Catherine Celine Givens

Catherine Celine Givens

Catherine Celine Givens


Clinical Nurse III
Critical Care Unit
Duke Regional Hospital


Hill-Rom Award for Excellence in Nursing Practice


Celine advocates not only for her own patients, but for all patients on the Critical Care Unit at Duke Regional Hospital.  Her catchphrase, “Shouldn’t we be doing ….?” perfectly sums up her mindset regarding patient- and family-centered care.  She advocates for long-term patients to move to another room, to promote mental well-being.  She develops personalized plans to get patients moving, when others don’t believe it can be accomplished safely.  She advocated for a patient with a very low neurological prognosis, and the patient was re-evaluated and ended up regaining almost all – if not all – of their neurological function.  If ever you are hospitalized, this exemplary nurse is the one you want on your team of clinicians – to advocate for you and ensure the best possible outcomes.


When I think of this nurse, I can hear her saying, “Shouldn’t we be doing…?”  This catchphrase perfectly sums up the mindset she has toward patient- and family-centered care.  She has never shied away from advocating not only for her own patients, but for other patients on the unit, as well.  She will often mobilize staff members to do something that isn’t convenient, but is what is best for the patient.  For example, this nurse often advocates for long-term patients to be moved to a new room in an effort to promote mental well-being.  Recently, she advocated through multiple channels to get a patient moving, despite a lot of surface-level barriers to walking.  Where others thought this patient shouldn’t be able to ambulate safely, she used critical thinking and advocated up the chain of command to come up with a unique and patient-specific plan so this patient could ambulate safely on a regular basis.  She often jokes that she uses our Safety Reporting System (SRS) to report herself.  This type of comment seems so small, but it not only demonstrates the kind of integrity we strive for, but also bolsters a unit culture of bravery, transparency and continuing education.  As we well know, this is how to improve safety and patient outcomes, as well as improve nursing care across the health system.


This nurse is one of those nurses who is enmeshed into the culture and interworkings of the unit.  For five of the six years that she has served her unit, she has led others through her roles of Charge Nurse and Rapid Response Nurse.  She served in these roles that were critically understaffed throughout the COVID pandemic.  During this time, she continued to not only mentor her peers by sharing her experience, knowledge and emotional support, but also remained on committees dedicated to upholding the safety and standards of the unit.  She is co-chair of the Professional Workforce Committee, Chair of the Values Committee, and an official Peer Support Nurse.  Furthermore, she worked extra days as an Operations Administrator, strengthening interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration.  Because our unit serves such a wide variety of specialties, experienced nurses are an especially invaluable resource in our unit.  To top off all of the commitment this nurse has displayed, she has been in school full-time gaining her BSN, with a projected graduation in December 2022.


As a member of the Values Committee, this nurse assisted in the development of new Comfort Care Guidelines for our unit.  She assisted in the creation of brochures for both nurses and families.  She remains a Comfort Care Champion and assists newer nurses in navigating emotionally challenging end-of-life assignments.  She advocated for our unit to have on-hand more official Hospital Visitor Resource Brochures in Spanish to further serve our patient population.  Just recently, this nurse spent 20 minutes after running the Lifepak Monitor/Defibrillator in a megacode to sit down in the break room and comfort a staff member from that unit who was emotionally distraught.


This nurse always asks questions about a patient’s plan of care and is never afraid to speak up on a patient or family member’s behalf.  She advocated for a patient with a very low neurological prognosis, when goals-of-care discussions were already under way, noting micro-changes in assessments and using excellent SBAR communication multiple times with various providers from different services to re-evaluate the patient’s status.  The patient recovered and ended up regaining almost all, if not all, of their neurological function.  This nurse often will ask other services, such as Respiratory Therapy and/or Pharmacy how we can work together to better serve the patient, which is especially important on night shift, when we do not have interdisciplinary rounding.  Sometimes it is the little things that make your colleagues feel like part of the team, and this nurse will often invite security guards, members of transport, and others who aren’t dedicated ICU staff to take part in communal food in our break room or offer them a cup of coffee or tea.


I remember when this nurse spent days trying to find someone to go take care of a vented patient’s beloved pet.  The patient didn’t have any living family and wasn’t going to be leaving the ICU anytime soon, but this nurse spent hours of her own time trying to contact various neighbors and co-workers on behalf of this patient.  With permission from the patient through lengthy communication via a white board, this nurse contacted various neighbors and co-workers in an effort to get the patient’s pet cared for during her tenure in the ICU.  This is one example of the lengths this nurse will go to in an effort to maintain holistic patient care.


As a patient and/or family member in the health system, this exemplary nurse is one you would certainly want on your team of clinicians to advocate for you and ensure you received the best possible care at Duke.


Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021