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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Sr. Callista Roy, PhD, RN, FAAN

professor & nurse theorist

Sr. Callista Roy, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Cushing Hall 336F
Assistant to the Nurse Theorist
Alyssa Hopper


  • Post Doctoral Fellow - University of California, San Francisco
  • M.S., M.A., Ph.D. - University of California, Los Angeles
  • B.A. - Mount Saint Mary's College


Coping with chronic health conditions; middle range theory for clinical center on symptom assessment and intervention at NIH; conceptualizing and measuring coping; philosophical basis of adaptation nursing; implications of individual and common good for clinical nursing; emerging nursing knowledge and practice outcome


Callista L. Roy, RN, Ph.D., is a Professor and Nurse Theorist at the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College, where she teaches doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate students. Dr. Roy is best known for her work on the Roy adaptation model of nursing. Her current clinical research is an intervention study to involve lay study partners in cognitive recovery of patients with mild head injury. Her other scholarly work includes conceptualizing and measuring coping and developing the philosophical basis for the adaptation model and for the epistemology of nursing. Roy has been named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing and the Massachusetts Registered Nurses Association. Roy has numerous publications, including books and journal articles, on nursing theory and other professional topics. Her works have been translated into many languages all over the world. With her colleagues of the Roy Adaptation Association, she has critiqued and synthesized the first 350 research projects published in English based on her adaptation model. Dr. Roy also has delivered invited papers, lectures, and workshops throughout North America and 30 other countries over the past 31 years on topics related to nursing theory, research, curriculum, clinical practice, and professional trends for the future. She began her education at Mount Saint Mary’s College located in Los Angeles, the city where she was born. Dr. Roy has master’s degrees in pediatric nursing and sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she also earned her Ph.D. She holds honorary doctorates from four other institutions. Her postdoctoral studies in neuroscience nursing were at the University of California at San Francisco.


  • 2014 - Mary Starke Harper Leadership Award, 14th Annual National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Awards Program 2014 Academic Leadership Conference
  • 2013 - Distinguished Graduate Award, Bishop Conaty/Our Lady of Loretto High School
  • 2013 - Honorary Doctoral Degree, Holy Family University
  • 2013 - Alumni Award for Professional Achievement, UCLA
  • 2013 - Excellence in Nursing, The University of Antioquia, Medellin Colombia

additional appointments & awards »


  • Roy, S. C. (2014). Generating middle range theory: From evidence to practice. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Roy, S. C., & Harrington, A. (2013). Roy adaptation model-based research: Global view. Generating Middle range theory: From evidence to practice (pp. 355-365). New York, NY: Springer.
  • Roy, S. C. (2013). From US nurse theorist’s view of person and good of society: Dr. Callista Roy (p. 3), in Cristina Monforte, RN, MSN, PhD (Ed.), Catalunya: Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC).
  • Roy, S. C., Barone, S. H. (2013). Pedagogic materials for generating middle range theories: Evidence for practice. In S.C Roy (ed.). Generating Middle Range Theory: From Evidence to Practice. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Roy, S. C. (2011). Research based on the Roy adaptation model: Last 25 years. Nursing Science Quarterly, 24(4), 312-320.

additional publications »