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Norma A. Metheny, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Professor; Dorothy A. Votsmier Endowed Chair in Nursing

Courses Taught

Elective courses in fluid and electrolyte balance


  • Diploma, Alton Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
  • B.S.N., Nursing, Southern Illinois University
  • M.S.N., Medical-Surgical Nursing, Washington University
  • Ph.D., Education, Saint Louis University

Research Interests

Dr. Metheny's research focus is reducing risk associated with tube feedings. Please see sections below for a list of funded studies and examples of publications from her program of research.

  • Testing feeding tube placement in infants. American Association of Critical Care Nurses.  $50,000 (2014-2016). Principal Investigator
  • Development of a ‘nurse-friendly’ bedside test for aspiration.  National Institute of Nursing Research. 1R21-11228, $181,913 (2009-2011). Principal Investigator
  • Detecting aspiration associated with tube feedings.  National Institute of Nursing Research, R01-5007, $3,418,844 (1999-2006). Principal Investigator
  • Measures to test feeding tube placement. National Institute of Nursing Research, R01-1669, $2,013,040 (1987-1998). Principal Investigator

Publications and Media Placements

  • Metheny NA, Krieger MM, Healey F, Meert KL (2019).  A review of guidelines to distinguish between gastric and pulmonary placement of nasogastric tubes.  Heart and Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care.  Jan 18 Epub ahead of print

  • Metheny NA: (2018)  Insufficient evidence to support ultrasonography as a method to rule out an improperly positioned nasogastric tube. Evidence Based Nursing. 21:79
  • Metheny NA,  Hinyard L, & Mohammed K:  (2018)  Incidence of sinusitis associated with endotracheal and nasogastric tubes: derived from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample Database (2008-2013).  American Journal of Critical Care.  28(1)24-31

  • Metheny NA, Meert KL:  (2018)  Water intoxication and child abuse.  Journal of Emergency Nursing. 44(1)13-18

  • Metheny NA: (2018) Preventing aspiration in older adults with dysphagia.  Try This: Best Practices in Nursing Care to Older Adults. The John A. Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing.  Issue 20, Revised 2018                                                 

  • Metheny NA, Pawluszka A, Lulic M, Hinyard L, Meert KL: (2017)  Testing placement of gastric feeding tubes in infants.  American Journal of Critical Care.  26(6)466-473

  • Metheny NA, Gunn EM, Fubbelke CS, Quillen T, Ezekiel UR, Meert KL: (2017) Effect of pH test-strip characteristics on accuracy of readings.  Critical Care Nurse.  37(3)1-9  
  • Metheny NA & Meert KL: (2017) Update on Effectiveness of an Electromagnetic Feeding Tube Placement Device in Detecting Respiratory Placements.  American Journal of Critical Care.26(2)157-161.
  • Metheny NA & Meert KL:(2017)  Brief Report:  Administering polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution via nasogastric tube: pulmonary complications.  American Journal of Critical Care. 26(2)172-4.
  • AACN Practice Alert: Prevention of Aspiration in Adults.  Critical Care Nurse. 36(1)2016 (contributing
  • AACN Practice Alert.  Initial and Ongoing Verification of Feeding Tube Placement in Adults.  Critical Care Nurse. 36(2)e8-13, 2016 (contributing author)
  • Meert KL, Caverly M, Kelm L, Metheny NA: pH of feeding tube aspirates from critically ill infants. American Journal of Critical Care. 24(5)e72-77, 2015 Sept
  • Metheny NA & Meert KL: Efficacy of an electromagnetic feeding tube placement device in detecting inadvertent respiratory placement: A review of the evidence. American Journal of Critical Care. 23(3): 240-8, 2014 May
  • Metheny NA & Meert KL: A review of published case reports of inadvertent pulmonary placement of nasogastric tubes in children. Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 29(1):e7-e12, 2014
  • Metheny NA & Frantz RA: Head-of-bed elevation in critically ill patients: A review. Critical Care Nurse. 33(3):53-67, 2013
  • Metheny NA, Mills AC, Stewart BJ: Monitoring for intolerance to gastric tube feedings: a national survey.American Journal of Critical Care. 21(2):e33-40, 2012
  • Metheny NA, Stewart BJ, McClave SA: Relationship between feeding tube site and respiratory outcomes.Journal of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition. 35(3):346-55, 2011
  • Bankhead R, Boullata J, Brantley S, Corkins M, Guenter P, Krenitsky J, Lyman B, Metheny NA, Muller C, Robbins S, Wessel J & A.S.P.E.N. Board of Directors: ASPEN Enteral Nutrition Practice Recommendations. Journal of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition. Vol 33, No. 2, 122-166, 2009
  • Metheny NA, Schallom L, Oliver DA, Clouse RE: Gastric residual volume and aspiration in critically ill patients receiving gastric feedings. American Journal of Critical Care. 17:512-519, 200
  • Metheny NA, Meert KL, Clouse RE: Complications related to feeding tube placement. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. 23(2)178-182, 2007
  • Metheny NA: Strategies to prevent aspiration pneumonia in tube-fed patients. Respiratory Care Clinics of North America. 12:603-617, 2006
  • Metheny NA, Clouse RE, Chang YH, Stewart BJ, Oliver DA & Kollef M: Tracheobronchial aspiration of gastric contents in critically ill tube-fed patients: Frequency, outcomes and risk factors. Critical Care Medicine. 34(4)1007-1015, 2006
  • Meert KL, Daphtary K, Metheny NA: Gastric versus small bowel feeding in mechanically ventilated critically ill children: a randomized controlled trial. CHEST. 126(3) 872-8, 2004
  • Metheny NA, Dahms T, Chang Y, Stewart BJ, Frank P, Clouse RE: Detection of pepsin in tracheal secretions following three forced small-volume aspirations of gastric juice. Journal of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition. 28(2):79-84, 2004
  • Metheny NA: Risk factors for aspiration. Journal of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition. 26(6)S26-33, 2002
  • McClave S, DeMeo M, DeLegge M, DiSario J, Heyland D, Maloney J, Metheny NA, Moore F, Scolapio J, Spain D, Zaloga G: North American Summit on Aspiration in the Critically Ill Patient. Consensus conference on aspiration. Journal of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition 26(6)S80-85, 2002
  • Metheny NA: Inadvertent intracranial placement of a nasogastric tube following transnasal transsphenoidal surgery: A case report. American Journal of Nursing. 102(8)25-27, 2002
  • Metheny NA, Dahms T, Stewart B, Stone K, Edwards S, Defer J, Clouse RE: Efficacy of dye-stained enteral formula in detecting pulmonary aspiration. CHEST 122:276-281, 2002
  • Meert K, Daphtary K, Metheny NA: Detection of pepsin and glucose in tracheal secretions as indicators of aspiration in mechanically ventilated children. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 3(1)19-22, 2002
  • Metheny NA, Smith L, Stewart BJ: Development of a reliable and valid bedside test for bilirubin and its utility in predicting feeding tube location. Nursing Research 49(6)302-309, 2000
  • Gharpure V, Meert KL, Sarnaik A, Metheny NA: Indicators of post-pyloric feeding tube placement Critical Care Medicine 28(8)2962-2966, 2000
  • Metheny NA, Stewart B, Smith L, Yan H, Diebold M, Clouse R: pH and concentration of bilirubin in feeding tube aspirates as predictors of tube placement. Nursing Research 48(4)189-197, 1999
  • Metheny NA, Wehrle M, Wiersema L, Clark J: Testing feeding tube placement: auscultation vs. pH method.American Journal of Nursing 98(5)37-43, 1998
  • Metheny NA, Smith L, Wehrle M, Wiersema L, Clark J: pH, color, and feeding tubes. RN 61(1)25-7, 1998
  • Metheny NA, Stewart B, Smith L, Yan H, Diebold M, & Clouse R. pH and concentrations of pepsin and trypsin in feeding tube aspirates as predictors of tube placement. Journal of Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition 21(5)279-285, 1997
  • Metheny NA & Clouse RE: Bedside methods for detecting aspiration in tube-fed patients: A review. CHEST111(3)724-731, 1997
  • Metheny NA, Clouse RE, Clark J, Reed L, Wehrle M, Wiersema L: Use of the pH method to predict feeding tube placement. Nutrition in Clinical Practice 19(5)185-190, 1994
  • Metheny NA, Reed L, Berglund B, Wehrle M: Visual characteristics of aspirates from feeding tubes as a method for predicting tube location. Nursing Research 43(5)282-287, 1994
  • Metheny NA, McSweeney M, Wiersema L, Wehrle M: Effectiveness of the auscultatory method is predicting feeding tube placement. Nursing Research 39(5):252-267, 1990
  • Metheny NA, Williams P, Wiersema L, Wehrle M, Eisenberg P, McSweeney M: Effectiveness of pH measurements in predicting feeding tube placement. Nursing Research 38(5)280-285, 1989
  • Metheny N: Measures to test feeding tube placement: A review. Nursing Research 37(6)324-329, 1988
  • Metheny N, Eisenberg P, McSweeney M: Effect of feeding tube properties and three irrigants on clogging rates. 37(1):165-9, 1988

Honors and Awards

  • Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame
  • GE Healthcare-American Association of Critical Care Nurses Pioneering Spirit Award
  • Distinguished Research Lecturer, American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • Distinguished Nutrition Support Nurse, American Society for Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition