The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to understand how faculty could use literature to teach first year nursing students about compassionate care and the role of a nurse. The sample in this study were reflection letters written by first year nursing students to the author of a book, detailing his experiences following a catastrophic motor vehicle accident. Archival data was reviewed and thematic analysis was conducted by the researcher; three major themes emerged. The data was linked to Mezirow’s Transformative Learning theory. Results of the study show that students’ beliefs about the profession of nursing, the role of a nurse and their own education were transformed, in a positive manner. Additionally, literature as a teaching strategy was effective and beneficial to the students.