Denice Sheehan

Denice Sheehan, Ph.D., RN

College of Nursing
Associate Professor
Office Location:
Room 315 Henderson Hall
Office Hours:
Mondays: 8 - 9 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m., Thursdays: 8 - 9 a.m. and 12 - 1 p.m., Office hours by appointment
Contact Information

Dr. Denice Sheehan is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She directed the development of the first graduate nursing program in palliative care in the United States in 1998 at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. 

Dr. Sheehan’s program of research focuses on adolescents with a parent in hospice. She has been funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research as a Principal Investigator to study the strategies adolescents use to cope with the changes in their lives during the final months of a parent’s illness.


  • NURS 70747 - Advanced Methods for Nursing Research: Application of Qualitative Methods
  • NURS 70730 - Qualitative Research Methods in Nursing
  • NURS 60101 - Theoretical Basis for Nursing Practice
  • NURS 41095 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Palliative and End of Life Care 
Ph.D., University of Akron/Kent State University, 2007, MSN, University of Akron, 1990, BSN, University of South Florida, 1982
Adolescence, End-of-Life Care, Parentally-Bereaved Adolescents, Cancer, Hospice, Nursing, family impact
  • Hansen, D.M., Sheehan, D. & Stephenson, P. (2017) Family caregiver recruitment via social media: Challenges, opportunities and lessons. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 23(2), 84-87. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2017.23.2.84.
  • Stephenson, P. S., Sheehan, D. & Shahrour, G. (2016). Support for using five spiritual attributes to describe spirituality among families with a parent in hospice. Palliative & Supportive Care, 1-8. doi:10.1017/S1478951516000778
  • Hansen, D.M., Sheehan, D. & Stephenson, P. (2016). The caregivers' experience with an illness blog: A pilot study. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 18(5), 464-469. DOI: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000276
  • Mayo, M.M., Sheehan, D.K., Hansen, D.M., Stephenson, P., Christ, G.H., Heim, K., Shahrour, G., & Draucker, C.B.. (2016). An examination of interactions between health care providers and adolescents with a parent in hospice. Journal of Hospice and Palliati
  • Sheehan, D.K., Mayo, M.M., Christ, G.H., Heim, K., Parish, S., Shahrour, G., & Draucker, C.B. (2016). Two worlds: Adolescents’ strategies for managing life with a parent in hospice. Palliative and Supportive Care, 15, 177-186. doi:10.1017/S147895151500073
  • Stephenson, P. S., Sheehan, D., Hansen, D. & Mayo, M. M. (2015). Uncertainties experienced by family members when one parent is dying. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 21(10):488-494. doi:10.12968/ijpn.201521.10.488.
  • Hansen, D.M., Sheehan, D.K., Stephenson, P.S. & Mayo, M. (2015). Parental relationships beyond the grave: Adolescents description of continued bonds. Palliative and Supportive Care, 14(4), 358-363. doi:10.1017/S1478951515001078
  • Sheehan, D.K., Draucker, C.B., Christ, G.H., Mayo, M.M, Heim, K., & Parish, S. (2014). Telling adolescents that a parent is dying. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 17(5). doi:10.1089/jpm.2013.0344.
  • Sheehan, D.K. & Draucker, C.B. (2011). Interactions between parents with advanced cancer and their adolescent children. Psycho-Oncology, 20, 1108-1115.doi: 10.1002/pon.1831
  • Sheehan, D.K. (2010). Recruiting for end of life research:Lessons learned in family research. Nursing Clinics of North America, 45(3), 441-448.doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2010.03.009
Sigma Theta Tau International, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, Midwest Nursing Research Society
  • 2017, Fellow in Palliative Care Nursing, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
  • 2015, June Scholar of the Month, Kent State University
  • 2010, Research Scholar, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
  • 2009, Leading the Way Award, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
  • 2000-2003, Sigma Theta Tau International Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2001, Distinguished Woman in Healthcare in End-of-Life/Hospice, Visiting Nurse Association Healthcare Partners of Ohio
Research Institutes and Initiatives
Healthy Communities Research Initiative