The Queen Silvia Nursing Award is a scholarship that is given annually to nursing students in Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Germany. The scholarship was established in Sweden in 2013 as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden. The first scholar was announced on the Queen’s birthday on 23rd of December 2013.

The recipient of Queen Silvia Nursing Award is rewarded with a scholarship of Euros 6000 in addition to a unique, individually tailored internship program. During the internship, the scholar has an opportunity to learn about the care of the elderly and people with dementia from various perspectives.

2019 marks the 5th year of the Queen Silvia Nursing Award.  Since its founding, several of our scholars have pursued their entrepreneurial interests, furthered their careers in nursing, and developed leadership and professional competence in other healthcare professions. To celebrate the 5th anniversary, we will be publishing a series of posts about our past scholars; how the scholarship has benefitted them and where they are in their careers now.

This post details an interview with Pernilla Rönntoft, the 2015 Swedish recipient of QSNA. Her winning idea was to establish a web training service for staff working in elderly care, in order to license them to deliver best practices. The training can be customized to the specific needs of the business. Pernilla says, “The mandatory licensing program is for anything; from managing emergency situations, measuring blood pressure to administration and handling of medicine. It can be based on what the business needs to enhance employees’ competency. The education consists of a theoretical and a practical part. I came in contact with this type of training during my work in a surgeon’s clinic and think that this type of method is a good supplement to any other type of education.”

Pernilla says that without a doubt, the ceremony was one of the best moments of her life. The scholarship has provided her with numerous opportunities to advance her education and grow her career.  She recalls,

“The ceremony was a fantastic experience but it is only afterward that I had the chance to take the breadth of it all. At the time there were so many events, interviews, and visits that I didn’t have a chance to grasp everything or reflect on it. I was also in the last stage of completing my specialist training in nursing so I was quite overwhelmed. However, looking back now, I can say with joy and pride that I have come a long way since that day, and I am very grateful for the amazing opportunities that the scholarship has provided.  It has given me the chance to grow my network and connect with leaders in the industry. Among other things, I have had the honor to be a part of the editorial board of the Swedish Nursing Association and to work at Attendo to develop web education services based on my idea. Eventually, I was offered the role of a service manager for a retirement home where I was able to apply my idea to some extent by arranging for courses to develop the staff’s skills.

Photo: Yanan Li

Above all, my greatest learning has been in realizing that it is always worth striving to achieve our goals and that we are capable of doing more than we think we can. I am beyond thankful for these experiences, and to have been able to influence and encourage others to do what they believe in.”

A certified BPSD educator, Pernilla educates nursing staff who work with the elderly. She is currently the head of her nursing group in Halmstad and a member of Attendo’s central dementia team.  We wish Pernilla the very best and thank her for the work she is doing in improving elderly and dementia care!