Announcing 2023 Queen Silvia Nursing Award Recipient


Person with white shirt smiling

CJ Rivera 2nd year BSN student

UW School of Nursing student CJ Rivera has been selected as the second United States recipient of the UW Queen Silvia Nursing Award (UWQSNA) for dementia care.  

CJ Rivera is a second-year BSN student at the University of Washington School of Nursing. Her idea title is Mobile Dementia Care. The creation of a smartphone app for caregivers to request mobile healthcare to arrive at their homes to aid in de-escalation for adults who have dementia with behavioral disturbance. Caregivers can create a profile in the app that includes location, contact information, and secure access to the client’s medical chart to allow the trained response team to access vital information from the client’s home that could improve their treatment plan and allow for more streamlined care coordination.

Rivera passion for gerontological nursing originates from her observation of preventable gaps in care that she has identified during her work experience in memory care, and personal experiences while caring for her own grandmother who has dementia. In February of 2023, she was one of two students chosen by the Center for Global Health Nursing and the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging to travel to Japan as part of the Keio University Short-Term Nursing and Medical Care Studies Program to learn about the challenges of an aging society. From this experience, she witnessed the possibilities that existed in other healthcare systems that could allow people with dementia to have a better quality of life, which serves as a driving factor for pursuing the Queen Silvia Nursing Award.

“Being chosen as the 2023 UW QSNA winner is truly a full-circle moment for me as someone who has been following the award since its start at UW in 2020. Since then, I have grown to be quite passionate about the effects of dementia on individuals as well as the stress it can place on caregivers. Being able to receive international recognition for my idea that aims to relieve the significant burden of dementia not only on individuals and families but on healthcare systems and communities as a whole is incredibly validating,” said Rivera.

“The Queen Silva Nursing Award recognizes exceptional ideas to improve the health of people living with and affected by dementia.  CJ’s proposal integrates cutting-edge technology, human-centered design techniques, and expert nursing care to keep those living with dementia safe at home while receiving the healthcare they need.  CJ epitomizes what it means to be a Husky Nurse and we are thrilled that CJ is being recognized with the QSNA for their expectational work,” said Interim Dean Allison Webel.

Watch the video below to learn more about CJ’s idea.


The QSNA was established by Swedish Care International in 2013 as a birthday gift for Her Majesty (HM) Queen Silvia in recognition of her long-term commitment and dedication to elderly care and the quality of nursing for people with dementia. The award featured innovative ideas and solutions to improve quality of care for older adults and people living with dementia. 

Last year was the first time the award was open to nursing students in the United States. The launch of the UWQSNA in the US in 2020 coincided with the World Health Organization’s celebration of International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Last year’s winning idea by Brooke Tamble involved developing an interactive app to address the daily needs, memory loss, isolation from family, and the need for mental stimulation during the COVID-19 pandemic.  


Dementia is a profoundly challenging health care issue that affects an estimated 5 million people in the US, cared for by 15 million family and/or friend care partners. There is no known cure. The impact of dementia is personal, emotional, economic, and systemic. 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults with dementia, especially those in memory or other care facilities, has drawn increasing concern from healthcare providers, caregivers, and family members. Those who live with dementia suffer acutely from isolation, disruption to their daily routines, and confusion when care and communication are moved online. Additionally, this population is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, as they tend to be older adults and often have severe underlying medical conditions. 


The UW School of Nursing has long ties to Sweden. In 2019, UW and KI signed an agreement to strengthen collaboration in teaching and research areas impacting population health. The five-year agreement details a range of possible collaborative projects and activities to explore, including faculty and student exchanges, joint research activities, and individual faculty partnerships.