University of Washington School of Nursing 

What is DPEN?

DPEN is a program at the University of Washington’s School of Nursing that trains undergraduate nursing students, currently practicing Registered Nurses (RNs), and Interprofessional healthcare students in caring for people living with dementia.  It does this in three ways:

  • Undergraduate program for nursing students:  Providing comprehensive classroom curriculum paired with clinical experience and instruction
  • Continuing nursing education for practicing RNs:  Self-paced modules for RNs working in the field
  • Interporfessional education for 500+ health science students 

Why dementia?

Dementia affects millions of people. In the US, 5 million people are living with dementia and are cared for by over 15 million family/friend care partners.  Despite of the epidemic proportions of dementia, only about 13,000 physicians and nurses currently specialize in dementia care—that’s over 380 people living with dementia for every 1 specialist!  This mismatch results in poorer quality care, long wait times, and high costs—things our older adults simply cannot afford.  That’s why DPEN was designed to transform the education of nursing professionals so they are prepared to serve as leaders of multidisciplinary care teams. DPEN is a comprehensive approach to optimizing dementia-competent and equitable care that focuses on clinical education, workforce development, research and increasing visibility and global partnerships. 

How can I get involved?

If you’re interested in becoming a part of DPEN, we have a place for you!


We are looking for businesses and organizations to partner with us to fund DPEn initiatives and to provide clinical training opportunities for students 

Medical professionals

We are looking for nurses and other healthcare providers who are interested in informing DPEN curriculum development 


If you are a undergraduate in the University of Washington’s School of Nursing, you can apply to being the DPEN program starting Fall 2022.  See our list of courses here and apply here.

Who’s already involved in DPEN?

Dr. Tatiana Sadak leads DPEN with a team of staff and faculty at the UW School of Nursing.  

Faculty instructors include… 

DPEN students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at community organizations such as…where they will work with PLWD and learn from specially trained RN preceptors.

The school became a partner of Swedish Care International (SCI) in their mission to improve global dementia awareness and to practices in dementia education for healthcare providers around the world.  SCI has brought their Queen Silvia Nursing Award (QSNA) in dementia care to the US exclusively through the University of Washington School of Nursing.  The first U.S. recipient of the QSNA was Brooke Tamble in 2020.

Other partners include…

Hands holding plant


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