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.



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:

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

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.

Education Resource

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:

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:

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.

This site is designed and supported by Shoreland, Inc., publisher of Shoreland Travax®.