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Nursing Theory Paper

Kurt Lewin’s Change Theory

The changing theory describes a balance that is subject to changes from the opposing forces acting upon it. The theory has three primary concepts, with driving forces being the first concept that acts in the direction that causes a change. On the other hand, restraining forces are the forces that act against the driving forces, while equilibrium is a state where the force coming from the driving force equals that from the restraining force. Furthermore, this theory has three stages of change. The first stage is unfreezing, which involves getting an effective way of making people let go of a certain old counterproductive pattern. The second stage is the movement stage that includes changing behavior thoughts or feelings, or a combination of the three that is more productive (Udod & Wagner, 2018). The final stage is the refreezing stage, which develops the change as the new pattern, becoming the standard procedure.

According to the theorist, nurses should be the foremost agents of change in nursing. Arguably, the nursing sector undergoes many changes, consequently, nurses should be prepared to embrace the changes and implement effective ways of adopting them as the standard procedure. Furthermore, the theorist points out that a person can be affected by three forces. The First force is the driving force that pushes someone in the desired direction, the restraining force acts upon the driving force, thus, opposing change, and equilibrium where both the first and second forces have the same magnitude. He further describes the environment as capable of causing change to a patient. The theorist explains that the three forces acting on an individual may originate from the environment (Udod & Wagner, 2018). Also, he addresses health as a situation that can be controlled by the three stages of change. Kurt puts forward that illness is a condition acted upon by the driving force, the restraining force, and equilibrium.

Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory

Orem’s self-care deficit theory focuses on the events that individuals can carry out independently. These activities may benefit an individual in many ways, including maintaining their life and proper functioning and correcting a health condition. The theorist defines nursing as the act of helping people by providing self-care management to maintain or improve one’s life. According to the theory, there are various conditions that would require an adult to need a nurse (Tanaka, 2022). Such situations include the inability to take care of themselves or coping with the side effects accompanied by certain prescriptions.

Arguably, the theorist describes a person as the material object of a nurse or other individuals responsible for providing healthcare. Also, he addresses nursing as art whereby a nurse provides customized care to disabled people, translating to extraordinary assistance. The theorist perceives the environment as a space that contains biological, physical, and chemical features. Also, he explains health as a state of being functionally sound, and it does not only encompass the health of an individual but also that of a group. According to this theory, illness is a situation that needs specialized care for one to achieve sound functionality (Hartweg & Metcalfe, 2022). Notably, these two theories are crucial in nursing. Kurt Lewin’s change theory helps understand how nurses can handle changes occurring in the nursing sector. Besides, it outlines practical ways of implementing changes. Orem’s safe-care deficit theory is instrumental in understanding the concept of self-care and when it is necessary.


Udod, S., & Wagner, J. (2018). Common change theories and application to different nursing situations. Leadership and influencing change in nursing.

Hartweg, D. L., & Metcalfe, S. A. (2022). Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Nursing Theory: Relevance and Need for Refinement. Nursing science quarterly35(1), 70-76.

Tanaka, M. (2022, January). Orem’s nursing self‐care deficit theory: A theoretical analysis focusing on its philosophical and sociological foundation. In Nursing Forum.


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