Nursing Research

The team

  • Professor Fiona Newall

    PhD, MN, BSc, RN

    Donald Ratcliffe and Phyllis McLeod Director of Nursing Research
      FN


    Fiona completed her undergraduate nursing training at Curtin University in Western Australia. In 1998, Fiona moved to Victoria and commenced working in the field of paediatric thrombosis and anticoagulation. Fiona completed her PhD (2009) and Master of Nursing (Research, 2005) at the University of Melbourne, both research projects exploring questions identified from her clinical practice.

    Fiona has published extensively within her field of clinical and research practice, and is internationally recognised as a Clinical Researcher. In addition to her position as Director of Nursing Research at RCH, Fiona continues to work clinically within her field of paediatric anticoagulant management. Fiona has honorary appointments with the Departments of Nursing and Paediatrics at The University of Melbourne, The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queens University, Belfast. 


    Dr Sharon Kinney

    PhD, MN, PICU Nursing Cert, Cardiothoracic Cert

    Nurse Consultant, Research

    SK  


    Sharon has dual appointments working as a nurse consultant in the Nursing Research Department at RCH and also holds a senior lecturing position in the department of Nursing at The University of Melbourne. She worked for many years in paediatric critical care and has held clinical and educational appointments within the area. Her research interests relate to improving the safety and quality of care of hospitalised children which has centred on improving the detection and response to paediatric clinical deterioration. She is  the nursing lead on the Victorian Children's Tool for Observation and Response (ViCTOR) projects in Victoria which have been funded by the Victorian Paediatric Clinical Network and Safer Care Victoria. The ViCTOR team have developed and implemented standardised tools and processes to support clinicians to better recognise and respond to the sick child, wherever a child presents across the State of Victoria. 


    Bianca Devsam

    Nurse Consultant, Research

    BD


    Bianca completed her undergraduate nursing and midwifery training at the University of Queensland. She has been neonatal nursing for the last five years, and in that time completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Practice (Neonatal Intensive Care) and is currently completing her Masters of Advanced Nursing Practice (Minor Thesis) at the University of Melbourne. 
     
    In 2016, Bianca participated in the RCH BEST Practice Program, which were the beginnings of her research journey. She investigated nursing assessment of pain in neonates, and instigated a hospital-wide change in the pain assessment tool utilised in neonates. 


    Stacey Richards

    MN, BSc

    Nurse Consultant, Research

    SR  


    Stacey joined the RCH team as a graduate nurse after completing her Bachelor of Nursing at the Australian Catholic University. She worked across the surgical wards at RCH specialising in orthopaedics, burns, trauma, plastics and general surgery. After completing her Masters of Nursing (Paediatrics) at Monash University, Stacey has worked in several clinical, education and facilitation roles across RCH and the University of Melbourne. Throughout this time she has actively contributed to advancing nursing outcomes through evidence based practice and research initiatives. Stacey has extensive experience in the development of evidence based clinical guidelines and research supervision of Masters of Nursing Science completing clinically based research projects. 


    Meaghan Hawley

    BSc 

    Administrative Assistant (Mon, Thur)

    MH


    Meaghan completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, USA, in 2007. She began working two days a week (Mondays and Thursdays) at The Royal Children’s Hospital late in 2013, in her current role as Administrative Assistant to the Nursing Research Department. Her primary role in Nursing Research is the secretary for the Clinical Effectiveness Committee.


     PhD Candidates

    Emma Jeffs

    Exploring the role of morbidity and mortality conferences in paediatric acute care

    University of Melbourne Department of Nursing

    MCRI Emergency Research Group 

    Supervisors: Sharon Kinney and Fiona Newall

    EJ 



    Jenny O'Neill  

    Exploring Immunisation of young people with disabilities in specialist schools in Victoria, Australia


    The University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics

    MCRI Developmental Disability and Rehabilitation Research Group

    Supervisors: Prof Fiona Newall, Dr Margie Danchin, Dr Giuliana Antolovich, Dr Sally Lima

    JO


    The aim is to explore and describe acceptance and delivery of immunisation in specialist schools for young people with disability in Victoria, Australia using a socio-ecological framework.

    Supported by: An Australian Government Research Training Stipend with top-up funding from Developmental Disability and Rehabilitation Research Group Gallie Trust, The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute A grant from DHHS Immunisation Victoria  


    Marijke Mitchell

    A high fidelity, simulation training program for health professionals focussing on managing challenging behaviours of children and young people with neurodisability.

    The University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics

    MCRI Neurodisability and Rehabilitation Research Group

    Supervisors: Prof Katrina Williams, Prof Fiona Newall

    MarijkeM


    The purpose of this study is to design, implement and evaluate a simulation training program for health professionals which enables high fidelity, real time training with simulated patients who have a neurodisability and exhibit challenging behaviours while accessing hospital services. The primary aim is to improve the quality of care children receive while accessing hospital services by a reduction in aggressive episodes in hospital requiring emergency management, less complaints and less need for physical and chemical restraint. The project commenced April 2017 and thesis will be submitted by end of 2020. The purpose of this study is to design, implement and evaluate a simulation training program for health professionals which enables high fidelity, real time training with simulated patients who have a neurodisability and exhibit challenging behaviours while accessing hospital services. The primary aim is to improve the quality of care children receive while accessing hospital services by a reduction in aggressive episodes in hospital requiring emergency management, less complaints and less need for physical and chemical restraint. The project commenced April 2017 and thesis will be submitted by end of 2020.


     

    Naomi Brockenshire
    PGDip (Mental Health), MNsc, MA, DipArts, BSc

    Clowns in the mist: Understanding the role of clown doctors at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne


    The University of Melbourne Department of Nursing and University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics

    Supervisors: Prof Fiona Newall, A/Prof Richard Chenhall, A/Prof Helen Shoemark

    Naomi Brockenshire


    Clown doctors are a feature in paediatric hospitals, visiting children and families, providing a welcome escape from the reality of hospitalisation. Though the use of humour to improve health and wellbeing has been widely researched, limited exploration of the role of clown doctors has occurred. This research aims to elucidate the role of clown doctors within a major paediatric hospital and is supported by The Dr Peter Spitzer Scholarship, awarded by the Humour Foundation.


    Sacha Petersen  
    RN, BN, PGdipACN, MadvNursPrac

    Bed time stories: An exploratory study of the reasons for, experience and impact of sleep disturbance for children with cerebral palsy and their parents. 


    The University of Melbourne School of Nursing  
    Supervisors: Prof Fiona Newall, Professor Dinah Reddihough, Dr Sally Lima, Dr Adrienne Harvey

    SP


    Sacha is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Neurodevelopment and Disability at the Royal Children’s Hospital, specialising in cerebral palsy/physical disability and intrathecal baclofen therapy. Her PhD is a mixed methods study exploring the frequency and impact of sleep problems for children with cerebral palsy and their parents.  Sacha is focussed on improving the child and parent experience of healthcare, and enabling inclusive and equitable care for all.  Sacha’s PhD is supported by The Windermere Foundation, The Nurses Memorial Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital Auxiliary,  Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, The Vera Scantlebury Brown Child Welfare Memorial Scholarship, Australian Government Research Training Program. 

     

     Honorary team members

    Dr Sally Lima
    PhD, MSN, Grad Dip Adv Nsg, RN 

    Sally has many years’ experience working actively with nurses in clinical practice to enable their development and investigate opportunities to improve care provided to patients and their families. She has worked in a number of clinical, education and facilitation roles and has contributed in a variety of ways to research and other projects. In undertaking her work Sally has utilised evaluation, research, quality improvement and practice and organisational development methods and strategies.  


    Dr. Stephen McKeever 
    R.G.N, RN (Child), Dip.Trop.Nurse, ENB 415, BSc.(Hons), Ph.D.

    Stephen initially trained as adult nurse, in the United Kingdom, before completing a conversion course to become a children's nurse in 1997. Since this time his clinical experience has mainly focused on the care of the critically ill child. In 2012, Stephen graduated with a PhD from The University of Melbourne. His doctoral thesis examined electroencephalogram changes occurring in children during anaesthesia.