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School of Nursing > Faculty & Staff > Emerita Faculty > Karen Wambach, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC, FILCA, FAAN

Karen Wambach, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC, FILCA, FAAN

Director, PhD Program
Co-Coordinator BSN Honors Program
Ph.D., University of Arizona
MS, University of Arizona
BSN, University of Minnesota


  • KU School of Nursing faculty since 1992
  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) since 1997
  • Member of the American Academy of Nursing and the Expert Panel on Breastfeeding
  • Member of American Nurses Association, Missouri Nurses Association
  • Member of Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing since 1987
  • Member of International Lactation Consultant Association
  • Member of Midwest Nursing Research Society; Women's Health Transitions in Childbearing Research Interest Group
  • Member of Sigma Theta Tau International since 1989, Delta and Beta Mu Chapters
  • Peer reviewer for Journal of Human Lactation, Journal of Pediatric Nursing, American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing 

Academic Program Affiliations

  • PhD
  • DNP
  • MS
  • BSN

Current Areas of Teaching

  • NRSG 946, Measurement Principles and Practice
  • NRSG 999, PhD Dissertation
  • NRSG 980, Doctorate of Nursing Practice Project
  • NRSG 895, Grant Writing for Nursing Science
  • NRSG 898, Masters Research Project in Nursing
  • NRSG 804, Interpreting Research for Applied Science
  • NURS 382, 482, 483, Honors Research Seminar and Practica

Select Publications

  • Wambach, K. & Spencer. (2021). Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 6th edition. Boston: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  • Wambach, K., Bateson, T., Matheny, P., & Easter, K. (2019). A Descriptive Study of the Attitudes, Perceptions, and Experiences of Human Milk Donation. Advances in Neonatal Care, 19, 441-451.
  • Wambach, K., & Britt, E. (2018). Breastfeeding support experiences of registered nurses in a large children's hospital system. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 47(5),632-640. doi: 10.1016/j.jogn.2018.07.007.
  • Jacobson, L., Hade, E., Collins, T., Margolis, K., Waring, M. E., Van Horn, L. V., Silver, B., Sittari, M. E., Bird, C., Kimminau, K., Wambach, K., Steffanick, M. (2018). Breastfeeding history and risk of stroke among parous post-menopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative. JAHA: Journal of the American Heart Association, 7(17):e008739. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.118.008739
  • Linares, A.M., Wambach, K., Rayens, M.,K., Wiggins, A., Coleman, E., & Dignan, M.B. (2016). Modeling the Influence of Early Skin-to-Skin Contact on Exclusive Breastfeeding in a Sample of Hispanic Immigrant Women. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, DOI 10.1007/s10903-016-0380-8.
  • Wambach, K., Domian, E., Page-Goertz, S., Wurtz, H., & Hoffman, K. (2016). Experiences of exclusive breastfeeding among Mexican-American women. Journal of Human Lactation, 32, 103-111. doi:  10.1177/0890334415599400 PMCID: PMC4710489

Select Presentations

  • Wambach, K., Davis, A., Nelson, E., Swinburne Romine, R. momHealth: An innovative multiple health behavior intervention for pregnant and parenting adolescent women. Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, Kansas City, MO. April, 2019.
  • Wambach, K., Hester, C., Barker, C. A descriptive study to determine data collected by health care providers during the care of breastfeeding mother/baby pairs. Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, Cleveland, OH. March, 2018.
  • Wambach, K., Bateson, T., Matheny, P., & Easter, K.. A descriptive study of the attitudes, perceptions, and experience of human milk donation. International Lactation Consultant Association Annual Conference. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 20, 2017.
  • Wambach, K., Davis, A., & Nelson, E. The momHealth feasibility study. Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference, Minneapolis, MN. April, 2017.
  • Wambach, K., Teel, C., Ogawa, L., Peltzer, J. Baird, M., & Park, S. PhD Synthesis courses and qualifying examinations: Threading innovation throughout the curriculum at the University of Kansas. American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Doctoral Education Conference, San Diego, CA., January, 2017
  • Wambach, K., Siengsukon, C., Befort, C., Fazzino, T., Evans, T., Thornton, Barela, A., K., & Geiger, P. A childcare needs assessment at an academic medical center. Midwest Nursing Research Society, Milwaukee, WI, March 18, 2016.


  • 2019-2022. Wambach, K. Co-Investigator. Effects of Patient Turnover on Nursing Care and Patient Outcomes in Acute Care Hospital Settings. AHRQ RO1 HS026134-01A1. Shin Hye Park, PI.
  • 2017-2020. Wambach, K. Co-Principal Investigator. momHealth: Mobile Multiple Health Behavior Change in Teen Pregnancy & Parenting. NICHD-1R21HD088913-01A1.
  • 2016. Wambach, K. Principal Investigator. A Descriptive Study of the Experience of Human Milk Donation. KU School of Nursing Office of Grants and Research Faculty Research Award.
  • 2016. Wambach, K., Davis, A., Nelson, E. Co-PIs. momHealth Pilot: An Interprofessional Approach to Evaluate a Multiple Health Behavior Change Intervention with Pregnant and Parenting Teens Using Mobile Technology. MacArthur Interprofessional Collaboration Award.
  • 2014-2016. Wambach, K. Consultant. Heather Gibbs, PI, KUMC. Adaptation and Validation of a Nutrition Literacy Assessment Instrument. National Institute Child Health Development. R03.
  • 2012- 2014. Wambach, K. Co-investigator. National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators. Nancy Dunton, PI. Contract from the American Nurses Association. 
  • 2003-2007. Wambach, K. Principal Investigator. Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding In Adolescent Mothers. NIH-NINR-1R01 NR07773-01A2.

Awards & Honors

  • 2019, University of Kansas School of Nursing Alumni Association. Honorary Alumnus.
  • 2017-2022 Chancellor's Club Teaching Professorship
  • 2015, Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (FAAN)
  • 2012, Fellow, International Lactation Consultant Association
  • 2010, The Phyllis Keeney Lawrence Teaching Award
  • 2004, University of Kansas Medical Center Faculty Investigator Research Award
Last modified: Sep 09, 2020

Karen Wambach


Karen Wambach, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC, FILCA, FAAN
Director, PhD Program
Co-Coordinator BSN Honors Program

P: (913) 588-1639