Steve undertook his undergraduate education at the Department of Nursing at the University of Manchester in the 1970s, worked as a Health Visitor and then undertook specialist training in children's nursing. During the 1990s, he was chair of the Association of British Paediatric Nurses, and was founding editor of Child Health journal (now with Sage). He gained his PhD on the topic of mouth care for sick children from Northumbria University. He was made the founding Chair of Nursing Practice at this institution in 2000, leading the Nursing Practice Research Centre at City Hospitals Sunderland, UK. This is where he developed his international reputation for translational research. He has published widely and is currently editor in chief of two journals. He became Head of the School of Health at the University of New England, NSW, in 2009, where he reinvigorated the teaching and research capacity. He moved to the University of Tasmania in January 2013, to become Head of Nursing and Midwifery, and then Head of the School of Health Sciences until 2016. With the reestablishment of the School of Nursing in 2019, Steve became the Research Director/Associate Head of Research for the school.