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Workplace violence in the healthcare setting is increasing and poses a danger to healthcare professionals. It is reported that nurses are at three times greater risk of being exposed to violence in the workplace than any other professional group.A quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional survey was conducted at four randomly selected campuses of the KwaZulu Natal College of Nursing. A non-probability convenience sample of 421 student nurses was realised. A validated and reliable instrument was used to collect data which was statistically analysed using SPSS 23. Tests included Pearson’s correlation, t-tests, Anova and chi-square.Majority of those sampled were female and Black with more female victims of workplace violence than males. Male patients and their relatives were most often the perpetrators. Male students reported depression and negative effects on personal relationships more often than females. Males felt that it was not important for them to report any workplace violence and more males saw it as part of the job.The wards were the most likely site to experience violence with the operating theatres the least likely.The senior students reported more abuse in the workplace than the junior students. There were no significant relationships between the year of study and reporting of violence and the awareness of any policy in the hospital addressing workplace violence.Violence in the workplace was not, for the majority of those sampled, a reason to consider leaving the profession.Student nurses are victims of workplace violence, perpetrated by patients and their relatives, in the public hospitals of KZN. They call in absent at work and feel angry and depressed. Many of these victims do not report the incidences of abuse that take place during their clinical placement and many are not even aware of the policies that exist in their institutions.