When the new Wollongong Private Hospital opens in January, it will mark another career milestone for Ramsay Health Care executive David Crowe.
Mr Crowe has spent the last two decades working his way from the hospital ward to the boardroom.
20 years ago the young Irishman started his first shift as a registered nurse at Wollongong’s Figtree Private Hospital.
Two decades on, Mr Crowe will be at the helm of the new Ramsay facility when it opens on January 18.
It’s a pretty good run for a young man who can’t remember what led him to apply for nursing at Wollongong University, but upon acceptance, thought he’d stick with it until he “found a real job”.
“I never had this ambition to be a nurse, I kind of just fell into it but pretty soon after I started I realised what a cool job it really was,” Mr Crowe said.
“It’s just so rewarding being able to help people when they are vulnerable and knowing what a difference you can make to their situation by just doing the smallest things.”
That was just the beginning of his revelatory journey.
Mr Crowe’s passion quickly saw him move through the ranks. He went from a registered nurse, to a clinical nurse specialist, to nurse unit manager.
He completed a master of business administration in 2003 and subsequently became the director of clinical services at Figtree Private Hospital. Mr Crowe was promoted to chief executive officer in 2009.
Six years in the top job at Figtree, which will close when Wollongong Private opens, has prepared him for the challenge of managing a brand new facility.
“The additional capacity at Wollongong makes it a great opportunity to grow the business and expand services – and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.