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American Nurses Association Recognizes Travel Health Nursing as New Specialty Nursing Practice


Shannon McClendon, 301-628-5391

Keziah Proctor, 301-628-5197

SILVER SPRING, MD - The American Nurses Association (ANA), representing the interests of the nation’s 4 million registered nurses, announces the formal recognition of travel health nursing as a nursing specialty.

Travel health nursing is an evidence-based practice that advances the well- being of all travelers both domestic and international, and the communities to which they travel and return. It has evolved as a distinct and increasingly complex specialty over the past three decades and draws upon the knowledge of nursing, pharmacology, epidemiology, tropical medicine, primary care, and behavioral psychology.

“ANA is pleased to recognize the specialty status of this essential area of nursing practice,” said ANA President Ernest Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN. “It’s a privilege to play such a vital role protecting the public and ensuring nursing practice maintains the highest and relevant clinical, research and educational domains. Granting this specialty recognition underscores the importance of nursing’s contribution to the global impact of travelers’ health and safety.”

"ATHNA is thrilled and honored by ANA’s recognition of our specialty scope and standards,” said the American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA) Interim President Sandy Weinberg, RN, BSN, MA, FATHNA, CTH®. “This recognition is a milestone for our specialty. It highlights and acknowledges the more than 25,000 nurses who provide travel health services to travelers of every age who make any journey.”

Travel health nurses are specially educated and trained to promote the health and safety of travelers through comprehensive risk analysis, assessment, immunizations, health education, and therapeutic interventions. Nurses in this specialty provide services in three different clinical encounters: pre-travel, during travel (“in-transit”), and post travel in a variety of settings that include college health, occupational health, public health, the military, primary care, and nurse-managed travel health clinics, among others. Travel Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2020), an important professional resource, is in production and will be available at in the near future.

ANA is the neutral reviewing body of specialty nursing scope of practice statements and standards of practice, requests for specialty recognition, and more recently affirmation of focused practice competencies.


About the American Nurses Association

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit

About the American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA)

The American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA) is the professional organization that represents more than 2,000 members from every U.S. state, many Canadian provinces, and several countries. ATHNA members practice in a multitude of clinical settings to provide care to travelers during all stages of trips to destinations both international and domestic. Currently, ATHNA offers free membership to any professional nurse who wishes to join. ATHNA advocates for nurses in this specialty and promotes professional development and the provision of standardized, quality travel health care. ATHNA provides its members with a number of special benefits including an annual Networking Education and Development Day (NED) and TravelBytes, its peer-reviewed blog. Learn more at .

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