Nowra Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Annie celebrates 60 years of nursing

Mar 21, 2024

Inspired by a stay in hospital, 17-year-old Anne McFarlane began nurse training at Sydney Hospital in 1964. Six decades later, Annie is still caring for patients, now as a perioperative nurse at Nowra Private Hospital on the New South Wales south coast.

“I spent some time in hospital as a young teenager and loved what the nurses were doing,” Annie explained. “And I did some office work for a time and hated it!

“I started nursing in 1964 and haven’t looked back. I joined Nowra Private Hospital in 1991 and have been working in the operating theatres ever since.”

Annie has worked across a range of roles, including as a scout nurse and scrub nurse and in anaesthetics but, no matter the role, she says the most important thing is patient care.

“In theatre, we often see patients who are anxious or frightened about the procedure, so being able to help them relax is important and something I really enjoy,” she said.

“My mantra is to come to work happy, do the best job I can and make someone laugh.”

A highlight of her career has been the friends Annie has made along the way.

“I have made some lovely friends among my nursing and medical colleagues over the years,” she said.

“Some of the best times were during my training, living with the other nurses who were going through the same experiences. Some of those women are still my closest friends and I am meeting with three of them soon to celebrate our shared milestone.”

However, it is not just the people that have kept Annie in nursing for so long.

“Nursing has changed a lot over the years which has been both exciting and sometimes daunting, but it keeps my brain and my body moving and makes me feel alive,” she said.

“Nursing is the thing I know best but it’s more than that, I like to care for people. Caring seems to be my nature, whether caring for patients or family or friends.”

Nowra Private Hospital CEO, Sharon Walsh, said the hospital was privileged to have Annie as part of the team.

“Her experience, kindness and dedication to her patients is remarkable and worth celebrating,” Ms Walsh said.

Annie is one of almost 20,000 Ramsay nurses at sites around Australia committed to Ramsay’s philosophy of “people caring for people”. In 2021, Ramsay launched a Nursing and Midwifery Academy to support the professional development of hundreds more nurses and midwives in Australia.

Annie celebrates 60 years of nursing