Lippitt’s and Lewin’s Change Theories for Nursing

Changes occur gradually, so the results are not always immediately noticeable. The situation can become complicated if the participants have different ideas about the proposed changes, methods, and strategies for achieving them. The same is valid for nursing practice, as the nurses are the primary agents in delivering care and being affected by any changes (Gilissen et al., 2018). Several change theories exist, and mainly Lippitt’s approach is suitable for implementing my EBP project, which aims to improve the quality of care and lead to better patient outcomes.

The most prevalent change theories in nursing are Lewin’s change model and Lippitt’s method. Lewin’s model has three stages – Unfreezing, Moving, and Refreezing. Although these stages are adequately defined, no further specificity is provided. Therefore, in the context of nursing practice in general, and my EBP project, it is better to use Lippitt’s theory, because its phases accurately map to nursing process elements which are Assessment, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation (Mitchell, 2013). Lippitt’s method can be used to introduce changes that would lead to improvements in quality of care and patient outcomes because any successful transformation is based on the mentioned process elements, and the method has steps that help implement these phases. My mentor has used Lewin’s theory, however, because their projects involved high-level aspects, and no low-level specificity was required.

Adjustments are an essential aspect of any organization or a team because of shifting environments. In the case of nursing, evolving elements are patients, who expect better care, executives who strive to cut budgets, managers who demand higher performance, and nurses themselves, who might acquire emotional states that are not suitable for effective outcomes. Various theories help the management members to introduce organizational changes adequately, and Lippitt’s approach is the most appropriate for nursing practice, especially when change is targeted to improve the quality of patient care and outcomes.


Gilissen, J., Pivodic, L., Gastmans, C., Vander Stichele, R., Deliens, L., Breuer, E., & Van den Block, L. (2018). How to achieve the desired outcomes of advance care planning in nursing homes: A theory of change. BMC Geriatrics, 18(1), 1-14.

Mitchell, G. (2013). Selecting the best theory to implement planned change. Nursing Management, 20(1), 32-37.