Stay informed with the latest updates on coronavirus (COVID-19). Find out more >>

The team

  • FN                                

    Professor Fiona Newall

    PhD, MN, BSc, RN

    Donald Ratcliffe and Phyllis McLeod Director of Nursing Research 

    Director of Nursing Education 

    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, after having   consolidated her paediatric nursing practice in the areas of oncology and intensive care. Fiona established a nurse-coordinated anticoagulation service at the Royal Children’s Hospital, the only one of its kind in Australia. She    has extensive clinical research experience and has over 115 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Fiona completed her Master of Nursing (Research, 2005) and PhD (2009) at The University of Melbourne. Fiona’s Masters  Thesis (Warfarin therapy in children) investigated the outcomes of warfarin in children and explored strategies to optimise the management of this medication in children. Her PhD thesis (Unfractionated heparin therapy in   children) explored the pharmacokinetics and monitoring of unfractionated heparin in children. The findings of both research degrees have been translated back into practice to improve the quality-of-care patients requiring anticoagulant therapy receive. Fiona is currently supervising 3 PhD students and has successful supervised 8 research higher degree students and 13 Minor Thesis students to completion.

    In June 2011, Fiona was appointed to the position of Professor/Director of Nursing Research at the Royal Children’s Hospital. In this role, Fiona supports the nursing workforce to engage in evidence-based practice and   promotes their involvement in research activities that have the potential to improve patient care and clinical outcomes. Fiona actively contributes to the organisation-wide approach to supporting and promoting inter-disciplinary   clinical research on campus. In addition to her honorary appointment with The University of Melbourne, Fiona continues her affiliation with the Clinical Haematology department at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the   Haematology Research Group within the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute


    Dr Jenny O'Neill

    PhD, MN, GradCertNICU, RN, RM

    Nurse Consultant, Nursing Research

    Nurse Consultant, Bioethics


    Sage Hay

    GradCert(Paeds), RN

    Clinical Nurse Consultant, Nursing Research 

    Sage joined the RCH team as a graduate nurse after completing her Bachelor of Nursing at Monash University. Sage has also completed her Postgraduate Certificate (paediatrics) and is currently undertaking a Master of Advanced Nursing Practice (research pathway) at the University of Melbourne. Sage’s research interests surround qualitative research and understanding the information needs and preparation required for children, young people, and their parents’ undergoing procedures, this includes the pivotal area of procedural holding. In 2022 Sage completed a Nursing Research Fellowship, undertaking a qualitative study looking at both parent and nursing experiences of procedural holding. At the completion of her fellowship Sage joined the nursing research team as a Nurse Consultant. Sage also works clinically within cardiology department as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the cardiology outpatient and pre-admission clinic.  


    Associate Professor Sharon Kinney

    PhD, MN, PICU Nursing Cert, Cardiothoracic Cert

    Nurse Consultant

    After many years as an Academic at the Department of Nursing, Sharon retired from the University in 2021. She retains an Honorary Principal Fellow appointment and continues her Nurse Consultant role in the Nursing Research Department at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

    Sharon is passionate about supporting clinical nurses to engage with evidence-based practice and to conduct clinically relevant research where the findings can be readily translated into practice. She worked for many years in paediatric critical care settings and has held clinical and educational appointments within the area. A pivotal aspect of her work has focused on translating research evidence into practice, with a key goal of improving the safety and quality of care of hospitalised children. She was the Nurse Lead of the Victorian Children's Tool for Observation and Response (ViCTOR) program of work which was 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 manage patients in both the neonatal and paediatric sector across Victoria.



    Stacey Richards

    MN, BSc

    Nurse Consultant, Nursing Research

    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


    Administrative Assistant (Thurs, Fri)


         Nursing Research Fellows


    Amy Carle

    RN, BSc 

    Nursing Guideline Fellow, Nursing Research

    Clinical Nurse Specialist, Day of Surgery Unit


    Amy graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In 2005, she moved to Melbourne where she completed her nursing degree from the University of Melbourne. At the completion of her studies, Amy began her nursing career at Peter MacCallum on the surgical ward. In 2008 Amy joined the RCH in the Day Surgical Unit where she has gained extensive preoperative and postoperative paediatric nursing experience. 

    Amy is passionate about providing evidence- based care and is a strong patient and family advocate. Her interest in improving patient care and outcomes led her to complete her BEST Practice Project with the RCH nursing research team. Her work focused on researching nurses’ experiences, concerns, and support needs when pregnancy screening adolescent patients, and has led to the implementation of pre-operative pregnancy screening for the Day of Surgery Unit and standardized the use of pregnancy tests. Amy’s research experience includes working for the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute as an Emergency Department Research Nurse. Amy’s interest in evidence-base practice has led her to join the Nursing Research team as the Clinical Guideline Fellow. Amy’s role will oversee the updating and review of nursing guidelines as well as supporting nurses working in the RCH with guideline development. 


    Tania Ramos

     Clinical Nurse Consultant, Nursing Research 

    Tania completed her undergraduate nursing degree at La Trobe University. In 2002 she embarked on her postgraduate qualifications in Anaesthesia & PACU Nursing were she graduated with distinction. She has gained further qualifications in workplace education and training, biostatistics as well as frontline management. 

    Tania has worked primarily in the perioperative department, were she has held positions as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Clinical Support Nurse in the PACU. Tania has experience in lecturing lectured for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.  In 2018, Tania was awarded the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Nursing Development Scholarship. The scholarship enabled Tania to examine clinical indicators and improve practice in the assessment and management of emergence delirium. Furthermore, Tania was able to develop a medical and nursing guideline as well as a parent fact sheet. Tania presented her scholarship outcomes at both nursing and anaesthesia conferences. 

    Tania has a strong interest in evidence based practice and has developed and contributed to various nursing guidelines, policies & procedures. 

    Tania's research experience includes Core Outcomes in Children undergoing Anaesthesia and Surgery (COCAS): A multi-centre stakeholder engagement study. This study will help determine core outcomes of importance for clinicians providing anaesthesia & surgery as well as patients and their families. In 2019, Tania joined the Education Outreach Program as a Clinical Nurse Educator delivering perioperative education to regional and rural clinicians across the state. 

    Tania joined the Nursing Research team for a 12 month secondment.

     PhD Candidates  


    Emma Jeffs

    Exploring the role of morbidity and mortality conferences in paediatric acute careThe 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 
    •  University of Melbourne Department of Nursing
    •  MCRI Emergency Research Group 
    •  Nursing Research Supervisors: Sharon Kinney and Fiona Newall 


    Mercy Thomas 


    Jessica Taranto 

    Honorary Team Members

     Professor Denise Harrison 

     Dr Naomi Brockenshire 

     PhD, PGDip (Mental Health), MNsc, MA, DipArts, BSc

     Dr Sacha Petersen

     PhD, MadvNursPrac, PGdipACN, BN, RN

     Dr Sally Lima

     PhD, MSN, Grad Dip Adv Nsg, RN 

     Associate Professor Stephen McKeever 

     Ph.D., PGCE, ENB 415, BSc.(Hons), Dip.Trop.Nurse, RN (Child), RGN


     Dr Suzanne Kapp