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King University News :: Holden Presents at National Nurse Practitioner Symposium

King University’s Dean of the School of Nursing Dr. Lynn Holden recently presented at the National Nurse Practitioner Symposium (NNPS) held in Copper Mountain, Colo. The four-day conference focused on excellence in continuing education and professional development.

The NNPS offers a wide range of content for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants in acute and primary care roles. It provides a unique opportunity for interaction with peers from across the country and provides for enhancement of professional growth.

Holden was invited to present a poster, “Challenging the APN to Universally Screen for Interpersonal Violence: Strategies and Implications,” which focused on the proper assessment and care of potential domestic violence (DV) victims, a topic for which she is quite passionate. Her passion for helping victims of domestic violence began over 25 years ago while working as an emergency department nurse at Bristol Regional Medical Center. 

“My passion is to educate nurse educators, practicing nurses, physicians, and advance practice nurses on ways to better assess and care for victims of domestic violence,” says Holden. “Research indicates that we as health care providers need to improve how we assess and care for potential cases of domestic violence.

“That’s just not enough,” Holden goes onto say once violence has been identified. “Health care providers must be prepared to refer victims to local domestic violence resources. Domestic violence is a very quiet subject that is personal and many people do not feel comfortable talking about it. If we as healthcare professionals do not personally feel comfortable discussing or assessing for domestic violence, who will teach the nursing students how to?”

In her research, Holden discovered the practicing nurse often does not feel comfortable approaching patients about the issue of domestic violence. She also found through her research that nurses had rarely, if ever, received any education through their basic nursing programs on how to broach such a sensitive topic with their patients.

As Holden’s research deepened she responded by hosting a local conference, Compassion: A Conference on Domestic Violence for Health Care Professionals, for the past three years. “Following the conferences, we have received much feedback from students and health care providers who attended the conference that they felt better equipped to assess and care for victims of abuse because of what they have learned during the Compassion conference. It excites me to know that by improving one’s self-efficacy levels through gained knowledge on domestic violence topics that tragic deaths maybe prevented in the future.”

Holden has worked diligently to educate nursing educators, students, forensic nurses, physicians, and advanced practice nurses across the U.S over the past several years. She has been able to speak at different venues on a variety of platforms on how to thread domestic violence topics throughout the curriculum of nursing programs, and also how to assess, report, and care for domestic violence victims in the practicing arena today.

Dr. Holden was nominated by the NNPS planning committee to return the following year and give a podium presentation at the 2014 NNPS conference in Keystone, Colo., in July.

For more information on issues of domestic violence education and nursing contact Dr. Lynn Holden at


King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.