Saint Louis University

Norma Metheny
Norma Metheny, Ph.D., R.N.
ST. LOUIS - Norma Metheny, Ph.D., R.N., professor at Saint Louis University School of Nursing and the Dorothy A. Votsmier Endowed Chair in Nursing, has received the 2012 Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) Senior Scientist Recognition Program Award. The award recognizes an MNRS member who has demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement, mentorship, and service and represents the highest class of membership.

Metheny has invested her career in researching feeding tubes - where to place them; how to detect aspiration, which occurs when gastric fluids are inhaled into the lungs; and pneumonia caused by feeding tubes.

For some patients who are critically ill, a feeding tube is a lifeline and must be precisely positioned in the right place to avoid the risk of serious complications or even death. Metheny's work has helped countless patients maintain adequate nutrition while avoiding complications that could occur with displacement of a feeding tube.

The National Institute of Nursing Research has funded Metheny's studies and clinical trials on feeding tubes for nearly two decades. She currently is working to develop a first-of-its kind bedside test to detect aspiration, which could help nurses and doctors in preventing pneumonia.

Her method of testing the accurate placement of tube feedings has become the industry standard of care and is used by nurses and in hospitals worldwide. Nurses around the globe contact Metheny for consultations on feeding tube placements, and she tailors specific answers to their questions so they can provide their patients with quality care.

Through her research and teaching, she has created a lasting legacy that will continue to impact the practice of nursing and patient care for years to come.

Founded in 1928, Saint Louis University School of Nursing has achieved a national reputation for its innovative and pioneering programs. Offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral nursing programs, its faculty members are nationally recognized for their teaching, research and clinical expertise.