Objective: This study aimed to carry out a systematic literature review on the effectiveness of role playing as a clinical teaching strategy for nursing. Method: The search was carried out in articles indexed in online databases: Medline/PubMed, Scielo, BVS-WHO, and PeriEnf during the period 2005-2010. Results: The final sample consisted of 12 studies with level 2 of evidence and 1 with level 3 (total=13). All studies concluded that role playing is effective for clinical teaching related to communication skills and empathy. Conclusion: This literature review concluded that role playing is recommended clinical teaching in nursing as well.