BackgroundThe integration of Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) interventions into healthcare practices is becoming more popular and frequently accessed by patients. Various disciplines have integrated CAM techniques education into the preparation of their practitioners in response to this, but this varies widely, as does its success. Students’experiences of such education in pre-registration is largely unknown in the UK, and methods by which to successful achieve effective learning within this arena are largely unreported within the literature.Aims and objectivesThis study highlighted three specifics aims; to examine the perspectives of pre-registration nursing students on being taught massage skills during pre-registration nurse education; to identify the learning and development that occurs during massage skills training; and to identify methods of enhancing the provision of such skills training and its experience.ConclusionThis paper demonstrates the value of integrating complementary therapies into nurse education, developing the holistic approach of student nurses and their concept of caring. In addition it contributes significantly to the knowledge base of the effectiveness of the value of CAM education in nurse preparation, highlighting the high value students place on CAM education and demonstrating notable development in the preparation of holistic practitioners. The method utilised also yielded ways to improve the delivery of such education, and demonstrates how creative teaching methods can motivate and enhance effective learning.