Health spokesmen from the three main political parties have promised to tackle the rising level of violence against nurses.
Tough action has been promised against attackers
Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing's annual conference in Harrogate, each said there should be tough penalties against those who assault NHS staff.
A survey suggested 64% of delegates had been attacked in the last year.
National figures show 116,000 nurses were attacked across the UK.
Nurse Amy Gold told the conference: "I was recently the victim of a violent assault, where I was stabbed with a syringe.
"It left me with long-term nerve damage and psychological damage and nearly ended my career."
Health minister John Hutton said: "We have tried to support the work of the security management service in the NHS and back people who are the victims of criminal assault.
"The first private prosecution of someone who assaulted an NHS worker is set to take place in Burnley next month."
Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "There would definitely be tougher penalties. But we would have to consult over whether to make attacks against NHS staff an arrestable offence."
Liberal Democrat health spokesman Paul Burstow said: "I guarantee we would bring in legislation in this area, the only thing we would consult on is the technicalities."