Queen Silvia Nursing Award is a scholarship for nursing students in Sweden, Finland, Poland and Germany founded in 2013 as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide nursing students with an opportunity to create something that goes beyond their already valuable work; to give them a platform on which to discuss, innovate and share their ideas and hopes for the future of the nursing profession. This year’s Queen Silvia Nursing Award Ceremony will take place on April 2, 2019, at the Royal Palace of Stockholm. Here’s a quick review of 2018’s winning concepts.



Sara Nystrom Sweden QSNA winner

Sara Nytröm is a second-year nursing student at Linköpings Universitet.

Sara’s idea is for “foot warming slippers.”

“The elderly tend to move less, sit more and have poorer blood circulation. For this reason, they can use “foot warmers” while they sit down to keep their feet warm.”

My idea is to combine this heating effect for poor circulation with slippers / indoor shoes. This would allow the elderly to gain a better foothold and reduce the risk of falling. With this combination, the elderly can have their slippers / indoor shoes as per usual, without the need for an extra “foot heater” that one uses only while seated. I don’t believe this would be something too new to introduce, as the elderly and those with a dementia diagnosis would only see them as an ordinary pair of slippers / indoor shoes.

These shoes could have a small button for turning the heat off and on; or a small box, like a remote control with larger and clearer on and off buttons so that people with visual impairment can easily check the heating status with ease. Since these should not be a fire hazard, I think that the heat should not be too high and that it can be shut off after a certain time via a timer. Ideally, these slippers / indoor shoes could be operated via batteries that are embedded in the sole. Batteries can be easily replaced by the user, or relatives or home care professionals. This would avoid the hassle of wires or charging the shoes, which might incur a further risk of falling.”



Maiju Björkqvist QSNA Finland Winner

Maiju Björkqvist is a third-year nursing student at Vaasan Ammattikorkeakoulu.

Maiju’s idea is for an activity room for people with a dementia diagnosis.

“During my gerontology internship, I noticed that active people with a dementia diagnosis that are continuously limited. I asked my supervisor if there was a space/room in memory care facilities where people with dementia could freely visit and use without being restricted. This space could include sheets, towels etc. that the visitors with dementia can access to organize, fold or move to new places.

The place where I currently have my internships has all of its decorations and gadgets scaled back, and doors are locked so that the people with a dementia diagnosis avoid moving or reorganizing the interiors. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the person with dementia could find a door that was not locked? And that they could enter freely and touch and move safe materials at their discretion? My idea is for a room that is filled with day-to-day, safe items that the people with dementia can access, move, organize and touch freely. This would be an excellent way to create safe, secure and pleasant daily activities and pleasant tasks daily based on the person’s conditions.”


Paulina Pergoł QSNA Poland Winner

Paulina Pergoł is a first year MA student at the Medical University of Warsaw.

“Research shows that up to 20% of people over the age of 65 feel very lonely and have no one to talk to about everyday life, not to mention the good old days. I would like to create a letter service where volunteers could exchange letters with elderly residents of different types of nursing homes. In the beginning, any person who wants to write such a letter to an older person (the person’s age, his / her social status etc. does not matter) should write a letter where they can tell about, for example, things they do every day or maybe about their children and family. To make it easier to start the correspondence, there would be questions for the elderly at the end of the letter, for example: “What did you work with earlier? What dreams do you have?” At the end of each letter, there would be a positive message.

Such letters would be delivered to and received from seniors every two weeks. This correspondence could help the elderly escape the feeling of loneliness. They could be happy to wait for the next letter from their pen pal. At the same time, their intellect and memory would be stimulated. I am well aware that some older people cannot write or read, so in my concept there would also be volunteers who would not only help with writing the letters but also read them for the elderly. Older people should have access to good care and the best possible quality of life. I would like to promote lifestyle medicine to retirees because I believe it is the lifestyle that has the greatest impact on our health and quality of life.”


Annette Löser QSNA Germany winner

Annette Löser is a first-year nursing student at the Medicacampus in Chemnitz, Germany.

“There are times when a nurse might visit the guest’s room and find that (s)he has soiled him/herself in the bed. The nurse would then assist the patient by removing the sheets, clothes and other linens, but there is nowhere to place the contaminated items. Hygiene standards state that soiled linens cannot be placed on the bed frame, nor the wardrobe or floor.

There should, therefore, be an easy-to-install, under-the-bed, pull-out garbage bag holder which can be lined with any standard plastic bag. This would ensure that the nurse can quickly and hygienically remove the soiled items away without worrying about further contamination. The garbage bag holder can be dismantled, disinfected and reattached under the bed afterward.”

Heartiest congratulations to this year’s scholars!