NEW YORK NURSE: October 2009
by Mark Genovese
If a registered nurse has a second job, it usually involves working as a per-diem nurse somewhere else.
But when Kim Honeywell isn’t caring for patients at Samaritan Medical Center, she can be found decorating homes throughout Jefferson County.
For the past two years, the Progressive Care Unit RN has been working on her off-days with a local interior-design firm, painting and hanging wallpaper. To Honeywell, it’s a “no-stress” job. “I love to wallpaper. It’s where I can relax, have fun, and not worry about anything else.”
Honeywell said that much as she loves being a nurse, she always felt that she needed another outlet. “Decorating is rewarding in another way. It adds beauty. Once all the colors and papers are chosen, the fun part is making it all come together.”
ust like any home owner, Honeywell started wallpapering in her own house. After some trial and error, she realized she was good at it. In 2006, Honeywell called Mary Wills Interiors in Alexandria Bay to consult with her about decorating her home.
“We started talking, and Mary said that she had bought an old house that needed a lot of work,” Honeywell said. Wills said she didn’t know how she was going to get it all done, because she was just getting her business underway. “I talked to her about swapping services,” Honeywell said. “If Mary would give me advice on my home, I would help her by wallpapering and painting.”
This arrangement worked out well. In 2007, Honeywell earned a part–time job with Mary Wills Interiors. Now she also works in the shop, inputting invoices and paying bills.
“I wanted to be a nurse as long as I could remember,” Honeywell said, “It just took me 29 years to go back to school to do what I always wanted to do.” Instead, her path led her to work at her in-laws’ restaurant for seven years and then as a legal secretary – the field in which she earned her first degree.
After graduating from the nursing program at Jefferson Community College in 1994, Honeywell worked for nine years as a pediatric nurse and said she still considers it her “true love in nursing.” Honeywell has also worked in med/surg, ambulatory surgery, and as a float nurse. “I enjoy bedside nursing – it’s great to connect with your patients and help them get well,” she said.
Honeywell became a leader in her bargaining unit to help improve conditions for nurses at Samaritan. “I believe in our union,” she said. “We are a strong, committed group of nurses and I am proud to be part of it.”
“My co-workers are amazed when they hear what I do on the side,” she said. “But it’s easy to find time to do something fun and relaxing.” Honeywell said she occasionally helps Wills pick out fabrics and wallpaper for customers and even went to New York City last August on a buying trip. “It doesn’t get much better than that for a side job!”