(Det talade ordet gäller)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Bernadotte Library and the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
It is a great pleasure to welcome all of you to this prize ceremony in which we are to award three recipients the Queen Silvia Nursing Award scholarship.
This year’s ceremony is special, it is special in several ways, but mostly because it is the first time that we award three scholarships. This year, for the first time, a Polish nursing student will become part of the select group of students that have received this award.
Queen Silvia Nursing Award was established four years ago, in 2013 and at the time only Swedish students could apply and receive the award. Today, students in three countries are able to apply every year and a recipient is chosen in each of these; Finland, Poland and Sweden.
It was always the intention to make this scholarship international and to implement it in several countries over time. This has been very important to me and to those working with its development.
First of all, aging is not defined by borders, language or culture. The needs of elderly or someone living with dementia are the same in Stockholm as in Helsinki and Warsaw. Good care and highly skilled nurses can make the most astonishing difference in a person’s quality of life. Therefore, we must make an effort to share knowledge and ideas across nations.
Furthermore, nursing is a profession that requires the most talented and driven individuals to take on the challenges that it offers. Unfortunately, nursing is many times seen as a calling. There is a belief, that the wonderful individuals who dedicate their careers and lives to caring for others are doing so out of the goodness of their hearts. This is something we wish to dispel. We hope that this award will help increase the status of nursing as a profession, but also that it will attract students who wish to use a nursing education and degree as the starting point for an interesting and versatile career, in which ever field they chose. This, also, is a universal challenge.
The ambition, not only for Queen Silvia Nursing Award but also for Stiftelsen Silviahemmet and the many other activities that we are involved with in the field of dementia and elderly care is to make our contribution to improving life quality for those who need it the most.
Seeing these three recipients from different walks of life, different countries and different experiences fills me with joy. Ms. Ena, Ms. Wahlström and Ms. Duszeńska: You are standard-bearers for your profession and you are very soon to go out in the world and become skilled nurses working in different fields and professions. As you do so, I would like you to take this moment with you. Remember the immense value of what you are doing for others, and know that this is something to be proud of.
I also urge you to make the most of this experience and to take all the opportunities you can get through the scholarship.
I am certain that you will go on to achieve many great things – and whilst doing so you will do so much good for those you care for.
With these words, I would like to extend my best wishes to all three of you and of course congratulate you all on this very big achievement and the great ideas that brought you here.
As a conclusion to my remarks I would like to return to my initial point about the international reach of the scholarship. In the fall of 2017 we will welcome Germany as one of the countries where nursing students will be able to apply for the Queen Silvia Nursing Award scholarship. This is something that I am very much looking forward to.
Finally, a warm thank you to all applicants, to the finalists, to the universities that have supported the award and of course to all our partners that make this scholarship possible.