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Must Have Apps for Nurses

Must Have Apps for Nurses |
Antonio Guillem/

Almost every shift, I grab my phone and look up something. Whether it’s a medication I’ve never even heard of, much less given before, or a medical condition with which I am not familiar, I look to my phone to fill me in. I know more than one nurse who hadn’t done a procedure in a while who took a few minutes to refresh her memory with some nursing videos. While you already have your go-to websites, there are several apps you might just want to download to make your shift a little easier.

Nurse Tabs (iOS)

This set of apps is ideal for student nurses and relatively new nurses, and it costs about $20, but you can access over 120 skills. The app presents the nurse with equipment needed to perform the procedure and with a step-by-step approach to performing the procedure safely. In addition, there is still plenty of easily searchable information on medications and conditions.

Nursing Central (Android, iOS)

This is one of the most comprehensive apps around. In it, you can find over 4,500 drugs, 56,000 dictionary terms and more than 15 million journal articles.  In other words, if you want to know something, it’s probable in there.

Pill Identifier (Android, iOS)

I have had to look up pills on more than one occasion. Once, a patient overdosed, but a family member found a couple of leftover pills and brought them in – being able to identify the pills quickly was key to treating the patient appropriately and quickly. This is a pretty handy app to have on hand.

Lab Values Reference by Imago LLC (iOS)

I can’t be the only nurse with a poor memory when it comes to lab values. I can keep 5-6 key ones in my head, but the rest I always have to look up. Plus, if I am reading a patient’s lab results, this app reminds me not only what the levels should be, but what it could mean if levels are too low or too high. This app covers 375 commonly performed tests organized by body systems plus an overview of order of draw.

Figure 1 (iOS, Android)

For coolness factor alone, Figure 1 is pretty nifty. Healthcare professionals share medical cases to help each other save lives. Doctors and nurses in hundreds of specialties post thousands of real-world teaching cases. Want to sharpen your medical knowledge on the fly? Just scroll through the daily new additions.

Epocrates RX (iOS)

Epocrates is one of the best medical reference apps. The free version of Epocrates offers great content: drug monographs, health plan formularies, drug interaction tools, pill identifier, and a medical calculator. They have a premium version, too, that’s pretty pricey, but try out the free version to see if it meets your needs first.

Resuscitation (iOS)

This is my favorite app of all! In the Resuscitation app, you play the role of the emergency department doc. It’s a medical simulator that gives you a case presentation of a patient, and then you can take a history, perform a physical exam, form a differential diagnosis, and administer therapy to treat the patient’s underlying problem. With a range of treatment options available to you, you are scored based on your management skills. There are some free cases, and if you decide you like it, you can pay between $4-9 for additional cases.

These are a few of my favorite apps, but there are many more great nursing apps not mentioned in this post. What are your favorite nursing apps? Let us know in the comments below.


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About Angie Best-Boss RN

Angie Best-Boss, ASN, BA, MDiv is a psychiatric nurse and freelance writer from the Indianapolis, Indiana area. Angie has three daughters and can usually be found with her nose in a book, crafting or, in warm weather, geocaching.