Fueled by her desire to help others, Dr. Marilyn A. Ray has enjoyed a long career in nursing and education. She started out by earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a Master of Science in nursing from the University of Colorado, and a diploma from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Hamilton, Ontario. She obtained a Master of Arts in cultural anthropology from McMaster University in Hamilton, and went on to earn a PhD in transcultural nursing from the University of Utah. Furthermore, she received an honorary degree from Nevada State College. She is a certified transcultural nurse and registered nurse in the state of Florida.
Dr. Ray presently holds the position of professor emerita at Florida Atlantic University. She previously served as an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University and as a professor of the College of Nursing at the university. Notably, she was selected as a Christine E. Lynn Eminent Scholar at the College of Nursing there. Some of her other roles included assistant professor at the University of Colorado, assistant professor at the School of Nursing at McMaster University, and instructor at the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco. One of the highlights of Dr. Ray’s career was serving as an officer in the Air National Guard and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve in the field of aerospace nursing. She is a veteran of the Vietnam and Gulf War conflicts and retired as a colonel after 32 years of service in 1999. She continues to consult with the U.S. Air Force to this day.
Over the years, Dr. Ray became known as an expert in her field, and used her experiences and notoriety to write extensively on the topic of caring science. She authored “Theory of Bureaucratic Caring,” which is still used by the U.S. Air Force Medical Service as an interdisciplinary professional practice model to this day, and “Transcultural Caring Dynamics in Nursing and Health Care.” Along with Dr. Jean Watson, she co-wrote “The Ethics of Care and the Ethics of Cure: Synthesis in Chronicity,” and along with colleagues Alice Davidson and Marian Turkel, she co-wrote “Nursing, Caring, and Complexity Science: For Human-Environment Wellbeing.” She expects her new book, “A Handbook for Caring Science: Expanding the Paradigm,” to be released in 2018. Further, Dr. Ray has researched, presented, and published nationally and internationally on the subjects of caring science, holistic nursing, transcultural caring, technological caring, and caring ethics in complex organization, primarily hospitals. She is also a reviewer for “Nursing Inquiry” and the “Journal of Transcultural Nursing.”
To keep up with developments in her field, Dr. Ray joined the board of the International Association for Human Caring. She also serves on the boards of the Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring Science, the Global Qualitative Nursing Research, Qualitative Health Research, and the “Journal of Art and Aesthetics in Nursing and Health Science.”
Dr. Ray’s hard work and dedication over the years has not gone unnoticed. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Colorado College of Nursing Alumni Association in 2017, the Honorary Distinguished Fellow of the European Society for Person-Centered Healthcare in 2016, and the Book of the Year Award in2011. She also earned the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah College of Nursing in 2007, the Leininger Award, and the Transcultural Nursing Scholarship. She is listed in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who of American Women.