I was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada from a large extended family of the late Arthur and Elvera Ray, with four sisters, Patricia, Mary Ellen, Catherine and Loretta, and one brother, Michael and many relatives. I came seeking adventure with three nursing friends to Los Angeles, California in 1958 after graduating from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing. (It is no longer a School of Nursing since all professional nursing programs in Canada are in universities.) I practiced nursing at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and Hoag Memorial Hospital in Costa Mesa in Maternal-Child Nursing, ICUs and Emergency Departments. In 1963, I moved to  Colorado after nearly five years in Southern California and practiced nursing in ICU at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs and the University Hospital in Denver. At the same time, I began taking courses for my BSN which I completed in 1968 as well as my MS in 1969 at the University of Colorado, School of Nursing under the mentorship of the late Maxine Berlinger and the late Dr. Madeleine Leininger, the founder of nursing and anthropology, subsequently named, the discipline of transcultural nursing. While I was studying for my nursing degrees, I became a citizen of the United States (now holding dual citizenship in the United States and Canada), and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1967, first serving in the Wyoming Air National Guard followed by service in the Reserve Forces in many different states in the United States, California, New York, Washington, DC, and Texas. (During my initial Air Force career, I attended flight school at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine in Texas, and served as a flight nurse during the Viet Nam conflict. I followed up within the USAF Nurse Corps with many leadership and command assignments in education, administration, and aerospace nursing research and space education in the Reserves and sometimes on active duty, completing my service in aerospace nursing research for a total 32 years reaching and retiring with rank of full Colonel. I had the privilege of being the first and only nurse to be invited to travel to the Soviet Union (now Russia) for participation with members of the Russian Space Agency at Star City with engineers, scientists and physicians of the Aerospace Medical Association.) 

After receiving my MS degree in 1969, still drawn by the wonders of the Pacific Ocean, I returned to California, this time to San Francisco, and began my teaching career, first at the University of California San Francisco as an Instructor, and then at the University of San Francisco as an Assistant Professor. Family needs at home called me back to Hamilton, Ontario in 1973, and I was fortunate to teach at McMaster University, School of Nursing in the family practice primary care program educating the first nurse practitioner cohorts in Canada. One of the most innovative programs in primary care and population health, I was able to work inter-professionally with Dr. David Sackett, the “father” of evidence-based practice, and the other medical and social science professionals, such as the late Drs. Dorothy Kergin and Walter Spitzer who conducted  the first research studies on the role of the nurse practitioner in family practice, with publications which are still cited today. Primary care curricula highlighting population health, the problem-based learning model, simulated patients using artists, and small-group tutorial methodology (the brand as is said) were created at McMaster University to develop the roles of the primary care physicians and nurse practitioners. Since I was interested in anthropology as a student of the late Madeleine Leininger, I was encouraged to apply to the Department of Anthropology completing at the same time, an MA in Cultural Anthropology with a research focus on the contemporary culture of nursing and complex hospital systems. I returned to the United States in 1977 after receiving a call from the late Dr. Leininger, Dean to participate as one of the two first transcultural PhD nursing students in the new PhD program at the University of Utah, College of Nursing. While in the second year of the program, I met my future husband, James L. Droesbeke, an accountant living in Denver, Colorado, believe it or not on an airplane. We were married shortly thereafter at St. Ambrose Church in Salt Lake City, August 18, 1979. We had a very happy and mutually supportive marriage until his untimely death from cancer in November 2001. While at the University of Utah, I studied nursing, anthropology, philosophies of science, phenomenology, economics, and qualitative research methods using three within my dissertation, ethnography, phenomenology, and grounded theory. As a doctoral student I was privileged to be amongst caring scholars, Leininger, Watson, Bevis, Gaut, Glittenberg, and Murray after declaration by the late Dr. Leininger that caring was the “essence of nursing” at the first conference on caring in nursing at the University of Utah in 1978. Jean Watson presented her transpersonal caring theory, Leininger on her transcultural nursing views, and finally, the two PhD students, the late Dr. Dolores Gaut and I presenting on our philosophies of caring. It was so exciting, not knowing then, that we were the group of nurses who founded the philosophy and science of caring in nursing, now celebrating almost 50 years of scholarship in caring science and art. The substance of the first conference is published in the book in 1981 by Leininger, Caring: An essential human need.  I completed my dissertation in 1981 wherein I discovered the Theory of Bureaucratic Caring from researching the meaning of caring within the complex hospital organizational culture. The theory is recognized as critical to modern nursing and used  worldwide in institutional health care and military cultures because of its emphasis on how the meaning of the human-environmental relationship and the context (economic, political, legal, technological, social-cultural, physical, and spiritual-ethical caring) shape understanding of nursing and administration in complex systems. After graduation, I had a brief experience to return service for the reception of a doctoral grant at the College of Nursing in Toronto, Canada before taking a faculty position at the University of Colorado School of Nursing in 1984 working with Dr. Jean Watson who was Dean at the time. While teaching philosophies of science, holographic and complexity sciences,  and qualitative research methods, primarily phenomenology in the new PhD program at the University of Colorado School of Nursing focused on caring science, I guided many new PhDs in nursing. I also continued my research and publications in the Theory of Bureaucratic Caring as well as focused on the study of technological and economic caring. I received the Leininger award in Transcultural Nursing, attended courses in ethics at Georgetown University, and also presented widely on caring science. 

In 1989, I was recruited by Dr. Anne Boykin, Dean for the Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar position at Florida Atlantic University where collectively, the nursing faculty and I were committed to developing nursing as a human caring science. I had the honor of teaching graduate students and helping to launch the first Doctor of Nursing Science (now PhD) program in nursing. I travelled extensively during that period sharing the scholarship of caring in different parts of the world. Never did I know at the time that FAU, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing would be the leading caring science university in the world. How remarkable! After completing my role as Eminent Scholar at FAU, I served one year as a Visiting Scholar at Virginia Commonwealth University where I helped to launch phenomenological research studies in the PhD program. At FAU, I continued as a professor teaching nursing administration, philosophies of science, caring in nursing, and qualitative research methods in the graduate programs. I wrote and received with my co-principal investigator, Dr. Marian Turkel, federally funded research grants on organizational and economic caring for a total of close to 1 million dollars from the Tri Service Nursing Research Program of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Faculty colleague, Dr. Sherrilyn Coffman and I also received a Sigma grant to study via grounded theory research methods, African American maternal health care needs. For many years, writing chapters and articles and giving presentations have captured caring as the essence of nursing. Turkel and I especially focused on the economic impact of caring in nursing, complexity science, and complex relational transcultural caring dynamics. In 2011, the late Dr. Alice Davidson, Dr. Marian Turkel and I edited the book, Nursing, caring, and complexity science for human environment well-being which won the AJN Book of the Year award for advancing professional development. I am recognized as a transcultural nursing scholar and have received continuous certification (CTN-A) in transcultural nursing by the Transcultural Nursing Society. In 2010, I wrote a  book with a model of Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Health Care  (TCCDNHC) published by F. A. Davis Company advancing a new theory of transcultural caring and complexity science, ethics, social-cultural phenomena, and spirituality to develop a deep awareness of the role as a transcultural caring nurse in issues related to cultural diversity and inclusivity, social-cultural conflict and understanding and choice in terms of transcultural caring, ethics, equity, fairness and justice. The second edition was published in 2016 with an expanded application of the TCCDNHC theory in diverse cultures and religions in the world.

In 2017, my Theory of Bureaucratic Caring was selected by Lieutenant General Dorothy Hogg, the Surgeon General of the United States Air Force, first nurse and woman in that position, and her executive staff as the cornerstone and structural framework for the United States Air Force Nurse Corps (USAF NC), for the development of the Person-Centered Professional Practice Model (PC2P). Colonel Marcia Potter, USAF NC now retired was the chief educator with multiple projects to transform caring toward person-centeredness with remarkable outcomes to improve the health and well-being of military personnel. The PC2P model  has since been adopted also by the Defense Health Agency (DHA) impacting the care of 10 million beneficiaries worldwide. I continue writing and presenting in the areas of transcultural relational caring dynamics, my theory of Bureaucratic Caring, complexity sciences, communitarian ethics, nursing theory and phenomenology. I received the Legacy of Caring award from the International Association for Human Caring of which I am a charter member from the mid-1980s, and many Lifetime Achievement awards. At Florida Atlantic University, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, I continue as a faculty member presenting and assisting PhD and DNP students in transcultural caring, nursing theories and theory-guided research and practice, and qualitative research methodologies. I now also serve with Drs. Beth King, Charlotte Barry and Karethy Edwards as a Partnership-Liaison in the Caring-based Academic Partnerships in Excellence: Veteran RNs in Primary Care HRSA grant. My primary role is as a nurse veteran developing a course on the transition from military to veteran status, to education and to BSN primary care nursing education specifically. I also mentor and secure select veteran mentors for our veteran BSN students. In 2021, I am to receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws (Hon. LL. D) degree, from McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada. Also, in 2021, I have been selected to serve as a Global Ambassador inducted as an Honorary Scholar of the Global Academy of Holistic Nurses (HSGAHN). My career has been a long and significant one of which I am grateful to God, family, friends, nursing colleagues, students, the USAF, and many scholars around the world for their caring support and love so that I can increase the value of and advance the foundational meaning of nursing as caring to revolutionize local and global nursing and health care for the benefit of all people. 


Short Statement of Present/Future Directions: As a nurse caring theorist, transcultural nursing scholar, and global ambassador in Holistic Nursing, and Honorary Doctor of Laws, I will be networking and continuing to develop my theories of nursing, the Theory of Bureaucratic Caring and Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Health Care, and developing local and global strategies in transcultural nursing and caring science to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and national and international programs to promote attributes of diversity, social justice, equity, and communitarian ethics for the improvement of health care around the world. I will continue my major theoretical contribution to the United States military health care system, and to veterans in nursing education and primary care practice.


Contact Information:      
    Phone:   561-289-9064




Current FAU Titles:  Professor Emeritus; 
Adjunct Professor, Partnership Liaison, Caring-Based Academic Partnerships in Excellence: Veteran RNs in Primary Care (CAPE-V Grant)  
The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431


Transcultural Nursing Advanced (CTN-A) 
Honorary Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner Assn, Toronto, Canada, 1975 and on-going. 

Areas of Expertise: (Caring Science, Organizational Nursing and Health Care Hospital and Clinic Cultures; Transcultural Nursing and Caring and Qualitative Methods Expertise) 

Research Partner with Drs. Beth King, Charlotte Barry, and Sandra Daccarett as a transcultural nursing qualitative researcher in mental health nursing in Haiti (current research). Sou Ban Ble Zanmitay La (The Blue Friendship Bench. Sigma Theta Tau Iota Xi Chapter at Large Funded Research, 2021. 

Nursing Theorist—Theory of Bureaucratic Caring (discovered first in 1981 from the study of human caring in complex organizational cultures with diverse clinical nurses, nursing and non-nursing administrators, patients and other civilian and military groups. Funded for nearly 1 million dollars from the Tri Service Nursing Research Program, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD. Application of the Ray Theory of Bureaucratic Caring was selected as the structural framework in nursing and interprofessional practice in the United States Air Force and Defense Health Agency (military healthcare system, including space) impacting the care of 10 million beneficiaries;  
Nursing Theorist: Designed and Developed the Theory of Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Health Care; Theory selected with other global scholars as a theory to potentially guide the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

Featured as a nursing theorist in Chinn and Fawcett’s nursing repository of nursing theories, 

Featured as a nursing theorist in Smith’s (2020) Nursing theories and nursing practice; Alligood’s (2018, in press), Nursing theorists and their work, and Smith & Liehr’s (2018, in press), Middle range theory for nursing.

Colonel (Retired), United States Air Force Nurse Corps (Colonel (Ret), USAF, NC with expertise in flight nursing, aerospace nursing research, education, practice, hospital and clinic cultures, administration and policy; and military and theory consultant to the USAF Surgeon General; Veteran Partnership Liaison, Florida Atlantic University, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing 

Honorary Scholar: Global Academy of Holistic Nursing (HSGAHN); Attended a course of study at the United Nations via Dept. of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University, NJ.; Attended courses of study in Biomedical Ethics at Georgetown University; Attended course of study with the late Dr. F. David Peat, quantum theorist and holographic theorist at the Pari Center for New Learning (complexity science and quantum theory), Pari, Italy.

Qualitative research specialist in caring inquiry, phenomenology, hermeneutics, ethnography and grounded theory, participatory action research; ethnonursing. 

Transcultural Nursing Scholar

Certified advanced transcultural nurse was bestowed on me as well as the Leininger Award for excellence in transcultural nursing. I was inducted as a Transcultural Nursing Scholar. I also was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2013, and other international Fellowships (see above). I was recognized as a Nursing Theorist, American Academy of Nursing, and at the Website,, the repository for Nursing Theories.  

Board Member: 
Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring Science

Scholar Positions: 
Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar,  Florida Atlantic University, School of Nursing, (1989-1994)
Alberta Heritage Foundation Scholar, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada (2005)
Yingling Visiting Scholar, Virginia Commonwealth University, (1995-1996)
Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Australian/New Zealand Colleges/Universities, 1990
    Phillip Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
    Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia
    Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia
    Victoria University, New Zealand



Recent Publications


Ray, M. Portraits of Excellence. The theory of bureaucratic caring in M. Alligood, Nursing theorists and their work. (9th ed.). Elsevier (FITNE Videos). 

Ray, M. Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Health Care Theory. Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring. FAU, CEL CON.


Rosa, W., Horton-Deutsch, S., Watson, J., Ray, M., Smith, M., Turkel, M., Gullett, D 
& Hernandez-Kertland, G. (Eds.)(2019). Handbook of caring science: Expanding the paradigm. Springer Publishing Company. 

Ray, M. (2016). Transcultural caring dynamics in nursing and health care (2nd ed.). F. A. 
Davis Company. (1st ed., 2010)

Davidson, A., Ray, M. & Turkel, M. (Eds.)(2011). Nursing, caring, and complexity science 
for human-environment well-being. Springer Publishing Company. (AJN Book of the Year Award, 2011)

Ray, M. (2010). A study of caring within an institutional culture. Lambert 
Academic Publishers. 

Watson, J. & Ray, M. (Eds.)(1988). The ethics of care and the ethics of cure: Synthesis in 
chronicity. National League for Nursing Press.  

Select Chapters: 

Ray, M. (2019). Caring inquiry methodology: The aesthetic process in the way of 
compassion. In W. Rosa, S. Horton-Deutsch, J. Watson, J., Smith, M., Turkel, M. Ray,  Gullett, D & Hernandez-Kertland, G. (Eds.)(pp.343-353) ). Handbook of caring science: Expanding the paradigm. Springer Publishing Company. 

Ray, M. & Turkel, M. (2019). Relational caring questionnaires. In K. Sitzman & J. Watson 
(Eds.). Assessing and measuring caring in nursing and health sciences (3rd ed.)(pp. 213-234). Springer Publishing Company. 

Ray, M. (2018). Ray’s theory of bureaucratic caring. In M. J. Smith & P. Liehr (Eds.). 
Middle range theory for nursing (4th ed.)(pp. 107-117). Springer Publishing Company. (5th edition in process)

Coffman, S. (2018). Ray’s theory of bureaucratic caring. In M. Alligood (Ed.). Nursing 
theorists and their work (9th ed.)(pp. 80-97), Springer Publishing Company. (10th edition in process). 

Martin, M. & Ray, M. (2018). Enhancing the role of the transcultural nurse in the global 
environment. In M. McFarland & H. Webhe-Alamah (Eds.). Transcultural nursing: concepts, theories and practices (4th ed.)(pp. 209-309). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.   
France, N. & Ray, M. (2014). Studying caring science in nursing: The foundation of the  discipline and profession of nursing at Florida Atlantic University, USA. In Pellico, 
L., Oermann, M., Hrabe, D., France, N., Ray, M. et al. (Authors). Nursing for the curious-Why study nursing? Amazon Digital Services, LLC, NY: The Curious Academic Publishing Edition 1 (Kindle version edition). 

Ray, M. (2013). Caring inquiry: The esthetic process in the way of compassion. In M. 
Smith, M. Turkel & Z. Wolf (Eds.). Caring in nursing classics: An essential  resource (pp. 339-345). New York: Springer Publishing Company.   

Ray, M. & Turkel, M. (2011). Complexity science. In H. Feldman, et al. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of nursing leadership. New York: Springer Publishing Company. 

Ray, M. (1997). Illuminating the meaning of caring: Unfolding the sacred art of divine 
love. In M. S. Roach (Ed.), Caring from the heart: the convergence of caring and spirituality. Paulist Press. 

Select Journal Articles: 

Ray, M. (2021). Evolution of Ray’s theory of bureaucratic caring. International Journal 
for Human Caring. 
Ray, M. (2021). Creating caring organizations and cultures through communitarian 
ethics. The dynamics of transcultural caring. Italy: Pari Perspectives Journal. (Reprinted in part from the Journal of the World Universities Forum, 3(5), 41-52. (Used with permission from Common Ground, University of Illinois, 2020).

Rosa, W., Dossey, B., Koithan, M, Kreitzer, M, Parse, R., Ray, M., Watson, J. et al. (2020). 
Nursing theory in the quest for Sustainable Development Goals. Nursing Science Quarterly, 33(2), 178-182. 

Poudel, N. & Ray, M. (2019). Consciousness: Humanoid robots and caring in nursing 
from a multicultural perspective. International Journal for Human Caring, 23(2), 185-195). 

Wolf, Z., Boykin, A., Bulfin, S., Groebbel, C., Packard, M., Ray, M. & Schoenhofer, S. 
(2019). Guiding principles for transforming curriculum through integration of technology as expression of caring. International Journal for Human Caring, 23(4), 338-348. 

Wu, J. & Ray, M. (2016). Technological caring for healthcare complexities of patients with cardiac disease comorbid with diabetes. International Journal for Human  Caring, 21(2), 83-87. doi: 10 20467/1091-5710-20 2-83.
Grumme, V., Barry, C., Gordon, S. & Ray, M. (2016). On virtual presence.  Advances in  Nursing Science. doi: 10.1097/ANS. 000000000000103.

Ray, M. (2015). Rootedness in holistic nursing: The ontologic mystery and structure of 
caring. Beginnings, 35(2), 12-14. 

Ray, M. & Turkel, M. (2014). Caring as emancipatory nursing praxis: The theory of 
relational caring complexity. Advances in Nursing Science, 37(2), 132-146.

Honda, J., Ray, M. & Hohashi, N. (2013). Ray's Theory of Bureaucratic Caring and nursing  organization management. Health Care, 55(12), 819-825. (Japanese Publication) 

Ray, M. (2012). Transcultural Nursing Scholars Corner. Hiroshima, Japan and the United  Nations. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 23(4), 412.

Ray, M. & Turkel, M. (2012). A transtheoretical evolution of caring science within complex systems. International Journal for Human Caring, 16(2), 28-49. (Includes Ray & Turkel, Patient and Professional Relational Caring Questionnaires) 

Turkel, M, Ray, M. & Kornblatt, L. (2012). Instead of reconceptualizing the nursing process let’s rename it. Nursing Science Quarterly, 25(2), 194-198.  

Turkel, M. & Ray, M. (2001). Relational complexity: From grounded theory to instrument 
development and  theoretical testing. Nursing Science Quarterly, 14 (4), 281-287. 

Turkel, M. & Ray, M. (2000). Relational complexity: A theory of the nurse-patient relationship within an economic context. Nursing Science Quarterly, 13(4), 306-313. 

Coffman, S. & Ray, M. (1999). Mutual Intentionality: A theory of support processes in pregnant African-American Women. Qualitative Health Research , 2(4), 479-492. 

Ray, M.A. (1998). The interface of caring and technology: A new reflexive ethics in intermediate care. Holistic Nursing Practice, 12(4), 71-79. 

Ray, M.A. (1998). Complexity and nursing science. Nursing Science Quarterly, 11(3), 91-93. 

Ray, M.A. (1997). The ethical theory of Existential Authenticity: The lived experience of the art of Caring in nursing administration. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 22(1), 111-126. Abstract also published in French.

Ray, M.A. (1997). Consciousness and the moral ideal: Transcultural analysis of Watson's Transpersonal Caring Theory. Advanced Nursing Practice Journal, 3(1), 25-31. 

Ray, M.A., DiDominic, V.A., Dittman, P.W., Hurst, P.A., Seaver, J.B., Sorbello, B.C., Stankes, M.A. (1995). The edge of chaos: Caring and the bottom line. Nursing Management, 9, 48-50. 

Ray, M.A. (1994). Transcultural nursing ethics: A framework and model for transcultural ethical analysis. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 12(3), 251-264. 

Ray, M.A. (1989). Transcultural caring: Political and economic caring visions. Journal of 
Transcultural Nursing, 1(1), 17-21. 

Ray, M. (1987). Technological caring: A new model for critical care. Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 6(3), 166-173. (Winner of the DCCN Researcher of the Year Award, 1987). 

Ray, M. (1987). Health care economics and human caring in nursing: Why the moral conflict must be resolved, Family and Community Health, 10(1), 35-43.




Honorary Doctor of Laws (Hon. LL. D)
Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Colorado; 
Distinguished Alumna Award, University of Utah; 
Lifetime Member International Association of Human Caring
Legacy of Caring Award, International Association for Human Caring; 
Transcultural Nursing Scholar 
Leininger Award Recipient for Transcultural Nursing
Lifetime Achievement, Marquis (2017), Marquis, Who’s Who in Nursing, America, American Education, and Who’s Who in the World; 
United States Department of Defense, Meritorious Service and Commendation Medals; 
Research Awards: 
Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 1987 Research Award;  
Florida Atlantic University, Research Award, Department of Sponsored Research;  
American Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S. (AMSUS) Federal Research Award; 
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, United States Department of Defense, Nursing Research Award.  
Research Consultant: 
Holy Cross Hospital, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
United States Air Force Surgeon General, Washington, DC
Teaching and Education Awards: 
American Journal of Nursing, Book of the Year Award, 2011
Teacher of the Year, University of Colorado College of Nursing  
Distinguished Teacher of the Year, Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing

FSfAA (Sustaining Fellow Society for Applied Anthropology); 
FAAN (Fellow, American Academy of Nursing); 
FESPCH (Honorary Distinguished Fellow of the European Society for Person-Centered Healthcare); 
FNAP (Distinguished Fellow National Academies of Practice); 
HSGAHN (Honorary Scholar of the Global Academy of Holistic Nursing, AHNA); 
Ministry of Health, Ontario, Canada, 1977-1980