Q and A with 2021 Queen Silvia Nursing Award Michael Drake

The Queen Silvia Nursing Award (QSNA) applications are now open. Created in honor of Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden and recognizing her long interest in and support of dementia nursing, the award is open to any UW nursing student or UW-graduate registered nurse. Applications must include an idea or solution addressing better quality of care for people living with dementia in the health care environment or community.

Read more from Michael Drake, the most recent QSNA award winner and his experience.


  1. Your winning idea was the development of QRx, a safe and secure mobile platform that patients can use to share important information to medical providers and/or caregivers via an individualized QR code—a barcode that can be scanned by a digital device. How has being a QSNA winner helped get your idea come to fruition? Winning the Queen Silvia Nursing Award has had tangible benefits on my project. It allowed met to attract intention from investors and mentors, opening a door that would be harder to open without. The QSNA award also adds legitimacy to my idea, attracting not just people interested in working or funding development, but individuals with real-life experience with the problem my idea is trying to solve, which is very important for feedback. At the awards ceremony in Stockholm, I met many people with deeply personal stories regarding the same or similar failures of care coordination and transition management that inspired me to develop my idea. That personal knowledge and experience from others is important in development, and I wouldn’t have it without the QSNA award and what it has provided.
  2. What type of support have you received from QSNA? I was accepted into UW’s CoMotion’s iCorps program for the Winter 2022 cohort, where I was able to conduct intensive research into the feasibility of my idea. I’ve met many industry mentors that have provided their support and feedback I just wouldn’t have received without winning the QSNA. In addition, I’ve received a lot of support from one of QSNA’s partners – The Dementia and Palliative Education Network (DPEN), who’ve helped support me before and during the run-up to the awards ceremony. Thank you, DPEN!
  3. How was your experience in Sweden as the QSNA winner for UW? What was it like meeting other winners from other countries? Travelling to Stockholm, meeting Queen Silvia, and accepting the QSNA award was an indelible experience. Meeting the winners from other countries was inspiring. Seeing how other nurses from other countries with completely different health care systems approach solving problems with dementia care gave me a new perspective into how I can develop my own solutions.

    Michael Drake, second from right with other QSNA award winners in Sweden

  4. What were some of your favorite moments in Sweden? During the award ceremony, I had a moment when I realized I was surrounded by a group of people who have invested significant time, money, privilege, and power towards improving the lives of those with dementia. For everyone in the room, dementia care was a priority, mission, and deeply personal endeavor, inspired by their experience caring for someone with dementia. Being in that room with those people was my favorite moment in Sweden.
  5. Applications are now open. What is some advice you can give to those thinking of applying? My advice would be to think of a simple but unique idea that solves a specific problem and can be easily developed and implemented. The 2021 QSNA award winner for Germany, Stephan Wengel, had a great idea: a nutritional jelly that could be made into a gummy or spread over other foods. He noticed that patients with dementia often forget to eat; his nutritional complex could be used to meet their daily nutritional needs, while being easily modifiable into different shapes and uses. As someone who’s idea will require years of development, I’m so jealous of what Stephan came up with, not just for it’s innovation, but how easy and quickly it can be developed!
  6. Anything else you’d like to add about QSNA? Winning the Queen Silvia Nursing Award has been an experience of a lifetime. I applied during fall quarter of my second hear of nursing school at UW SoN; it was absolutely worth the work and investment it took to create a prototype of my idea and apply. If you’re a student thinking of applying, or have an any questions, you can email me at quigglem@uw.edu.  I’d be happy to help in any way I can!

For more information on the award and to apply visit Queen Silvia Nursing Award