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ASPEN Fellowship for Penn Nursing Professor

Sharon Y. Irving, PhD, CRNP, FCCM, FAAN, Associate Professor of Pediatric Nursing and Vice-Chair of Penn Nursing’s Department of Family and Community Health, has been named a 2021 Fellow of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN). She is one of 29 selected for the Class of 2021, which was announced March 20 during ASPEN’s 2021 Virtual Nutrition Science & Practice Conference.

ASPEN Fellows are outstanding leaders in nutrition support, consistently contributing in education, practice, research and service to the field. A Fellow of ASPEN (FASPEN) designation is the highest honor available to members. These individuals have records of exemplary achievements.

“The collegiality and networking found at ASPEN has been phenomenal, opportunities abound through membership and networking and I am very grateful for both,” said Irving. “My membership has helped me to do more, ask more questions and learn more to enable me in my small way raise the knowledge of the importance of nutrition therapy in the care of critically ill infants and children for all involved in their care. Becoming a FASPEN – Wow! I am humbled, honored and so very proud! Thank you so very much to the committee for my selection.”

In addition to her Penn appointment, Irving practices as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she provides patient care in the pediatric intensive care and progressive care units. She co-founded and led a multi-disciplinary ICU-Pediatric Nutrition Team (ICU-PNuT) in designing and implementing the first nutrition pathway to improve nutrition delivery to infants and children during and immediately following critical illness at CHOP. The pathway includes ensuring timely initiation of nutrient provision to attain appropriate caloric and protein intake, using primarily the gastrointestinal tract and when contraindicated or insufficient, the intravenous route. Recent statistics show this pathway has been downloaded and used more than 9200 times globally since its development and launch in the CHOP PICU. ICU-PNuT includes physicians, registered dieticians, advance practice and clinical nurses, and clinical pharmacist.

Irving served as lead author on the first best practice recommendations on gastric feeding tube location verification in pediatric patients, a co-author of updated guidelines for nutrition therapy in critically ill children, and co-author on an ASPEN endorsed scoping review examining nutrition research in the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these publications are endorsed by ASPEN’s Board of Directors. In 2019 she was awarded ASPENs Distinguished Nutrition Support Nurse Service Award.