Service Industry Experience Aided Her Path to Success in Nursing

Kim Taylor was born and raised in Suring, WI. She came from a family of public service workers, police officers, teachers, and a coroner. However, Kim always knew she wanted to work in healthcare as a nurse or physician.

“My grandfather had a stroke in 1989 and became a resident at a skilled nursing facility. This is when I decided I wanted to be like the amazing staff who cared for him. My neighbor growing up, Rose Heckl, was an RN and the Director of Nursing for the skilled nursing facility, Woodland Village, where my grandfather was residing. Her sister happens to be a nurse at a North Shore Healthcare center, Birch Hill Health Services!”

When deciding what path to take for her healthcare career, Kim realized she always wanted to know who she was taking care of, including their likes and dislikes. It was for this reason she knew that the ER or the hospital was not the place for her. She started college at St. Norbert going into Premed, but she was young, having just turned 18, and didn’t feel ready. She eventually came home and got a job working at Warvel Products making curved Anderson Window parts and worked two additional part-time jobs bartending and cooking.

After a while, Kim started at NWTC in Associate Degree Nursing for the fall semester 1997. In 1998, a friend of her family, Susan Olson (LPN), told her about where she worked and the openings available. Kim started working at a 115-bed skilled nursing facility in Oconto Falls, WI called Sharpe Care as a Student Nurse. This is where her love for long-term care really started. 

After graduating, Kim became Student Nurse and then Registered Nurse. After 4 years, she took a break to work in home health for 4 years. During this time, her family bought a bar and grill and that allowed her to work part-time while getting the new business established. 

Kim returned to Sharpe Care in 2004 as a Charge RN and became a day shift Unit Manger in 2006. She was eventually promoted to Director of Nursing in 2007. During this time, there was change in ownership and the facility went from small private owners to part of a corporation.

“I had a Nurse Consultant, Mary Widner, who taught me to be tough and to keep working harder. Mary passed away from breast cancer and I was promoted shortly after to Nurse Consultant. I started working with a long-term care company called MGM in 2015, and at that time I worked with a Registered Nurse, Dennise Bemis, who taught me how to read 5-stars and QMs. Dennise eventually left MGM to come to a great new start up called North Shore Healthcare.”

Kim says she has had the honor of being a Nurse Consultant for long-term care facilities since 2010.

“This is only due to the support I have had from my husband, Mitch, and parents, Doug and Pam. I also have 2 children, Leo and Lillie, who are both in high school. My family sold our bar and grill in 2015 when my mother passed away. I started with North Shore in February 2017 as their first Regional Nurse Consultant and have helped it grow from, about 7 skilled nursing facilities when I started to the 70 skilled and assisted living facilities it is now.”

In 2019, Kim was promoted to Senior Director of Clinical Services and in 2020 she was promoted to North Division Senior Director of Clinical Services. Through the years, Kim’s success has come from her passion, dedication, hard work and her ability to adapt to changing times.

“I have seen many changes in the nursing field since I started. We didn’t use lifts; we just picked up people up, sometimes by yourself or with a two person assist. Paper charting has become electronic. When I went to nursing school, some of the residents we care for in a skilled nursing facility now used to be admitted to the ICU at hospital instead.”

“North Shore has given me the chance to grow and challenge myself. I do think that learning customer service through waitressing and bartending helps us all to listen to our residents and families.”