Dr. Jennifer M.L. Stephens

Program Director BN


Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Disciplines, Athabasca University


  • Ph.D. (Nursing) University of British Columbia
  • M.A. (History) Portland State University
  • BSN (Nursing) Washington State University
  • ADN (Nursing) Portland Community College
  • BA (History/Anthropology) University of Colorado

Scholarship & Research Interests:

  • Oncology (specifically haematological cancers in adults) and psychosocial oncology
  • Oncology nursing practice
  • History of nursing/History of oncology and of oncology nursing
  • Qualitative research (specifically interpretive description and phenomenology)
  • Patient experience (identity, personality, personhood, self/being/Being, women’s experience)
  • Nursing theory (epistemology and ontology)
  • Environmental concerns around oncology care (specific to nursing practice)
  • Palliative and hospice care including Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)

Professional Licenses

  • Registered Nurse (British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals)
  • Registered Nurse (Washington State, USA)

Selected Certifications

  • Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) (Oncology Nursing Certification Coorporation, USA)
  • Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Certification
  • Clinical Instructor Certification Course (Canadian Nurse Educator Institute)

Current Clinical Practice

  • Staff Nurse, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplantation Program of BC
    (Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver, BC)
  • Home Care RN, Nurse Next Door (Pitt Meadows, BC)

Selected Awards

  • Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award- F. Banting/C. Best Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS-D) (2011-2016)
  • University of British Columbia, Four-Year-Fellowship (2009-2013)
  • Canadian Nursing Foundation, Dr. Ann Beckingham Award (2011-2012)
  • BCNU Nursing Education Bursary (2011)
  • VCHA Cordula and Gunter Paetzold Nursing Education Bursary (2011 - 2012)

Research Opportunities for Graduate Students:

Engage with Dr. Stephens through your thesis program or independent studies in areas including oncology nursing, palliative care and hospice, oncology patient experience concerns (like body image and identity), qualitative research methods, and history of nursing topics.

Recent Presentations and Expert Interviews

Expert Interview. Pirschel, C. (2018). What to do when your patients talk about medical aid in dying. Oncology Nursing Society Voice. Retrieved from https://voice.ons.org views/what-to-do-when-your-patients-talk-about-medical-aid-in-dying.

Speaker (2 May 2018). Exploring issues of identity for adult haematology oncology patients: A layered qualitative study. University of British Columbia, School of Nursing Conference. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Speaker (7 March 2017). How did we come to this? A brief history of blood cancer and meaning. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of B.C. Burnaby, BC.

Coordinator and Co-Host (16 November 2016). MAiD and the Role of the Oncology Nurse, Fall Education Conference for the CANO BC Chapter. BCCA Vancouver Centre, Vancouver, BC.

Podcast Author/Speaker (March 2015). Reviewing conference abstracts for CANO/ACIO: A “how-to” primer for conference abstract reviewers. [podcast]

Speaker (21 October 2014). Using a layered approach to uncovering clinical knowledge qualitatively. Qualitative Health Research Conference, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Speaker (15 June 2014). Multicultural Oral History: What does it mean? Canadian Association for the History of Nursing (CAHN) Annual Conference, Toronto, ON.

Webinar Speaker (22 January 2014). The GI and GU Oncology Emergencies [Webinar]. Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO/ACIO). Retrieved from http://www.cano-acio.ca

Speaker (20 October 2013). Stephens, J.M.L., Thorne, S., & Taylor, K. (2013, October 20). “I saw it on the web”: The influence of internet information on communication in cancer care. Presented at the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Webinar Speaker (22 May 2013). Hematologic Emergencies for the Oncology Nurse [Webinar]. Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO/ACIO). Retrieved from https://canomalachite-mgmt.site-ym.com

Recent Publications

Stephens, J.M.L. (in press for 2019). Cardiopulmonary complications. (Chapter 11). In Susan Ezzone (Ed.). Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: A Manual. (3rd ed.) Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Press.

Stephens, J. (Summer 2017). Research Reflections: Communicating your research. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 27(3), 283-284.

Stephens, J. (6 April 2016). Reflections of an oncology nurse on physician assisted death in Canada. Cancer Knowledge Network Web site. Retrieved from https://cancerkn.com

Stephens, J. (2016). Commentary on the CANO/ACIO conference: Medically Assisted Death in Canada: Careful and Thoughtful Practice Directions for Oncology Nurses. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 26(1), 90-91.

Stephens, J. (2016 February). Patient Perspectives: Cancer Take Two. Oncology Exchange, 15(1), 23-24.

Thorne, S., Stephens, J., & Truant, T. (2016). Building qualitative study design using nursing's disciplinary epistemology. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 72(2), 451-460. doi:10.1111/jan.12822

Truant, T., Kolbi, J., Stephens, J. (2014). Response to Social Scientists. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 24(4),169-173. doi:10.5737/1181912x24316917

Stephens, J. (2014, February 11). A passion for history, a place in the present. [Web blog article]. Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia. Retrieved from www.arnbc.ca/blog/a-passion-for-history-a-place-in-the-present-by-jennifer-m-l-stephens-rn/

Stephens, J. (2014). Landmarks: Male Caregivers of Female Breast Cancer Patients. Oncology Exchange, 13(1), 38-39.

Thorne, S. S., Taylor, K. K., Stephens, J. L., Kim-Sing, C. C., & Hislop, T. G. (2013). Of Guinea pigs and gratitude: the difficult discourse of clinical trials from the cancer patient perspective. European Journal of Cancer Care, 22(5), 663-672.

Stephens, J.M.L. (2013). Cardiopulmonary complications. In Susan Ezzone (Ed.). Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: A Manual (2nd Ed.) (Chapter 10) Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Press.

Stephens, J. (2013). From the Farms to the Far East: Nurse Missionary and Leader Margaret May Prentice. Canadian Association of the History of Nursing (CAHN/ACHN) Newsletter, 26(1), 15-17.

Stephens, J. (2013). Interview with Dr. Geertje Boschma: Recipient of the 2013 UBC Killiam Teaching Award. UBC Student Nursing Journal,2(1), 6-8.

Stephens, J. (2013). A Profile of Helen Shore, UBC Nursing Leader and Patron. UBC Student Nursing Journal,2(1), 9-12.

Stephens, J. (2013). A Vision of Our Legacy: Chatting with UBC Nursing Historians Glennis Zilm and Ethel Warbinek. UBC Student Nursing Journal,2(1), 13-14.

Stephens, J. (2012, April 25). Oncology nurses Flash (mob) the country. [Web blog article]. Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia. Retrieved from http://www.arnbc.ca

Stephens, J. (2011). Landmarks: Pregnancy-associated breast cancer. Oncology Exchange, 10(4), 17-18.

Hartzell, R, Rashleigh, L., & Stephens, J. (2011). Cancer chemotherapy nursing practice: New Canadian standards enhance cancer care. Oncology Exchange, 10(4), 7.

Stephens, J. (2011). Clinical Tips: Managing MAHA in oncology patients. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 21(3), 159-162.

Current Author of CEU Modules (for Nurse.com)

Introduction to Oncology Emergencies

Cancer and Chemotherapy

Common Fallacies about Cancer Pain

Cancer Update: Focus on Screening, Early Detection, and Prevention

Multiple Myeloma – Exploring the Challenges

Cancer Treatment: The Role of Monoclonal Antibodies

Bladder Cancer: Risk factors and Treatment Options

When the Diagnosis is Endometrial Cancer

Navigating the Breast Cancer Journey, Part 1

Navigating the Breast Cancer Journey, Part 2 UPCOMING

Progress Made Against Colorectal Cancer

Can You Answer Patients’ Questions about Clinical Trials?