Objective: Nurses are the largest professional workforce working with stroke survivors in China. However, the study of nurses’ role in subacute post-stroke rehabilitation is sparse. The objective of this study was to describe the experienced roles of nurses during subacute rehabilitation of stroke survivors in China. Method: Twenty nurses working with post-stroke patients in subacute rehabilitation settings participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews from 2014 to 2015. Results: Nurses integrate rehabilitation principles in routine care thus make an important contribution to post-stroke rehabilitation in subacute settings. However, nurses lack training in post-stroke rehabilitation in China, which limited their roles and functions in the subacute rehabilitation of patients with stroke. Conclusions: In subacute settings of China, nurses make an important contribution to rehabilitation of stroke survivors by integrating rehabilitation principles in routine nursing care. Lack of training limited their roles and functions.