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10 Helpful Apps for Nursing Students

Today’s nursing students are responsible for volumes of knowledge, and fortunately, technology has made it possible to find and use that information without lugging around a library’s worth of medical texts. Smart phones and other mobile devices increase and improve access to these types of materials. However, the number of mobile apps for nursing students can seem overwhelming, and it may be difficult to choose which are best to assist you during the pursuit of your education and career.

How and Why to Choose an App for Nursing Students

Studies have shown that nurses spend significant amounts of time on activities outside of direct patient care. Researchers attribute this to several things, including using technology that does not properly their support workflow. Even as a student, it is important to choose apps that support your mission: to help gather and retain information and raise the quality of patient care.

Useful Apps for Nursing Students

Students who are active in online nursing programs say that the right apps can make a difference in confidence levels — both during coursework and on the job. The following are some of the most helpful and useful apps for nursing students, as judged by nurses and students:

  1. Davis Mobile NCLEX-RN App — Offers more than 1,500 questions that allow you to study anytime or anywhere. Makes it easy to build your own quizzes, analyze your strengths and weaknesses, and create new quizzes designed to improve your performance in specific areas. Price: $19.99. http://www.fadavis.com/nursing/davis-mobile-apps
  1. NCLEX RN Mastery 2016 — Has more than 1,800 practice questions, quizzes, mnemonics and strategies. Content based on past NCLEX exams. Built-in timer. Upgrades and improvements free. Some recommend this app as a supplement to Saunders NCLEX review book. The basic version is free, but larger version costs $29.99. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nclex-rn-mastery-2016-edition/id625614526?mt=8
  1. Med Mnemonics Flashcards — Provides a one-stop resource for medical mnemonics to help learners and practitioners remember important information. Price: $0.99 on iTunes.
  1. Nursing in a Flash — Med Surg Volumes I & II – Does away with multiple choice and converts 4,700 study questions into reviewable flash cards. Makes it easy for students to slip in a quick study session anywhere. Price: $4.99. http://www.nursinginaflash.com/
  1. Code Happy: Nursing Support System — Offers a social network of peers for nurses and nursing students. Helps users gain and share perspective on a variety of nursing topics from residency rounds to passing exams. Price: Free. http://scrubsmag.com/codehappy/
  1. Nursing Central — Find detailed information on diseases, tests, drugs and procedures. Includes a database of 5,000 drugs, 65,000 terms, hundreds of laboratory and diagnostic tests, and the latest disease information. Allows users to subscribe to nursing journals and search the entire MEDLINE/PubMed database. Price: Free. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nursing-central/id300420397?mt=8
  1. Medscape — Sign up and obtain access to a website and an app that offers the latest medical news, FDA announcements, articles, continuing education courses and news from current conferences and more. Price: Free. http://www.medscape.com/public/medscapeapp?src=mbl_stm_mbl1
  1. Human Anatomy Atlas — 3-D Anatomical Model — So much for Gray’s Anatomy. This award-winning app is both beautiful and useful. Features more than 3,800 images of human anatomy and structure that allow for 3-D manipulation. Critics say it is ideal for patient instruction. Price: $24.99. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/human-anatomy-atlas-3d-anatomical/id446207961?mt=8
  1. Mini Nurse — Lite — Critics like this app because it is a convenient, quick reference made just for student nurses. General information on medical terminology, abbreviations, medical prefixes and suffixes, practice questions and more. Users can even listen to heart and lung sounds. Android only. Price: Free. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mininurse.fyi&hl=en
  1. NCSBN Medication Flashcards — A medication library in your phone offered by the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing. Features descriptions of thousands of drugs, including interactions, with study aids such as “flag-it” button for needed additional review and “got it” button to indicate mastery of the concept. Perhaps the best feature is that it comes from the organization responsible for the NCLEX exam. Price: Free. http://learningext.com/p/flashcardapp.aspx

There are dozens of apps for nursing students, but the best ones are those that help educate, minimize medical errors, improve clinical workflow and enhance a nurse’s overall understanding of the field.

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