Objective This study was intended to examine CAM among Australian hospital-based nurses, identifying their knowledge, attitude, personal and professional use, reasons for use, CAM referrals, and socio-demographic predictors of CAM users. Methods and materials Nurses holding a qualification in nursing and working in surgical wards were included using a convenience sampling technique. A self-complete questionnaire was developed to achieve the aims of the study. Descriptive and non-parametric statistics were calculated to describe and analyse data. Results Overall, 95.7% and 49.7% of nurses reported personal and professional use of CAM, respectively. The most popular CAM/CAM domain personally and professionally used by nurses was massage therapy and mind-body therapies. The primary reason for personal use of CAM was “[it] fits into my way of life/philosophy”. Furthermore, massage therapists were the most commonly recommended CAM practitioners to patients. Only 15.8% of nurses would always ask patients about use of herbal medicines as part of nursing history taking. Over one-fifth (22.4%) of nurses rated their attitude as having a very positive, and 60.3% rated themselves as having very little or no knowledge of CAM. A positive correlation was also found between knowledge and attitude about CAM. Positive attitude and higher knowledge about CAM were positively correlated to CAM referrals. Several socio-demographic factors predicted personal and professional use of CAM. Conclusion This study revealed that nurses generally believe not to have sufficient knowledge of CAM but are open to use CAM with patients. Nurses' positive attitude toward and personal use of CAM could be an indication that they are poised for further integration of evidence-based CAM into nursing practice to treat whole person.