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:

Call for Nominations 2023

Nominations for the ATHNA Board of Directors are Now Open!

The American Nurses Association officially recognized travel health nursing as the newest specialty in our profession! If you are interested in helping ATHNA to build on this exciting and historic development, please consider joining our Board of Directors.

The American Travel Health Nurses Association is now accepting applications for the Board of Directors. Participation on the board provides an opportunity to work with a dedicated group of experts that are passionate about the field of travel health nursing. Members of the Board of Directors will serve a two-year term from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2025. This two-year position requires participation at quarterly teleconference board meetings and active involvement in ATHNA projects and initiatives. We seek individuals with energy and enthusiasm for the growth of our organization and our professional specialty and ideally an interest in making a longer- term commitment to ATHNA. Board members work to develop clinical guidelines with a goal of establishing travel health nursing as a specialty. Additionally, board members develop educational programs to enhance travel health nurses' knowledge. In addition to planning the future of our organization, membership on the Board affords individuals professional and leadership opportunities.

Anyone can nominate a fellow ATHNA member or self-nominate for an ATHNA Board position. Nominations to the ATHNA Board will remain open through May 1, 2023.

Hear what other Board members had to 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 had the privilege of working with many dynamic professionals who had clear goals and were interested in accomplishing them. I expanded my skill set as I became involved with projects outside of my usual areas of expertise. It was very rewarding to see so many ideas come to fruition while being part of a terrific team, all with a focus on improving patient care. 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 for, and help set the standard for our specialty."

Please consider joining the ATHNA Board. It is an excellent opportunity to connect with travel health nursing experts and enhance your travel health nursing knowledge.

To self-nominate, please complete our application (button).

To place a name in nomination or if you have additional questions, please contact Linda Sapio-Longo at

Thank you,
Linda Sapio-Longo, Chair
2023 ATHNA Nominations Committee Members:
Linda Sapio-Longo
Tammy Degenhardt
Kathryn Reid
American Travel Health Nurses Association...

Travel Health Nursing Scope & Standards Survey

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are asking you to take just a few minutes to complete an important survey about the travel health nursing scope and standards. ATHNA has made a commitment to develop a US certification in the specialty of travel health nursing and the completion of this survey will help the board move ahead with in this important effort.

Please click on the link below and complete the 4 minute survey today. Thank you!

President's Message

So far, 2023 looks to be a year of "revenge travel" with many postponed trips now rescheduled and individuals, families, and groups eager to fly off to destinations the world over. That's why we want to make sure that you are aware of the many helpful sections of the ATHNA website as you prepare your travelers. If you have not already checked out the Educational Resource, it is a must see! There is a wealth of educational material in an interesting format designed to make learning fun and not rote. We continue to provide updated information in a shorter format through our blog, Travel Bytes. If any of our members are interested in writing, we are always looking for contributions to these features and the website...

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

Zero By 30: Prevent Rabies Deaths

World Rabies Day will be celebrated on Thursday, September 28th this year, but you can start preventing traveler deaths from this deadliest of infectious diseases from rabies every time you provide pretravel counseling.

Started in 2007, Rabies Day is an annual global opportunity to bring together partners to enhance prevention and control efforts worldwide and to reflect on how rabies impacts communities around the world. World Rabies Day also marks the death anniversary of French biologist, microbiologist and chemist, Louis Pasteur, who developed the first rabies vaccine in 1885. According to the CDC, while rabies is a 100 percent preventable disease, nearly 60,000 people die from this viral infection around the world each year.

According to WHO, "The world has the vaccines, medicines, tools, and technologies to break the cycle of one of the oldest diseases." Most rabies deaths around the world are caused by dog bites (CDC, Yellow Book 2020). Zero by 30 is the WHO Global Strategic Plan for the elimination of dog-mediated human rabies deaths by 2030.

Travel health nurses have opportunities every day to educate the public about this deadly infection and to protect our travelers with avoidance education and immunization. Starting in April through a Bavarian Nordic support grant, ATHNA will offer a FREE, CE accredited, educational activity to support the Zero By 30 campaign. It will be offered on- demand and will provide nursing professionals in diverse clinical settings with up-to-date prevention guidance for their international travelers.

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

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

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:


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.

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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