever! It’s a GREAT time to be a travel health nurse!
ATHNA is an AMAZING professional organization for all of us working in travel health, and I’m honored to be serving as your president for a 2-year term (July 2023 - June 2025)! With more than 3,200 members, our all-volunteer organization provides critically important travel health updates, specialty education, and networking opportunities with colleagues across the country. We are so grateful to you, our members, for all that you have done to help ATHNA become a leading travel health professional organization. For example, the membership response to the call for volunteers for the certification task force was amazing! Because of your active engagement and service to ATHNA, we are very excited to be implementing the board-certification process starting in 2024 - stay tuned for more details!
As your president, I’m looking forward to hearing from you, our members, about what you need from ATHNA to support your professional practice. ATHNA’s Board of Directors is dedicated to advancing travel health nursing and providing professional networking, education, and support to help you thrive in our specialty. Let me know your ideas for how ATHNA can support you as a travel health nurse through engagement with our organization and our myriad of offerings.
Kathryn B. Reid, PhD, RN, FNP-C
President, American Travel Health Nurses Association
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.
TravelByte #45: Malaria News, News, and More News
On August 28, CDC issued an additional Health Alert Network (HAN) Update on locally acquired malaria cases in the US. At this writing, there have been 7 cases of P. vivax in Florida and 1 in Texas as well as 1 case of the even more concerning, P. falciparum in Maryland. This has not happened in the US since 2003. Since malaria can be a severe and even fatal disease, CDC routinely recommends clinicians consider a malaria diagnosis in any traveler returning from malaria-endemic areas. Now, they recommend you add malaria to the differential in any person with unexplained fever, especially in those with new anemia or thrombocytopenia – regardless of their travel history. They will continue surveillance in all 3 states for an additional 8 weeks after identifying any case. Anopheles mosquitoes, the usual cause of malaria transmission, are in many parts of the country.
Keep in mind that the most crucial consideration in malaria management is recognizing that malaria is a possibility. Unfortunately, delays can and do lead to unnecessary deaths. According to CDC, we have about 2,000 cases per year primarily from travelers returning from trips to malaria-endemic regions. In any given year more than 70% of these cases are diagnosed in VFR travelers. Until recently infections have been increasing over the years – except during the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic. Surveillance numbers for malaria in US travelers are always delayed by 2 or more years as data is first gathered and then carefully analyzed. Numbers through 2020 are depicted in the graph below. Travel health professionals can access the most up-to-date malaria data at the MMWR website https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/ss/ss7108a1.htm.
Many nurses in our specialty only provide pre travel services, but understanding best practices for referring and diagnosing malaria is important information for every travel health provider. Remember a case of P. falciparum could lead to death in a matter of days; this is not a diagnosis that can wait days for a lab result to come back. Julie Richards, the author of this TravelByte, provides post-travel care at Stanford Student Health and offers these recommendations.
Travel health risks and prevention strategies are always changing. Keeping current is a challenge for our professional specialty! Throughout the year ATHNA posts relevant, peer reviewed content for travel health professionals to keep our travelers healthy and safe “on the road.” We’ll be adding more content every quarter. Here is just some of the 2023 content anyone can access now:
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).
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:
Members Only Portal
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.
Members are welcome to post open positions or announce their availability for travel health nursing employment.