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

WELCOME!

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.

Free, On-Demand, and Accredited Learning Modules:

Rabies Vaccination & Dengue Fever

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.

This educational activity was made possible with the support of a Bavarian Nordic educational grant and is available on the ATHNA learning platform.

Dengue Fever: A Global Threat Hitting Home – What You Need to Know

Dengue fever is rapidly spreading geographically. Brazil and Puerto Rico are just two areas currently experiencing unprecedented outbreaks. Individuals traveling internationally to tropical and sub-tropical regions as well as citizens in some US states are increasingly at risk for this serious, potentially life-threatening arboviral illness. This one-hour presentation will describe dengue fever disease, review the changing epidemiology of dengue worldwide and in the US, and discuss ways individuals and communities can reduce their risk for this vector-born infection.

This educational activity was made possible with the support of a Takeda educational grant and is available on the ATHNA learning platform.

These learning modules are suitable for NPs, RNs, MDs, DOs, PAs, Pharmacists, as well as anyone interested in knowing how to prevent a potentially fatal case of rabies or avoid contracting dengue fever.

https://athna.clcmoodle.org/

ATHNA TravelBytes

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.

Education Resource

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

Membership Benefits

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.

Forms Archive
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.

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

Membership Certificate
A certificate suitable for framing is available as a download to our members.

NED Information
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.

Announcements

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. board certification.

As many of you know, there is currently no professional nursing board 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 regulatory bodies, employers, and academic institutions is mixed.

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 in the near future.

A task force of ATHNA members is assembled and working monthly 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 (www.athna.org) 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: www.nursingworld.org/~4951d0/globalassets/catalog/book-toc/2021_travel-health-nursing_toc.pdf

To purchase your personal copy or multiple copies for your clinical setting:

Immunize.org Update

Board of Director member, Lori Wolfe RN BSN MSN ABOHN-C, offers these Immunize.org updates for Winter 2024.

Remember: anyone can receive weekly free email updates from Immunization Action Coalition by registering at immunize.org.

Let's talk about vaccines; Here is the skinny below, what you can know!

Order Immunize.org's child, adult, and lifetime immunization record cards – wallet-sized, designed to last!

Immunize.org's personal immunization record cards, printed on rip-proof, smudge-proof, water-proof paper, are designed to last a lifetime. They fit in a wallet when folded. The record cards are for you to give to your patients as a permanent personal vaccination record and are sold in boxes of 250.

Immunization Cards

Make bulk purchases and receive quantity discounts. For quotes on larger quantities or customizing, or to request sample cards, call 651-647-9009 or email admininfo@immunize.org.

This site is designed and supported by Shoreland, Inc., publisher of Shoreland Travax®. Photos are supplied by Harlan Crowder. The American Travel Health Nurses Association gratefully acknowledges this contribution to the specialty of travel health nursing in the United States.