Callista Roy

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Sr. Callista Roy, CSJ, PhD, RN, FAAN
Born Callista Lorraine Roy
October 14, 1939
Education UCLA
Years active 1963–present
Known for Adaptation model of nursing
Medical career
Profession Nursing professor
Institutions Boston College
Research Nursing theory

Sister Callista Roy, CSJ (born October 14, 1939) is an American nursing theorist, professor and author. She is known for creating the adaptation model of nursing. Roy was designated as a 2007 Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing.[1]


Roy earned an undergraduate degree in nursing from Mount St. Mary's College in 1963, followed by a master's degree in nursing from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1966. She then earned masters and doctoral degrees in sociology from UCLA. She served as a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. She also been awarded four honorary doctorates.[2]


Roy is Professor and Nursing Theorist at Boston College in the William F. Connell School of Nursing. In 1991, she founded the Boston Based Adaptation Research in Nursing Society (BBARNS), which would later be renamed the Roy Adaptation Association. She has lectured across the United States and in more than thirty other countries. Currently, she is studying the role of lay study partners in recovery from mild head injury.[2]

She belongs to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.[3]

Roy Adaptation Model[edit]

During her graduate studies, Roy was compelled by instructor Dorothy Johnson to write a conceptual model of nursing. The Roy Adaptation Model was first published in Nursing Outlook in 1970. In this model, humans (as individuals or in groups) are holistic, adaptive systems. The environment consists of internal and external stimuli that surround an individual or group. Health is seen as a sound, unimpaired condition leading to wholeness. Nursing's goal is to promote modes of adaptation that support overall health.

Four modes of adaptation support integrity: physiologic-physical, self-concept group identity, role function and interdependence. In applying Roy's model, the following steps may help to integrate it with the traditional nursing process: assessment of client behavior; assessment of stimuli; nursing diagnosis; goal setting; interventions; and evaluation.[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

Published works[edit]

  • Roy, C. (2009). "Assessment and the Roy Adaptation Model", The Japanese Nursing Journal, 29(11), 5-7.
  • Roy, C. (2008). "Adversity and theory: The broad picture", Nursing Science Quarterly, 21(2), 138-139.
  • Whittemore, R. & Roy, C. (2002). "Adapting to Diabetes Mellitus: A Theory Synthesis", Nursing Science Quarterly, 15(4), 311-317.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Living Legends, American Academy of Nursing, retrieved June 8, 2012 
  2. ^ a b c d "Sr. Callista Roy, PhD, RN, FAAN - Boston College". 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  3. ^ a b Sitzman, Kathleen; Eichelberger, Lisa Wright (2011). Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists: A Creative Beginning (2nd ed.). Jones and Bartlett Publishers. pp. 85–89. ISBN 1449656110. 
  4. ^ Oslin, Reid (May 11, 2006), "University Presents 2006 Faculty Awards", The Boston College Chronicle, retrieved June 10, 2012