In the health sector anywhere in the world, nurses make up one of the groups that are most exposed to violence such as sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and physical abuse. This descriptive study investigated the experience of verbal abuse among 339 hospital nurses in Turkey. Findings indicate that the most frequent and most severe forms of verbal abuse reported were judging and criticizing, accusing and blaming, and abusive anger; the most common emotional reactions were anger, followed by shame, humiliation, and frustration; and most nurses used engaging in negative activities to cope with verbal abuse. The results of the study suggest that hospitals must adopt zero-tolerance policies for professional verbal abuse. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.