SLU’s Metheny Receives AACN Research Grant

May 07, 2014

Added to Collection

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses awards Impact Research Grant to Saint Louis University nurse researcher

Norma Metheny, Saint Louis University, receives AACN grant to study ways to confirm correct placement of feeding tubes in critically ill infants

AACN Impact Research Grants fund studies that address gaps in clinical bedside knowledge to support clinical inquiry and drive change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — May 6, 2014 — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently awarded an AACN Impact Research Grant to Norma Metheny, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and associate dean for research at Saint Louis University School of Nursing, St. Louis.

Metheny will use the grant to study feeding-tube placement in infants, with the aim of developing a bedside protocol to quickly determine correct placement and significantly reduce the need for x-rays or other methods that expose patients to radiation.

Because of possible catastrophic results from an undetected feeding-tube in the lung, correct tube location is critical before initiating feedings. The findings from the study may provide much-needed guidance to clinicians who place feeding-tubes in infants, often blindly and without confirmation of correct placement.

The study will be conducted in the pediatric intensive care unit at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit. For the project, Metheny will collaborate with Kathleen Lynn Meert, MD, chief of the hospital’s division of critical care medicine and a frequent research partner. Their previous joint research projects include studying a variety of methods to test feeding tube placement in children and methods to assess for aspiration in children.

Metheny’s earlier work to reduce complications in critically ill, tube-fed patients has improved patient care protocols and practice innovations. Her research has shaped national health guidelines for proper placement of feeding tubes in critically ill patients and has resulted in documentable changes in textbooks for medicine, nursing and nutrition.

For more than two decades, Metheny has written authoritative clinical nursing resources on fluid balance, feeding tubes and nutrition for a variety of publishers. Her seminal textbook “Fluid and Electrolyte Balance: Nursing Considerations” is in its fifth edition.

Her innovative research and clinical contributions have been recognized with a long list of honors and awards, including the 2006 AACN Distinguished Research Lecturer.She is a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences, presenting at AACN’s National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition beginning in 1976.

AACN Impact Research Grants support clinical inquiry that drives change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice. Priority projects address gaps in clinical research at the organization or system level and translation of these findings to bedside clinicians.

Projects include use of technology to assess patients and manage outcomes; ways to create a healing and humane environment; and processes and systems to optimize high acuity and critical care nursing.

Three Impact Research Grants are available annually to established researchers and beginning researchers with mentors. Applicants may request up to $50,000 in total costs for a maximum of three years. This year, AACN awarded three grants.

Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, RN-CS, FAAN, and a research team at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, also received an Impact Research Grant. They will conduct a national survey to identify models of care for acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs). The project is an essential next step in advance of a large, prospective study to determine the effectiveness of ACNPs in the acute care setting.

The third Impact Research Grant was awarded to Carol Pavlish, RN, PhD, FAAN, from the University of California, Los Angeles, to lead a team of nurse researchers from UCLA and two other medical centers to evaluate a proactive ethics educational program designed to decrease ethical conflict and moral distress in ICUs.

In addition to the three Impact Research Grants, AACN continues to award annually the AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant for up to $10,000 and as many as three AACN-Philips Healthcare Clinical Outcomes Grants, up to $10,000 each.

Leanne Boehm, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, received the AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant to study factors that may influence interdisciplinary protocol use of the ABCDE bundle and its effectiveness.

AACN-Philips Healthcare Clinical Outcomes Grant recipients are as follows:

  • Susan Fetzer, RN, PhD, CNL, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Nashua, to study noise reduction protocols in critical care environments.
  • Susan Finn, RN, MN, CNL, CCRN, CNRN, Billings (Mont.) Clinic, to evaluate the efficacy of new technology to guide internal triage of newly admitted patients.
  • Karen Mellott, RN, PhD, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, to determine the instruction method that most effectively teaches nurses how to recognize patient ventilator asynchrony.

Principal investigators for all grants must be current AACN members. Grant applications must be submitted online by Nov. 1, 2014.

For more information, including award criteria and supporting documents, visit

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 235 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
101 Columbia
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4109

Phone: (949) 362-2000
Fax: (949) 362-2020