Faculty & Staff Profile

Faculty/Staff Profile

Karen L. Schumacher, RN, PhD
Associate Professor

Contact Information
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
College of Nursing - Omaha Division
Room 4074
985330 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5330
tel: (402) 559-2092
E-Mail: kschumacher@unmc.edu

Dr. Schumacher is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing. She directs the College of Nursing Postdoctoral Program and is an associate member of the Eppley Cancer Center. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University, her master's degree in community health nursing from the University of Colorado, and her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Oregon Health and Sciences University. She has been a faculty member at Vanderbilt University, UCSF, and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Schumacher's clinical background is in home health care nursing.


  • Dr. Schumacher currently teaches Philosophy of Nursing Science and Qualitative Research Methods in the PhD program.
  • She also serves as Co-Director of the HRSA-funded grant entitled “Re-tooling for an Aging Nebraska: Geriatric Nurse Practitioners – Masters Accelerated Post-Certificate (GNP-MAP) program.
  • Previous teaching experience includes community health nursing in traditional and second-degree BSN programs, nursing concepts and theory at the master’s and doctoral levels, and home care nursing at the master's level.


  • Dr. Schumacher's primary research interest is family caregiving during cancer treatment. Her specific focus is on how family members develop the caregiving skills needed to provide care at home during cancer treatment.
  • A concurrent research interest is management of cancer pain by patients and family caregivers. She is a co-investigator on a randomized clinical trial of a pain management nursing intervention based at UCSF. Her primary responsibility on this study is to lead its qualitative research component.
  • She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Scientific Development Committee for the NIH/NINR P20 grant awarded to the College of Nursing entitled “Interdisciplinary Heart Health Center.”
  • Areas of methodological expertise include qualitative research, model development and testing, and mixed method research designs.

Professional Service/Recognition

  • Member of numerous professional organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau, the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, and the Oncology Nursing Society
  • Content Expert, Individual and Family-Focused Psychosocial and Behavioral Research, 2009-2013 Research Agenda Committee, Oncology Nursing Society.
  • Manuscript Reviewer for Research in Nursing & Health, Nursing Research, and Journal of Nursing Scholarship
  • Recent awards include the Donna Westmoreland Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award (College of Nursing-2010) and the Excellence in Writing Award for Quantitative Nursing Research (Oncology Nursing Society – 2009)