Katrina Strong Malugen

FON Photos edited x Malugen

Katrina Strong Malugen


Clinical Nurse II
Hospice Case Manager

Duke HomeCare & Hospice


Drew Award for Excellence in Hospice Nursing Practice


Katrina chose nursing as her second career, fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse.  She has been a nurse for 15 years, and a Hospice Case Manager for 10.  She joined Duke in 2019.  As a Hospice nurse, Katrina leads with compassion, going into her patients’ homes and connecting with their families, providing a listening ear and sometimes just holding their hands.  A colleague wrote:  To watch her perform the art of caring during a visit is like watching a choreographed dance where she allows the patient and caregiver to lead.  In response, she follows that lead with poise, professionalism and a high level of integrity.


This nurse is the epitome of integrity.  She always does what she says she is going to do.  She attends and participates in huddles and work groups.  You can always count on her to have read her emails, adopt new processes and policies, and ensure she understands them completely.  She is available to her fellow staff as a resource for questions, concerns or support on a daily basis.  She is always patient and supportive, but able to hold staff accountable.  She will be honest with her feedback to her preceptees, peers and managers, even when it is not easy.  She is diplomatic, approachable and dependable.


This nurse is everything you want in a Hospice nurse.  She is calm, caring, knowledgeable, present, and practices at the top of her field to manage patients at the end of life.  She is an incredible advocate for her patients and families.  An example:  Hospice is trialing the Macy Catheter, a rectal catheter for fluid and medication administration when the gastrointestinal tract is no longer absorbing medications and the patient’s symptoms are unmanaged.  The goal is a quick resolution of unmanaged symptoms, allowing the patient to remain at home without the need for a transfer into the Hock Family Pavilion for general inpatient care.  This nurse came in for training the day the training catheter arrived.  She advocated starting the trial early as she had a patient who had unmanaged symptoms and had a major decline; family and patient were in distress by patient’s unmanaged shortness of breath.  She was able to go out and place the catheter, administer medication, train the family, and help the patient and family understand and gain acceptance that the patient was at end of life.  The intervention resulted in the exhausted patient’s chronic pain being manageable within 10 minutes of the insertion of the catheter.


This nurse is all about adopting evidence-based practice improvements into the Hospice program.  She is the go-to by Hospice leadership for trialing new processes and procedures, and is always a willing enthusiastic participant.  She is thoughtful in her assessments and has insightful comments that she brings back to the table upon review.  She is involved in the Macy Catheter trial; the development, implementation and evaluation of a new nursing clinical documentation template; and a work group to modify the Hospice admission visit process to improve patient access and the timeliness of admissions.  She is an active member of the Preceptor Committee, collaborating to revamp the preceptor process for Hospice.  She does all of this while working on her bachelor’s degree in nursing.


Hospice is an interprofessional process and collaboration between the providers, nurse, nursing assistant, social worker, chaplain and bereavement.  This nurse has been a leader to the nurses and all other Hospice staff members, fostering inclusiveness, professionalism, and honoring her colleagues’ expertise to create an effective, high-functioning interdisciplinary team that delivers excellent outcomes for patients and families every time.  She is highly respected by all of her colleagues, providers and Hospice leadership.


The nominee’s passion for the work she does is demonstrated daily and validated through the eyes and words of those she cares for and works with in the organization.  In “doing for,” per Swanson’s theory, she’s not afraid and does not hesitate to speak up and provide compelling facts to support our need to do the right thing for our patients and each other.  Her conviction in the practice of hospice propels her motivation to be present during every encounter and be the servant hospice caregiver she knows she’s called to be.

One provider wrote:  “She exemplifies the heart of a hospice nurse in the dedication and compassion she shows to her patients, families, and coworkers.  She is truly invested in providing the best possible outcome for those she cares for, from walking families and loved ones through difficult moments, to holding her patients’ hands and singing their favorite songs to them.”


This nominee exemplifies Nursing Excellence in Hospice Care and lights the path for others to follow.


Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021

Friends of Nursing Gala 2021