Q & A with the 2022 Queen Silvia Nursing Award recipient

Created in honor of Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden and recognizing her long interest in and support of dementia nursing, the Queen Silvia Nursing Award (QSNA) is open to any UW nursing student or UW-graduate registered nurse. Applications open in the fall.

Read more from Juana Gallegos, the most recent QSNA award winner and her experience in Sweden.


Your winning idea involved using a smart video app that uses AI to interface with an individual living with dementia by learning trusted family members’ pre-recorded responses. How has being a QSNA winner helped get your idea come to fruition? So far my idea has been received well by so many, that when I talk about it. Some people think its already in the app market. I have also received various highlights on several blogs, and media sites that it has created a special interest. Hopefully, one will lead to a investor who can work with us on making this application come to life.

Person receiving award from another person

QSNA recipient Juana receiving award from Queen Silvia Photo credit: Yanan Li

What type of support have you received from QSNA? QSNA has helped me with connecting with important individuals who understand the IT sector as well as the healthcare industry. It has also helped me by giving me people I can bounce ideas off and who are also working in various aspects of dementia/Alzheimer’s care. This kind of support is crucial since this app will take some time to hopefully come to life and having connections will be essential every step of the way in this endeavor.

How was your experience in Sweden as the QSNA winner for UW?  The experience was far more amazing than I could have imagined. The events were so well planned and thoughtful. I appreciate the time and effort everyone went through to put this together! It felt surreal in the amount of detail of the event and I felt like a celebrity representing the UW =)

Persons attending ceremony

QSNA recipients at ceremony at Palace.
Photo credit: Yanan Li

What was it like meeting other winners from other countries? It was exciting to meet other wonderful nurses who have the same hope for positive change for patients living with dementia but tackling in such different important ways. They were so enthusiastic and I learned so much from them about their ideas. Hopefully we can work on integrating some of the idea in the future.

What were some of your favorite moments in Sweden? The Grand Ceremony in Stockholm was by far the best moment! Getting recognized by her majesty Queen Silvia and being able to speak about my idea at the Palace Library was a once in a lifetime moment.

What is some advice you can give to those thinking of applying? If you have an idea, no matter how small, apply!  The world is always needing an innovative idea especially in the care of people living with dementia. I had an idea and it was the last day to apply and I just did it, not knowing what a life altering opportunity this would be.

Anything else you’d like to add about QSNA? I loved meeting people all over the world who are working with QSNA to bring solutions to caring for those with dementia. Hopefully in the future I can also be participating in the capabilities of helping in this endeavor from a giving perspective.