The aim of this study was to understand the individual experiences of 17 Romanian nurses during their first six months in Italy. A phenomenological approach was used to capture the essence of their experiences. Interviews were carried out in 2004, after gaining the participants’ consent and guaranteeing to respect their privacy and anonymity. Eachinterview, lasting 45 minutes on average, was carried out by two nurse researchers, one Italian and one Romanian. The participants could choose to speak either Italian or Romanian and half chose the Romanian language. The Romanian nurses found the experience of transition into their new roles during their first six months in Italy characterised by three processes: (a) staying with the patients versus organising nursing care; (b) satisfying nursing care needs versus guaranteeing the patient’s independence; (c) managing the passive patient versus an active, participating patient.Placements are important during this first six months because these are a basis for the nurses’ future professional careers. Not only did the nurses have problems with the language, nursing practice and skills, technology and hospital organisation,but they also had to adapt to new professional roles, new nursing models and the different roles of the patients. International recruitment is positive when there is reciprocal growth in competence and it enriches nursing with new stimuli, but achievingthis involves a long period of placement and adaptation and the possibility of confronting ways of managing nursing care.