Photo of Wendy Umberger

Wendy A. Umberger, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC

College of Nursing
Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, Professor
Contact Information


My research focuses on psychological factors related to chronic non-cancer pain and integrative therapies to decrease pain and improve function. Over the past 25 years, I studied the effect of guided imagery on pain and function in persons with chronic pain and undergoing knee arthroplasty. I am interested in how parental chronic pain impacts the family system and developed several mid-range theories related to this phenomenon.

I've practiced as a psychiatric mental health advanced practice nurse for over 30 years; this practice has informed my research endeavors. My colleagues and I have also received major continuous funding to help grow the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program at Kent State University. A large portion of this funding supports student learning, interprofessional team building, and measurement of student, team and patient outcomes in integrated care settings.


Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 2002, MSN, Kent State University, 1986, BSN, Kent State University, 1982


Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, Family Therapy Models, Integrated Care Models, Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing


  • Umberger, W., Draucker, C., & Jacobson, A. (in press, 2019). Guided imagery for total knee replacement: Responses to an audiobook placebo treatment. Western Journal of Nursing Research.
  • Umberger, W., & Gaddis, L. (in press, 2019). The science of addiction through the lens of opioid treatment for chronic non-cancer pain. Pain Management Nursing.
  • Hamash, K., Umberger, W., Aktas, A., Walsh, D., & Cheruvu, V. (2018). The effect of the pain symptom cluster on performance in women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer: The mediating role of the psychoneurological symptom cluster.
  • Umberger, W., & Risko, J. (2016). ‘It didn’t kill me. It just made me stronger and wiser: Silver linings for children and adolescents of parents with chronic pain. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 30, 138-143.
  • Draucker, C.B., Jacobson, A., Umberger, W., Myerscough, R., & Sanata, J. (2015). Acceptability of a guided imagery intervention for individuals undergoing a total knee replacement. Journal of Orthopedic Nursing, 34, 356-364.
  • Umberger, W., Risko, J., & Covington, E. (2015). The forgotten ones: Needs of children and adolescents living with parental chronic non-cancer pain. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 30, 498-507.
  • Umberger, W., Martsolf, D., Jacobson, A., Risko, J., Patterson, M., & Calabro, M. (2014). Ways of understanding parental chronic pain: A typology. Pain Management Nursing, 15, 854-863.
  • Umberger, W. (2014). Children of parents with chronic non-cancer pain: A comprehensive review of the literature. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 27, 26-34.
  • Umberger, W., Martsolf, D., Jacobson, A., Risko, J., Patterson, M., & Calabro, M. (2013). The shroud: Ways adolescents manage living with parental chronic pain. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45, 344-354.


American Society of Pain Management Nursing, National League for Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International


  • 2018, Pioneer Assessment Award, Kent State University
  • 2014, Scholar of the Month, Kent State University
  • 2011, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Marquis Who's Who
  • 2007, Hyundai Motors American Scholar, American Nurses Foundation
  • 1999, American Nurses Foundation Scholar, American Nurses Foundation
  • 1995, Ellis Merit Award, Case Western Reserve University
  • 1992, Dean's Scholar Award, Case Western Reserve University
  • 1986, Linnea Henderson Award, Kent State University
  • 1984, David B. Smith Fellowship, Kent State University
  • 1984, NIMH Traineeship, National Institutes of Health
  • 1982, Summa Cum Laude, Kent State University