Change Theories of Nursing


At the outset, both theories can be applied in today’s technologically changing healthcare settings where computer-assisted devices are used in scanning and recording among other functions. The two nursing models reveal that the anxiety that arises can lead to resistance to change. When the idea is implemented persistently, the resistance arising from fear is overcome. Eventually, the change is implemented (Finkelman, 2012). According to Rogers, the adoption arises from the frequent interaction of nurses. Both theorists believe that organizations must undergo a series of change processes. Lastly, both theories work to empower the nursing workforce to perceive organizational change positively.


While Kurt Lewin’s change theory entails the unfreezing, moving, and freezing stages, Rogers’ model is a five-stage process that involves the awareness, interest, evaluation, implementation, and adoption of new ideas. At the outset, Rogers’ model of change focuses on the analysis of information obtained from the stages of the innovation-decision process. On the other hand, Lewin’s three-step model is involved with the identification of the individual behaviors of the employees subjected to the change process. However, its application overlooks the significance of human feelings in the change implementation process. Secondly, Rogers’ model centers on the alignment of the intended innovation process with the prevailing ideas (Finkelman, 2012). This situation underpins the determination of the potential barriers that can hinder the implementation strategies. In contrast, Lewin’s model hinges on the rational implementation of the new goals in a way that promotes the change process whilst limiting the resistance forces.

Application and Limitation of the Lewin’s Three-Step Theory

As a registered nurse who has worked in a surgical unit for 7 years, I have come across various change processes. Lewin’s three-step model played a significant role in the overall process of reorganizing the manual recording system into electronic accounts. This situation called for the unfreezing of the manual systems that existed at the time. To accomplish the objectives of the change, there was a need to move from the old tactics (Finkelman, 2012). The employees had to learn the functionality of the new systems in aspects such as the scanning of patients, medication procedures, and electronic file keeping. The greatest limitation of this model is that it posed a significant challenge to the employees as they became anxious and afraid of the perceived errors in handling the computerized system. The training led to the acquisition of skills and acceptance of the change. However, the achievement of this equilibrium demanded the refreezing of the change process to ensure constant integration of positive values with a view of sustaining the new behaviors (Finkelman, 2012).

Benefits and Recommendations of the Lewin’s Model

Kurt Lewin’s theory plays a crucial role in the change process because it is radical and minimizes various disruptions of the operational structure. Besides, it underpins the implementation of permanent changes (Finkelman, 2012). Nurse leaders are recommended to apply Lewin’s model to the realization of reorganizational processes in the healthcare setting. The greatest benefit of the model is that it represses the resistance of employees to the execution of change since it overlooks their resentments and anxiety.

Reference List

Finkelman, A. (2012). Leadership and Management for Nurses: Core Competencies for Quality Care. New York, NY: Pearson.

Mitchell, G. (2013). Selecting the best theory to implement planned change: Improving the workplace requires staff to be involved and innovations to be maintained. Gary Mitchell discusses the theories that can help achieve this. Nursing Management, 20(1), 32-37.

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