Kaye Spence AM Scholarship

The Kaye Spence AM Scholarship supports neonatal nurses to attend conferences, lead small research or quality improvement projects, or attend a neonatal care-related course.

About Kaye Spence AM

Kaye is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Western Sydney University and stepped down from her role as Clinical Nurse Consultant in the Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care at The Children's Hospital at Westmead in 2023.

Kaye has had a long career in neonatal nursing starting at University College Hospital in London in the 1970s. She joined the staff in Grace (then Baxter Ward) and went on to become a Clinical Nurse Educator, Nurse Educator, and Clinical Nurse Consultant. Kaye has a passion for neonatal nursing with a special interest in newborn pain, feeding, and the newborn requiring surgery. Kaye has led the nursing research in Grace and established the Clinical Neonatal Nursing Research Fellowship.

Kaye became a NIDCAP Professional and champions developmental care across Australia. She is currently a Co-director of the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre, Senior Editor of the Developmental Observer, and has served on the Board of Directors of the NIDCAP Federation International.
Professionally, Kaye was a founding member of The Association of Neonatal Nurses of NSW, Inaugural President of the Australian Neonatal Nurses Association, founding member and Secretary of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses, and President of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand.

In 1999, Kaye received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to neonatal nursing, professional organisations, and education. She was also the inaugural recipient of the Judith Meppem Lifetime Achievement Award from NSW Health.

Kaye’s philosophy of nursing is: There is potential in everyone, and a leader can inspire that potential to become a reality. 

The Scholarship

Kaye Spence AM Scholarship consists of $500 to be used for:

  • attendance at a neonatal conference within the next 12 months, or
  • funding support to lead a small research project or quality improvement project, or
  • attendance a neonatal care-related course/program (e.g. FINE training, continuing education, workshops)

The scholarship amount is awarded retrospectively via reimbursement. Applicants are required to submit a receipt demonstrating they have met one of the above categories within 12 months of receiving the scholarship.

How to apply

Please provide an outline of how you or your colleague meet the selection criteria. Please include any relevant supporting documents. 

Scholarship selection criteria

Please address the key contributions this nurse has made to the wider neonatal nursing community. For example, has the nurse:

  • recently published a paper, or have a publication history
  • conducted original research
  • led local quality improvement projects
  • made a significant contribution to neonates or their care. This may be in the form of acknowledgement or recognition by parents, or through clinical practice or research. Please provide examples.

Please describe the qualities that make the nurse an asset to their workplace and to their nursing colleagues.

Applications are closed for 2023 and will reopen in early 2024

The successful applicant will be announced at the  annual Susan Ryan Neonatal Seminar.


  • Must currently be employed as a neonatal nurse in an Australian Hospital
  • Must have attended a neonatal conference/seminar in the past 2 years (evidence required of same)

Previous Recipients 

2023 TBA

2022 Renee Muirhead, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Mater Mother's Hospital Queensland