Sister Callista Roy is most well known for her development of the Roy Adaptation Model of Nursing, a theoretical approach to nursing widely used globally today in education, practice and research. The model provides a clear vision of what nurses can do to help people deal with health challenges. Published research projects based on Roy’s model in English number close to 350 with large numbers of studies reported in other languages.
After earning her Bachelor of Arts with a major in nursing from Mount St. Mary’s College, Roy became a three-time Bruin, earning a master’s degree in pediatric nursing and master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from UCLA.
Roy served as a department chair of Mount St. Mary’s Nursing Department between 1971 and 1982; helped create the master’s program in nursing at the University of Portland and implemented the Ph.D. program in nursing at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, where she has served as professor and nurse theorist for 26 years. She has served as visiting professor to colleges around the world, including Universidad de La Sabana in Colombia, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon in Mexico, Sweden’s Lund University, St. Mary’s College, Kurume, Japan and Universidad de Concepcion in Chile. Roy uses electronic media to interact with classes in countries as wide-spread as Nigeria and Jordan.
She served on the Board of the International Network for Doctoral Education from 2003-2006. Currently, she is a professor and Nurse Theorist at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College and serves as Faculty Senior Nurse Scientist at the Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has more than 130 publications, including 12 books, some of which are translated into at least 12 languages.
The American Academy of Nursing and the Massachusetts Registered Nursing Association named her a Living Legend in 2007 and 2008. She was an inaugural inductee into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in 2010. In that same year, the UCLA School of Nursing celebrated its 60th anniversary and honored her on their list of "Sixty Who Have Made a Difference."
She is a sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet.