This research was conducted to analyse the violence experienced by nurses employed at six university hospitals. A descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted. The research sample consisted of 441 nurses who worked in the emergency, intensive care and psychiatry units of six university hospitals in Turkey between June 2008 and June 2009 and who voluntarily agreed to participate. It was found that 60.8% of the nurses were subjected to verbal violence and/or physical violence from patients, visitors or health staff. Of the nurses who were subjected to workplace violence, 42.9% stated that their experience of verbal and/or physical violence had a negative impact on their physical and/or psychological health, and 42.9% stated that their work performance was negatively affected. Of these nurses, 1.8% stated that they received professional help, 13.6% stated that a report was made and 9.5% stated that they contacted the hospital police in some way. According to the findings of this research, similar to the situation worldwide, nurses in Turkey are subjected to verbal and/or physical violence from patients, visitors and health staff.