Photo of Pamela Stephenson

Pamela Stephenson, Ph.D., RN

College of Nursing
Associate Professor
Office Hours:
Monday 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Wednesday 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Contact Information
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Dr. Stephenson works as part of a hospice and palliative care research team looking at diverse issues affecting persons nearing the end of life and their families. Dr. Stephenson’s research currently focuses on how uncertainty affects patients involved in transitions towards dying. She is particularly interested in spiritual uncertainties and is working to develop, refine, and test a newly identified construct of spiritual uncertainty at the end of life. This builds on previous qualitative research that examined the spirituality of hospice patients.

In addition to telling stories about spirituality, participants also told stories about the questions, doubts, and uncertainties that affected their experience with dying. Dr. Stephenson’s goal is to develop tools to help health professionals assist dying patients with decision making and to improve the quality of life closure.


  • NURS 70710 – History and Philosophy of Nursing Science
  • NURS 60101 – Theoretical Basis of Nursing Practice
  • NURS 60025 – Health Care Delivery for Advanced Nursing Practice


Ph.D., Kent State University, 2011, MSN, Kent State University, 2000, BSN, The University of Akron, 1987


End-Of-Life, Oncology, Spirituality, Spiritual Uncertainty, Qualitative methods


  • Sheehan, D., Stephenson, P. Mayo, M., Snyder-Cowan, D., & Hansen, D. (2019). Supporting adolescents with a parent in hospice. In B. R. Ferrell & J. Paice (Eds.). Textbook of Palliative Nursing (5th ed., pp. 783-791). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Sheehan, D., Hansen, D., Stephenson, P.S., Mayo, M.M, Albataineh, R. & Anaba,E. (2019). Telling adolescents that a parent has died. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 21(2), 152-159. doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000506
  • Stephenson, P.S., Sheehan, D., Hansen, D., & Mayo, M. (2019). Spiritual uncertainty among hospice providers: “There were tensions.” Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 21(1), 90-95. doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000485.
  • Stephenson, P. S. & Hebeshy, M. (2018). The delivery of end-of-life spiritual care to Muslim patients by non-Muslim providers. MEDSURG Nursing.
  • Stephenson, P. S., Sheehan, D., Hansen, D., & Mayo, M. M. (2017). The spiritual nature of uncertainty among hospice patients. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 19(5).
  • Stephenson, P. S., Sheehan, D., & Shahour, G. (2017). Support for using attributes to describe spirituality among families in hospice. Palliative and Supportive Care, doi: 10.1017/S1478951516000778 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Hansen, D.M., Sheehan, D. & Stephenson, P. (2016) Family caregiver recruitment: Social media challenges, opportunities and lessons. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 23(2), 608-611.
  • Mayo, M.M., Sheehan, D.K., Hansen, D.M., Stephenson, P., Christ, G.H., Heim, K., Parish, S., Shahrour, G., & Draucker, C.B. (2016). An examination of interactions between health care providers and adolescents with a parent in hospice.
  • Stephenson, P. & Grotannelli, N. (2016). Caring for a patient with schizophrenia at the End of Their Life. In Managing Conflict/Finding Meaning. Hospice Foundation of America.
  • Stephenson, P. S. & Berry, D. M. (2015). Describing spirituality at the end of life. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 37, 1229-1247.


International Philosophy of Nursing Society, British Association for the Study of Spirituality, Sigma Theta Tau International, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, Oncology Nursing Society, Midwest Nursing Research Society


  • 2017, Intercultural Faculty Scholar, Kent State University
  • 2012, Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health Summer Workshop, Tuition Scholarship
  • 2011, Golden Key International Honor Society, Inductee
  • 2008, Heideggerian Hermeneutical Institute Scholarship

Research Institutes and Initiatives

Global Understanding Research Initiative, Healthy Communities Research Initiative