In a climate of a declining nursing workforce where violence and hostility is a part of the day-to-day lives of most nurses, it is timely to name violence as a major factor in the recruitment and retention of registered nurses in the health system. Workplace violence takes many forms such as aggression, harassment, bullying, intimidation and assault. Violent acts are perpetrated against nurses from various quarters including patients, relatives, other nurses and other professional groups. Research suggests that nurse managers are implicated in workplace violence and bullying. Furthermore, there may be a direct link between episodes of violence and aggression towards nurses and sick leave, burnout and poor recruitment and retention rates. This paper explores what is known about workplace violence as it affects nurses, and calls for managerial support and policy to act to improve work environments for all nurses.