NUR 700 Theory Selection and Critical Analysis

Theory Selection and Critical Analysis (55 points / 25% of final grade)

Supports SLO: 2, 3, 5, and 6


In this assignment, we will explore and critically analyze a theory that could potentially serve as a framework for directing the future actions identified in the Ways of Knowing assignment. This exploration aims to enhance our understanding of the selected theory and reflect on how exposure to it may influence our professional roles and future directions. The purpose of this assignment is to delve into the core components of a chosen theory, analyzing its concepts, purpose, assumptions, and application to professional practice.

Description of the Theory

Theory Name: [Provide the name of the theory] Borrowed or Nursing Discipline: [Specify if the theory is borrowed or from the nursing discipline] Author: [Identify the author of the theory] Establishment Date: [Specify the date the theory was established]

Purpose of the Theory

The theory, [name of the theory], serves the purpose of [provide a descriptive summary of the purpose]. This purpose is intricately linked to the future actions outlined in the Ways of Knowing, specifically addressing [highlight how the purpose aligns with identified future actions].

Concepts of the Theory

The theory incorporates the following key concepts: [enumerate the concepts within the theory]. These concepts are essential in understanding [highlight the link between these concepts and the future actions identified in the Ways of Knowing].

Definitions in the Theory

For each identified concept, clear definitions within the conceptual framework of the theory are presented as follows: [provide clear definitions for each concept]. These definitions are critical to comprehending [explain the significance of these definitions in the context of the theory].

Relationships in the Theory

A descriptive summary of the linkages among the concepts reveals [explain the relationships among and between the concepts]. Understanding these relationships is vital for grasping [highlight the importance of these relationships].

Structure of the Theory

The structure of the theory, [choose from one of the examples on pg 195 of Chinn and Kramer], is described as [provide a clear description of the structure]. This conclusion is drawn by [clarify the methodology used to arrive at this conclusion].

Assumptions in the Theory

Clear descriptions of the assumptions associated with the theory include [provide a clear description of the assumptions]. These assumptions, whether factual or value-based, open new perceptions by [discuss how exposure to differing assumptions may impact common practice and procedures].

Application to Professional Practice

A critical analysis of the theory reveals [discuss findings of the critical analysis]. The application of this theory in professional practice offers guidance for the future actions identified in the Ways of Knowing, particularly in [explain the practical implications of applying the theory].


In conclusion, this exploration and analysis of [name of the theory] underscore its significance in shaping our understanding of [highlight key takeaways]. The exposure to this theory has the potential to revolutionize our perspectives on professional roles and future directions.

Scholarly Writing Guidelines:

Grammar, spelling, and APA writing style adhere to doctoral-level expectations. Please proofread carefully.

  • Your paper should be double-spaced with one-inch margins.
  • Include a title page and a reference page.
  • Use Times New Roman 12 pt font throughout the entire document.
  • Include page numbers and a running head.
  • Ensure APA 6th edition formatted subject-level headings.

NUR 700 Theory Selection and Critical Analysis Rubric

IntroductionConcise overview of professional experience, future actions (Ways of Knowing) and assignment purpose.3
Theory DescriptionName, origin, author, date (primary sources).4
Theory PurposeRelevance to Ways of Knowing actions, context & situations for application.8
Theory ConceptsDescription & link to Ways of Knowing actions.6
Theory DefinitionsClear, conceptual definitions for each concept.4
Theory RelationshipsLinkages between concepts described.4
Theory StructureClear description with sound rationale.4
Theory AssumptionsDescription, type, impact on new perspectives.6
Application to PracticeAnalysis findings & guidance for future actions.6
ConclusionKey takeaways summarized.2
Scholarly Writing10
– Grammar, Spelling, APA Style5
– Formatting (Double-spaced, margins, title/reference page, APA 6th ed.)5
Total Points Possible55

NUR 700 Theory Selection and Critical Analysis Essay Sample


During my shift, the RN briefed me about a patient who was refusing vital signs, remained mute upon presentation, and had a caregiver providing collateral information. The caregiver, visibly anxious and almost in tears, described the patient’s behavior over the past month, marked by the refusal of medication for blood pressure and psychotropic drugs. The patient, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, exhibited paranoid tendencies, bizarre behaviors, bad eating habits, and a cessation of communication. Paranoid schizophrenia, the most prevalent form of schizophrenia, poses challenges in differentiating reality from fantasy. Reviewing the patient’s chart before the interaction revealed that she had not sought follow-up at the clinic for several months since her last refills in September of the previous year.

In mental healthcare, providers encounter challenges when individuals with mental health conditions abruptly cease medication or avoid seeking prescriptions altogether. This choice can be frustrating for both loved ones and clinicians, especially when the disorder is treatable with the right medication (Garcia-Cabrera et al., 2018). Understanding the motives behind patients’ decisions to stop medication can facilitate collaboration among clinicians, community organizations, friends, and family to encourage healthy choices without compromising the autonomy of those grappling with mental illness (Garcia-Cabrera et al., 2018). This paper aims to select a theory relevant to the presented case scenario and critically analyze it.

Lewin’s Change Theory

Lewin’s Change Theory, developed by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s, employs unfreezing, changing, and refreezing steps to understand the change process (Kurt, 1947). Born in Prussia in 1890, Lewin, a German-American psychologist and pioneer in social, organizational, and applied psychology, became renowned as the father of psychology in the United States. His theory, integral to nursing and management, simplifies the change process through three steps: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing (Kurt, 1947).


The purpose of Lewin’s Change Theory in mental health is to initiate organizational change, aiding in developing and implementing interventions to promote drug adherence among patients (Belcher et al., 2017). Additionally, it is utilized in team building trajectories to change the mindset of employees, improving providers’ attitudes toward non-adherent patients and guiding approaches that do not diminish their self-esteem. The theory creates awareness of the benefits of change for both organizations and individuals. In this case, the theory aims to induce changes to modify the patient’s behavior and enhance adherence to the care plan.


The Lewin’s change theory encompasses three fundamental concepts: driving forces, restraining forces, and equilibrium. Driving forces propel change, pushing toward the desired direction. In this context, these forces would encourage the client towards medication adherence, a crucial aspect for recovering from mental illness. On the contrary, restraining forces act as counteracting factors, discouraging patients from adhering to medication due to potential side effects or personal reasons (Sabin, 2016). The equilibrium represents a state of balance between these opposing forces, where no change occurs. However, the patient’s recovery hinges on the interplay between these driving and restraining forces.

Definitions in the Theory

Lewin’s theory provides specific definitions crucial for understanding its application. Behavior, within this model, is defined as “a dynamic balance of forces working in opposing directions” (Teguh, Hariyati & Muhaeriwati, 2019). Equilibrium, in the theory, denotes a state of no change resulting from balanced driving and restraining forces. The change theory is further defined as a three-stage model known as the “unfreeze-change-refreeze model.”

Relationships in the Theory

Lewin’s change theory informs various relationships, such as the nurse-patient relationship aiming to establish trust and facilitate change initiation. It also emphasizes the relationship between nurses and the organization, fostering adaptation and successful change implementation in clinical settings. Collaborative relationships among nurses are nurtured as the theory promotes positive attitudes, inquiry, and teamwork (Salinas et al., 2019). Additionally, a relationship is evident between nurse leaders and staff members during change suggestion and implementation.

Structure of the Theory

The theory’s structure comprises three components: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. Unfreezing involves preparing employees for change, recognizing the need for change, and creating awareness. In the presented case, the RN acknowledged the necessity for adherence to the treatment plan, encouraging the replacement of old behavioral patterns with new positive behaviors. The changing phase executes the intended change, while the refreezing phase ensures the permanence of the implemented change.

Assumptions in the Theory

Lewin’s change theory rests on several assumptions related to conflicts and motivational processes in human nature, forming the foundation for its three stages (Teguh, Hariyati & Muhaeriwati, 2019). These assumptions include the susceptibility of individual or group performance to regression without measures to institutionalize improved performance. Tension arises in individuals when a psychological need or intent exists, releasing when fulfilled. This tension, categorized as “force field” under conflict situations, is assessed in force field analysis to evaluate tension between positive and negative forces in a given change plan. Other assumptions pertain to choices between positive goals, negative goals, and exposure to opposing positive and negative forces.

Application to Professional Practice

The application of Lewin’s change theory holds significant relevance in current professional practice, particularly in understanding the impact of change within organizations. This theory is instrumental in introducing change patterns aimed at enhancing patient outcomes. Moreover, it serves to identify barriers and restricting factors that might impede the successful implementation of change, especially among patients with diverse medical needs and treatment plans (Umotong, 2016). The model effectively pinpoints the forces driving positive modifications in human behavior, as well as opposing forces hindering recovery. This insight aids in the development of strategies to overcome resistance and foster collaboration between nurses and patients.


The refusal of drug adherence can have severe consequences. However, the application of Lewin’s change theory in such scenarios proves invaluable in cultivating an organizational culture that encourages patients through positive behavioral changes. The theory’s essence lies in its ability to recognize the need for change, implement it effectively, and ensure its sustainability through well-defined structural components (Lewin, 1947).

Also Read: Gonzaga University DNP Course Essay Assignments – NURS 563, 700, 701, 705, 710, 720, 730, 761, 764


Belcher, J. L., DiBlasio, F. A., Siegfried, L. D., & Turnquist, A. G. (2017). Overcoming medication refusal using a patient-centered approach. Social Work in Mental Health, 15(6), 690-704.

Garcia-Cabrera, I., Diaz-Caneja, C.M., Ovejero, M, & de-Portugal, E. (2018). Adherence, insight and disability in paranoid schizophrenia. Psychiatry Direct, 270, 274-280. Retrieved from

Lewin, Kurt (June 1947). “Frontiers in Group Dynamics: Concept, Method and Reality in Social Science; Social Equilibria and Social Change”. Human Relations. 1: 5–41. doi:10.1177/001872674700100103.

Sabin, J. (2016). Medication Refusal in Schizophrenia: Preventive and Reactive Ethical Considerations. AMA journal of ethics, 18(6), 572-578.

Salinas, D., Johnson, S. C., Conrardy, J. A., Adams, T. L., & Brown, J. D. (2019). Sustaining nursing grand rounds through interdisciplinary teamwork and interorganizational partnership. AJN The American Journal of Nursing, 119(4), 41-48.

Teguh, A., Hariyati, R. T. S., & Muhaeriwati, T. (2019). Applicability Of Lewin’s Change Management Model For Optimization Management Function In Nursing Delegation Between Head Nurse And Team Leader: A Mini Project In Jakarta Military Hospital. International Journal of Nursing and Health Services (IJNHS), 2(2), 66-74.

Umotong, E. (2016). Management of Older Inpatients Who Refuse Nonpsychiatric Medication Within Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust: Audit. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 204(12), 950.

Wojciechowski, E., Pearsall, T., Murphy, P., & French, E. (2016). A case review: Integrating Lewin’s theory with lean’s system approach for change. Online journal of issues in nursing, 21(2) NUR 700 Theory Selection and Critical Analysis.

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