Faculty Sketch

Todd Monroe, PhD, RN, FAAN

Assistant Professor of Nursing
Affiliated Faculty Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science
Affiliated Faculty Vanderbilt Psychiatric Neuroimaging Program



Current Research Interests

Dr. Monroe’s overall program of research is aimed at using psychophysical and neurophysiological approaches to study the effect of aging and cognition on pain in older adults. His team uses neuroimaging methods to study pain in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Our group draws on years of clinical experience in critical care, community health, neuroimaging, psychiatry, neuroscience, and radiologic science. By using a translational approach and a strong interdisciplinary team of scientist from nursing, medicine, and radiology, we are pushing the research on pain and aging in new and exciting directions. In addition to using psychophysical and neurophysiological methods, Dr. Monroe works with an interdisciplinary team to examine how the interaction of providers, families, and systems impact the management of pain in older adults.


Ongoing Research and Grant Support

Age-Related Differences in Psychophysical and Neurobiological Response to Pain.
NIH/NIA (R21AG045735) Role: PI (Cowan, MPI).

Pain Reports and Brain Activation Patterns in People with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
Vanderbilt VICTR (K equivalent) Role: PI (Primary Mentor: John Gore)
10/01/2013 – 10/01/2016

Early Nurse Detection of Delirium Superimposed on Dementia – END DSD.
NIH/NINR (R01 NR011042; subcontract with Pennsylvania State University)
04/01/2010 – 03/31/2014

Sex Differences in the Psychophysical and Neurophysiological Response to Experimental Thermal Pain in Healthy Older Adults. Role: PI
Vanderbilt VICTR V4007
05/01/12 – 05/01/13

A Descriptive Study about Decision Factors that Nurses Make in Order to Administer Medications to People with Dementia. Role: PI
Vanderbilt VICTR V4099
08/01/12 to 08/01/13


Psychophysical and Neurophysiological Response to Experimental Pain in Communicative Women with Alzheimer’s Disease.
American Academy of Nursing/BAGNC 07/01/2011 – 06/30/2013
Role: PI (Primary Mentors: Lorraine Mion & John Gore)

Nursing Home Residents with Cancer and Dementia with and without Hospice Services.
Dissertation Funded by the Alma and Hal Regan Fellowship
05/01/2007 – 03/3/2010
Role: PI (Primary Mentor: Michael Carter)


National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Recipient
08/01/2011 – 08/01/2014

Representative Publications

Primary Research (refereed)  

Norman, A., Monroe, T., Carter, M. (accepted). Potential Inappropriate Treatment of Suspected Urinary Tract Infections Among Nursing Home Residents. Clinical Scholars Review.

Monroe, T., Mirsa, S., Habermann, R., Dietrich, M., Cowan, R., Simmons, S. (accepted). Pain Reports and Pain Medication Treatment in Nursing Home Residents with and without Dementia. Geriatrics and Gerontology International.

Yevchak, A., Fick, D., McDowell, J., Monroe, T., May, K., Grove, L., Kolanowski, A., Waller, J., & Inouye, S. (accepted). Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Delirium Rounds in a Clinical Trial Across Three Diverse Hospital Settings. Clinical Nursing Research.

Monroe, T., Carter, M., Feldt, K., Dietrich, M., & Cowan, R. (accepted). Pain and Hospice Care in Nursing Home Residents with Dementia and Terminal Cancer. Geriatrics and Gerontology International.

Monroe, T., Kenaga, H., Carter, M., Dietrich, M., Cowan, R. (2013). The Prevalence of Employed Nurses Identified or Enrolled in Substance Use Monitoring Programs. Nursing Research, 62(1), 10-15.

Monroe, T. Dornan, A., Carter, M., & Cowan, R. (2012). Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Describe Pain Pathways in the ‘Oldest Old’: A Case Study of a Healthy 97-year-old Female. The Journal of Pain and Relief, 1(5), 212.

Monroe, T., & Carter, M. (2012). Using the MMSE to explore methodological challenges in cognitive ageing research. European Journal of Ageing, 9(3), 265-274.

Monroe, T., Carter, M., Feldt, K., Tolley, B., Cowan, R., (2012). Assessing advanced cancer pain in people with dementia at the end-of-life. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(9), 2070-2078.

Monroe, T., Carter, M., & Parrish, A. (2011). A case study using the beers list criteria to compare prescribing by family practitioners and geriatric specialists in a rural nursing home. Geriatric Nursing. 32(5), 350-56.

Monroe, T, & Carter, M. (2010). A retrospective pilot-study of African-American and Caucasian nursing home residents with dementia who died from cancer. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 40(4) e1-e3.

Monroe, T., Pearson, F., & Kenaga, H.  (2009) Treating nurses and student nurses with chemical dependency: Revising policy for the 21st century. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 7(4), 530-540.


Monroe, T. B., Pearson, F., & Kenaga, H. (2008) Procedures for handling cases of substance abuse among nurses: A comparison of disciplinary and alternative programs. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 19(3), 156-161.


Stanton, M., Crow, C., Morrison, R., Skiba, D., Monroe, T., et al., (2005). Web-based graduate education in rural nursing case management. Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Healthcare, 5(2), 53-63.


Reviews (refereed)


Monroe, T., Herr, K., Mion, L, Cowan, R. (in press).  Ethical Considerations in Pain Research in Cognitively Impaired Older Adults. International Journal of Nursing Studies. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.11.023

Monroe, T., Chin, L., Gore, J., Mion, L., Cowan, R. (2012). Pain research in people with Alzheimer’s disease: Potential applications for psychophysical and neurophysiological studies. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, 25, 240-255.

Monroe, T., VanDoren, M., Smith, L., Cole, J., Kenaga, H. (2011). Nurses recovering from substance use disorders while continuing to work: A review of policies and position statements. Journal of Nursing Administration, 41(10), 1-7.

Monroe, T., Hamza, H., Stocks, G., Scimeca, P., Cowan, R. (2011). The misuse and abuse of propofol. Substance Use and Misuse. 46(9), 1199-205.

Hamza, H. & Monroe, T. (2011). Re-entry and recidivism for certified registered Nurse Anesthetists. The Journal of Nursing Regulation, 2(1), 17-22.

Monroe, T. & Kenaga, H. (2011). Don’t ask don’t tell: Substance abuse and addiction among nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20(3-4), 504-09.

Monroe, T. & Carter, M. (2010). Benefits and barriers to hospice in American nursing homes. European Journal of Palliative Care, 17(3), 145-48.

Monroe, T. (2009). Addressing substance abuse among nursing students: Development of a prototype alternative-to-dismissal policy. Journal of Nursing Education, 45(5), 272-278.



Professional Organizations

  • American Academy of Nursing
  • American Geriatrics Society
  • American Nurses Association
  • Gerontological Society of America
  • International Association for the Study of Pain
  • National Academies of Practice
  • National Organization of Alternative Programs
  • Sigma Theta Tau International
  • Tennessee Nurses Association