Rosemary White-Traut, PhD, RN



Dr. White-Traut is a senior scientist whose main responsibility is to conduct a program of research and to engage others at Children’s Wisconsin in research activities. She also works with Children's Wisconsin's Research Institute to:

  • Lead respective research units in strategically growing and advancing science in their disciplines
  • Foster ongoing communication and collaboration within respective research units
  • Create and encourage mentorship plan within respective research units
  • Recommend funding priorities within respective research units
  • Provide metrics for respective research units
  • Develop and implement strategies for program development and team science (i.e., training grants and program project grants)

Education and Awards


  • , Boston University School of Nursing, MS
  • , Georgetown University, BA
  • , Rush University College of Nursing, PhD


  • Outstanding Research Paper Award, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nursing (2013)
  • Research Abstract Award, National Association of Neonatal Nurses (2012)

Professional affiliations

  • 1998-Present International Society for Infancy Studies, Member
  • 1996-Present Sigma Theta Tau-Alpha Lambda Chapter National-Corresponding Member and Grant Reviewer
  • 1990-Present National Association of Neonatal Nurses, Member
  • 1990-Present Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing, Member, Research Committee (1996-1997), (1997-1998); Member Board of Directors (1998-2000)
  • 1989-1991 Sigma Theta Tau-Alpha Lambda Chapter, Research and Awards Committee (1989-1991), Chair, (1991)
  • 1986-Present Midwest Nursing Research Society, Member Grants Review Committee (2005-2009); Member Website Communications Committee (2004-2007); Member Nominating Committee (2012 – 2014)
  • 1985-Present American Nurses' Association, Member, Nominating Committee,(1985-1986), INA District 19; Member, Program Committee (1985-1986); INA District 19; Delegate- INA Convention (1985); Appointed to the INA Commission on Research (1986-1987), (1988-1990); American Nurses Foundation Grants Review Committee, Corresponding member (1996-Present), American Academy of Nursing (November, 2005)

Research and publications


Dr. White-Traut’s research has focused on the behavioral, developmental, and neurohormonal responses of at-risk infants to a multisensory intervention named ATVV (Auditory, Tactile, Visual and Vestibular Intervention). Premature infants experience lower capacity for behavioral alertness and pre-feeding behavioral cues, difficulty with oral feeding, immature autonomic function, alterations in patterns of social interaction, and delayed development. Infants that received ATVV have consistently showed improved behavioral outcomes, feeding, and up to two weeks shorter length of hospital stay, which significantly reduces the cost of initial hospitalization. Dr. White-Traut’s publications have contributed towards an evidence-based approach to clinical practice for at risk premature infants.

Representative publications

  • White-Traut, R., Norr, K., Fabiyi, C., Rankin, K., Li, Z., & Liu, L. (2013). Mother-infant interaction improves with a developmental intervention for mother-preterm infant dyads. Infant Behavior and Development, 36(4), 694-706. PMID: 23962543
  • White-Traut, R., Pham, T., Rankin, K., Norr, K., Shapiro, N., & Yoder, J. (2013). Exploring factors related to oral feeding progression in premature infants. Advances in Neonatal Care, 13(4), 288-294. Doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e31829d8c5a. PMID: 23912022
  • White-Traut, R., Rankin, K., Lucas, R., Shapiro, N., Liu, L., & Medoff-Cooper, B. (2013). Evaluating sucking maturation using two pressure thresholds. Early Human Development, 89, 833-837. 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2013.07.026
  • Holditch-Davis, D., White-Traut, R.C., Levy, J., Williams, K.L., Ryan, D., & Vonderheid, S. (2013). Maternal satisfaction with administering infant interactions in the NICU. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 42, 641-654. DOI: 10.1111/1552-6909.12255
  • Campbell, S. K., Zawacki,L. Rankin, K., Yoder, J., Shapiro, N., Li, Z., & White-Traut, R. (2013). Concurrent validity of the TIMP and the Bayley III Scales at 6 weeks corrected age. Pediatric Physical Therapy, 25(4), 395-401. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31829db85b
  • Lee, H. & White-Traut, R. (2013). Physiologic responses of preterm infants to male and female voice in the NICU. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, May 14, epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2013.04.007
  • Giurgescu, C., Kavanaugh, K., Norr, K F., Dancy, B.L., Twigg, N.M., McFarlin, B.L., Engeland, C. G., Hennessy, M.D., & White-Traut, R.C. (2013). Stressors, resources and stress responses in pregnant African American women: A mixed methods pilot study. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 27, 81-96
  • Bell, A.F., White-Traut, R.C., & Rankin, K. (2013). Fetal exposure to synthetic oxytocin and relationship to prefeeding cues within one hour postbirth. Early Human Development, 89, 137-143. 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2012.09.017

Book chapters

  • White-Traut, R. C., Dols, J., & McGrath, J. M. (2010). Chapter 19: Touch & Massage with High-Risk infants. In C. Kenner & J. M. McGrath (Eds.), Developmental care of newborns and infants: A guide for health professionals (2nd ed.). Chicago, Illinois: National Association of Neonatal Nurses.
  • Shin, H., & White-Traut, R. (2010). Chapter 3.3: The conceptual structure of transition to motherhood in the neonatal intensive care unit. In A. I. Meleis (Ed.), Transitions theory: Middle range and situation specific theories in nursing research and practice (1st ed., pp. 104-113). New York: Spring Publishing Company.
  • Wyckoff, M. M., White-Traut, R. C., & McGrath, J. M. (2003). Chapter 25: Nutrition and feeding of the high-risk infant. In C. Kenner & J. Wright Lott (Eds), Comprehensive neonatal nursing: A physiologic perspective (3rd ed., pp. 425-447). Philadelphia, PA: Sanders.
  • White-Traut, R. C. (1997). Infant behavior, disorganized: risk for. In M. J. Kim, G. K. McFarland & A. M. McLane (Eds.), Pocket guide to nursing diagnosis (7th ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.
  • White-Traut, R. C. (1995). Infant behavior, disorganized. In M. J. Kim, G. K. McFarland & A. M. McLane (Eds.), Pocket guide to nursing diagnosis (6th ed). St. Louis: Mosby.
  • White Traut, R. C., Nelson, M. N., & Silvestri, J. M. (1990). The effectiveness of multisensory stimulation in enhancing recovery among preterm infants. In S. Funk, E. Tornquist, M. T. Champagne, L. A. Copp, & R.A. Wiese (Eds.), Key aspects of recovery: Improving nutrition, rest and mobility (pp. 130-148). New York: Springer.


  • (Pending) Pathways to Preterm Birth: Stress, Inflammation, and Cervical Remodeling. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, (Co-PI – White-Traut) ($6,094,026)
  • (Pending) Multisensory Developmental Intervention for Preterms: Optimal Dose-Response
  • National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, (PI – White-Traut) ($2,500,000)
  • 2007 Feeding and Transition to Home for Preterms at Social Risk. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and National Institute of Nursing Research, (PI – White-Traut) ($3,300,000)
  • 2005 Mother-Administered Interventions for VLBW Infants. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research, (Co-investigator) (PI – D. Holditch-Davis) ($2,500,000)
  • 2003 Behavioral and Neuroendocrine Responses of Mothers and Infants During Bathing. Johnson & Johnson Worldwide, (PI – White-Traut) ($60,000)
  • 2001 High-Risk Preterm Infants Habituation to Sound in the Special Care Nursery