This paper reports on the experiences of teachers in one college of nursing and midwifery in South East England during a period of profound and complex change Personal perceptions and reactions are studied in the context of professional and organizational influences A phenomenological approach was used to identify and portray the personal perspectives and meanings of the respondents Fifty semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of the college staff were supplemented with participant observation and documentary analysis The data were analysed inductively, and emergent categories were confirmed and clarified through respondent validation Findings relating to organizational, professional and personal perceptions are presented alongside the major themes of belonging, knowing and controlling The conclusions and implications of this exploratory study are discussed, together with aspects of the researcher's role and areas for future research