Mark Lazenby, PhD, APRN, FAAN

Mark Lazenby

Associate Professor of Nursing

Yale School of Nursing - Room 20401

phone: 203-737-2365
fax: 203-737-4480


As an Associate Professor of Nursing, Mark Lazenby explores how nursing practice addresses some of life’s biggest questions. He does this through the unique lens of being an advanced practice cancer nurse (MSN, Yale) and a philosopher of religion (PhD, Boston University).

 One such question is how to be a good nurse and a good person. In Caring Matters Most, Lazenby explores the ethical nature of daily nursing practice. He argues that acts of nursing care embody goodness. This goodness is the moral character of the profession. He examines in the book how individual nurses can develop this moral character in themselves.

As a cancer nurse, Lazenby is interested in helping patients with a cancer diagnosis deal with the questions of mortality. The distress of these questions can be compounded by being from a minority (and often misunderstood) religion. So when he is not writing books, short essays, or blog posts, he is developing a palliative care intervention for Muslim patients who are in treatment for advanced cancer in the United States, a study funded by the American Cancer Society.

Lazenby is also interested in equipping clinicians to assist patients and families with end-of-life questions. He has co-edited Safe Passage: A Global Spiritual Sourcebook for Care at the End of Life, has worked with colleagues to develop the End-of-Life Professional Caregiver Survey, and is a co-investigator for the National Cancer Institute-funded Screening for Psychosocial Distress Program, which trains cancer care professionals on how to implement routine comprehensive psychosocial distress screening.

At YSN, he teaches ethics to DNP students, philosophy of science to PhD students, and works with colleagues in the MSN oncology concentration. He is also Core Faculty on the Council on Middle East Studies and Fellow of Silliman College.

Research Interests/Clinical Practice

Research Interests

Spiritually sensitive interventions to enhance palliative care outcomes among patients with cancer from under-represented cultural and religious groups; psychosocial distress screening in cancer care; the ethics of nursing practice.



Lazenby, M. (2015). On the ethical issues that arise when religion and treatment collide in end-of-life decision making. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 17(4), 275-282. doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000161.

Lazenby, M., Tan, H., Pasacreta, N., Ercolano, E., McCorkle, R. (2015). The five steps of comprehensive distress screening. Current Oncology Reports, 17(5), 447-451. doi: 10.1007/s11912-015-0447-z.

Lazenby, M., Ercolano, E., Grant, M., Holland, J.C., Jacobsen, P.B., & McCorkle, R. (2015). Supporting the Commission on Cancer-mandated psychosocial distress screening with implementation strategies. Journal of Oncology Practice, 11(3), e413-420. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2014.002816.

Lazenby, M., Sebego, M., Swart N.C., Lopez L., Peterson, K. (2015). Symptom burden and functional dependencies among cancer patients in Botswana suggest a need for palliative care nursing. Cancer Nursing. Published online on April 15, 2015. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000249.

Stoneburner, R. L., Korenromp, E., Lazenby, M., Tassie, J-M., Letebele, J. … Low-Beer. D. (2014). Using health surveillance systems data to assess the impact of AIDS and antiretroviral treatment on adult morbidity and mortality in Botswana. PLOS One, 9(7), e100431. 

Lazenby, M. (2014). The international endorsement of US distress screening and psychosocial guidelines in oncology: A model for dissemination. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 12(2), 221-227. 

Lazenby, M., Dixon, J., Bai, M., & McCorkle, R. (2014). Comparing the Distress Thermometer (DT) with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-2 for Screening for Possible Cases of Depression among Patients Newly Diagnosed with Advanced Cancer. Palliative & Supportive Care, 12(1), 63-68. doi: 10.1017/S1478951513000394.

Philips, P., & Lazenby, M. (2013). The emotional and spiritual wellbeing of hospice patients in Botswana. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 16(11), 1438-1445. doi:10.1089/jpm.2013.0114.


Symposium Speaker. (2016, November). Cultural and religious considerations in emotional distress screening among advanced cancer patients. World Cancer Congress, Union for International Cancer Control. Paris, France.

Invited Keynote Speaker. (2016, July). Home-based palliative care: A 2-day workshop. King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan.

Invited Grand Rounds. (2016, May). On the five steps of comprehensive distress screening for cancer patients. Changsha Cancer Hospital, Changsha, People’s Republic of China.

Kurt Adler Lecture, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Grand Rounds. (2016, February). On the importance of religious belief in Muslims’ approach to treatment decision making in cancer care. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. New York, NY.