Photo of Pamela Stephenson

Pamela Stephenson, Ph.D., RN

College of Nursing
Assistant Professor
Office Hours:
Monday 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Wednesday 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Contact Information
Personal Website:

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
  • Stephenson, P. S., Sheehan, D., & Shahour, G. (in press). Spirituality of families with a parent in hospice. Palliative and Supportive Care.
  • 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.
  • Grotannelli, N. & Stephenson, P. S. (2015). Psychiatric/psychological symptoms and diagnoses. In Core Curriculum for Generalist Hospice and Palliative Nurses (4th ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing.
  • Stephenson, P. S. & Berry, D. M. (2015). Describing spirituality at the end of life. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 37, 1229-1247.
  • 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. Journal of Hospice a
  • Stephenson, P.S., Sheehan, D., Hansen, D., & Mayo, M. (2015). Uncertainties experienced by family members when one parent is dying. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 21, 488-494.
  • 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.
  • Stephenson, P. S. (2014). Spiritual uncertainty: Exemplars of two hospice patients. Holistic Nursing Practice, 38(4), 233-237.
  • Stephenson, P. S. & Berry, D. M. (2014). Spirituality and uncertainty at the end of life. Oncology Nursing Forum, 41(1), 33-39.
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
  • Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health Summer Workshop, Tuition Scholarship (2012)
  • Golden Key International Honor Society, Inductee (2011)
  • Heideggerian Hermeneutical Institute Scholarship (2008)
Research Institutes and Initiatives
Global Understanding Research Initiative, Healthy Communities Research Initiative