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25 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Every Nurse

December 13, 2021 · 6 Min Read

With new technology, nurses can find nearly all the information they need at their fingertips. These 25 must-have mobile apps deliver exactly what the nurse ordered.
25 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Every Nurse
The Good Brigade / Getty Images

Mobile apps have transformed healthcare. The rapid growth in apps has led to technology that can assist healthcare professionals with patient management, communication and consultation, and clinical decision-making. Smartphones allow for easy access and use at the point of care.

On this page, discover 25 must-have mobile apps for nurses that support patient care and can offer immediate answers to important questions. Learn what they do, why we recommend them, and how to start using them.

Nurses Recommend These Apps for Nurses and Nursing Students

The following 25 apps for your smartphone can help everyone: experienced nurses, new nurses, and nursing students. These apps for nurses are available in the Google/Android and Apple app stores.

Pedi STAT

What is it:

This is a rapid reference tool for healthcare professionals caring for pediatric emergency and critical-care patients. The app gives professionals quick access to:

  • Weight-based medication dosages
  • Medical management for anaphylaxis and allergic reactions
  • Management of hypoglycemia
  • Cardiac resuscitation data for weight-based medications, cardioversion, and defibrillation

Why is it recommended:

Dustin Cotliar, MD, MPH, is an emergency-medicine physician who calls this an outstanding point of care emergency pediatric app that will help nurses check physicians' orders for errors.

"In my opinion, this app is an A+," Cotliar says. "I use it all the time."

Cost:

$4.99

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Pedi QuikCalc

What is it:

This pediatric medical calculator has earned several awards, including being ranked #3 in the Pediatric Annals review of useful apps. The app offers instant access to weight-based medication doses, conversions, and intravenous (IV) fluid rates. The app has expanded functions, such as:

  • Growth charts
  • Bilirubin evaluation
  • Body mass index for age
  • Blood pressure percentile
  • Weight and length age charts

Why is it recommended:

This app is easy to use with lots of functionality. New features include a dental numbering and eruption chart, extensive formulations, drug list with large font display, and blood pressure calculator.

Cost:

$4.99

This app is available for iOS.

Download

MDCalc

What is it:

Board-certified physicians created this app for nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and medical students. The app gives you access to over 270 clinical-decision tools like the following:

  • Equations
  • Classifications
  • Dosing calculators
  • Risk scores
  • Algorithms

You can customize your menu to access your favorite tools, including the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale/Score, Richmond Agitation and Sedation Scale score, and ventilator settings.

Why is it recommended:

This app is a powerful tool that strengthens your nursing practice through information and communication. You can use advanced filters based on specialty, disease, or chief complaint.

Cost:

Free

This app is available for Android and iOS.

Download

Epocrates

What is it:

This point-of-care medical application offers information on drug dosage, interactions, and safety. You have access to:

  • Medical news
  • Management guidance
  • Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines
  • Disease diagnosis and management
  • Continuing education credits in medicine
  • Podcasts
  • Educational videos in your specialty
  • Pill identifier with images
  • COVID-19 resources

The upgrade has additional disease information and treatment, alternative medications, labs, and International Classification of Disease codes.

Why is it recommended:

This app is robust, the interface is user-friendly, and the information is presented cleanly and simply for quick comprehension.

Cost:

Free or various levels starting at $16.99 per month

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

LactMed

What is it:

When you're caring for a pregnant or nursing individual, any medication they use must be safe for the baby. LactMed is not strictly an app for nurses but rather an easily accessed resource on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.

Bookmark the link to the database on your smartphone. You can quickly look up information about any medication by searching the drug's trade or generic name.

Why is it recommended:

Not every drug guide has specific information about safe medications to use during pregnancy or lactation. LactMed provides just that.

Cost:

Free

Download

Gahart's IV Medications Handbook

What is it:

Gahart's IV Medications Handbook contains information on more than 400 intravenous drugs. The app is designed for nurses and other healthcare professionals as a comprehensive resource for IV drugs.

The app has a searchable index and age-specific dosing information for pediatric, geriatric, and neonatal patients. All information is updated annually and contains black box or boxed warnings, dilution and dosage charts, and alphabetical drug monographs.

Why is it recommended:

H. Eva Hvingelby, Ph.D., ACNP, has 21 years of experience as a healthcare clinician. She finds Gahart's IV Medications Handbook an important resource and uses features on the app like its interactive calculators.

Cost:

There is a free version that provides 10% of the content. Based on your subscription, you can access a range of content from $25.99 to $49.99.

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Spending Tracker

What is it:

The app has an intuitive interface and is one of the easiest user-friendly personal finance apps. Spending Tracker helps you track your spending and stick to a spending plan.

You can choose to track your money weekly, monthly, or yearly. Generate reports to see your current spending progress and your main areas of spending. Quickly log your expenses and income and place your expenditures in categories for easy visualization of where your money is being spent.

Why is it recommended:

Hvingelby recommends Spending Tracker to help nurses with budgeting. "It's the easiest and most user-friendly and can help nurses stay on track as they move into jobs with better income," she says.

Cost:

Free with additional tools for $2.99

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Headspace

What is it:

Nursing can be stressful. When you don't take care of yourself, you may experience burnout. The Headspace app helps put you in a better mindset using meditation techniques.

The app teaches you how to get a better night's sleep, improves resilience to help you cope with change, anger, and sadness, and provides you with movement strategies to release stress and tension. There are hundreds of guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, animation to teach you new skills, and even emergency sessions when you are feeling anxious or stressed.

Why is it recommended:

The app promotes meditation and self-care for nurses. It teaches mindfulness strategies to deal with stress, and it can improve focus and sleep. "Healthcare workers are always looking after everyone else and need [to] also look after themselves," one user says.

Cost:

Free with extra tools for a monthly or yearly subscription

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

UpToDate

What is it:

Over 30 research studies have investigated UpToDate, demonstrating its connection to improved hospital and provider performance and patient care. This app for nurses contains clinical information on drugs and clinical management recommendations which providers can use at point of care.

Nurses can easily search and bookmark information. They can also print and email graphics and topics to patients to aid in education.

Why is it recommended:

It offers evidence-based, up-to-date information and the best treatment options for diseases.

Cost:

Free, but you need to subscribe to access the information

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Trello

What is it:

The app is an organizational and productivity tool that helps build strong teamwork. However, it is also excellent for individual users to manage projects, tasks, and other calendar events.

The app is organized into "boards" to track workflow and assigned projects. Nursing students find it helpful to organize papers and tests while managing study schedules for exams like the NCLEX. You can customize workflows, create "to-do" lists, attach files, and collaborate on specific boards with colleagues.

Why is it recommended:

The app is nimble, user-friendly, and able to expand as the project requires. There is also a calendar view showing what deadlines are approaching.

Cost:

Free

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Caring Village

What is it:

The app can be a perfect fit for caregivers as it allows them to track medications, meals, and prescription checklists. It also allows you to store documents and complete wellness journals.

Create a personalized "village" for caregivers so that it becomes the command center for activities and communication. Share to-do lists, checklists, notifications, and wellness journals to stay up to date on the status of your loved one.

Why is it recommended:

One user says it is "excellent and helpful ... for home carers and nurses."

Cost:

Free

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Perfect OB Wheel

What is it:

This obstetrics calculator lets you input the date of your last menstrual period, conception date, estimated date of delivery, or ultrasound date. You'll get results for the following:

  • Estimated due date
  • Conception date
  • 1st trimester end date
  • 2nd trimester end date
  • Gestational age
  • Conceptional age
  • Expected fetal length based on standard growth curves
  • Expected fetal weight based on standard growth curves

Nurses can track an unlimited number of pregnancies and keep notes on each patient. The app also allows for postpartum tracking.

Why is it recommended:

The app keeps accurate data at a nurse's fingertips for each prenatal visit and updates information.

Cost:

$1.99

This app is available for iOS.

Download

Forest

What is it:

This app is designed to increase your productivity and focus. Nursing students can use it to manage their time and efforts. It boasts 40 million global users.

The app has a simple interface that helps you track time management. It also provides insightful statistics. The app uses "games" to help improve your concentration. For example, you can plant a seed in the app for a tree. When you stay focused on your task, the seed gradually grows into a tree. However, if you cannot stay focused, the tree will wither. The company plants real trees as users earn coins by staying on task.

Why is it recommended:

It can be difficult to concentrate on school assignments and projects. With this app, students can improve their productivity and help the environment at the same time.

Cost:

$1.99

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

NCL Flashcards

What is it:

This app offers practice tests and flashcards for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This app for nurses uses flashcards to help you learn faster and remember more.

There are several modes such as slide show, quiz, and study. There are 2,400 premade cards in five categories. You can customize the cards, use text-to-speech to study without looking at the screen, and download an unlimited amount to your device for offline study.

Why is it recommended:

In most states, you must pass the NCLEX to get your state license and practice. It is important to prioritize and optimize your study time to pass your NCLEX exam.

Cost:

Free with an optional monthly subscription

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

My Mastery: NCLEX & Nursing

What is it:

This app covers nearly everything you need to know at any stage of your career. You have access to more than 3,000 NCLEX practice questions with in-depth rationales. Track your progress toward your study goals and complete two-full NCLEX simulation tests.

The app guarantees that 99.7% of its members pass on their first try. Audio and video lessons are added each week. It also offers dozens of study methods, from mnemonics tricks to quizzes.

Why is it recommended:

If you are studying for the NCLEX examination, this is the app you want to review and take practice tests. It can help you feel prepared and confident walking into the examination.

Cost:

Free with access to more information through a monthly subscription or 1-3 month subscription

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

PEPID

What is it:

The app contains a large drug database, medical calculators, illustrations, and high-resolution pill photographs. Included are independent clinical content from 12 healthcare associations, including the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

Information is focused on care provided by physicians, nurses, students, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics.

Why is it recommended:

The large database of pertinent information rivals the UpToDate app. Some users like the interface on PEPID and others prefer UpToDate. Try both to see which fits you best.

Cost:

Free

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Medscape

What is it:

The Medscape app is a powerful addition to your smartphone. It is designed to offer a personalized experience with the latest medical news in your specialty.

You have access to drug and disease information and continuing education for nurses — all free. There are more than 400 medical calculators, step-by-step procedural videos, and the most current safety information on over 8,500 prescription and over-the-counter medications, supplements, and herbal remedies. You can see the latest Food and Drug Administration approvals and up-to-date clinical trial data.

Why is it recommended:

Medscape delivers access to nearly all the information a practicing healthcare professional needs to provide quality patient care, all at their fingertips.

Cost:

Free

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Med Mnemonics

What is it:

A mnemonic is a short phrase or rhyme that makes remembering information easier. The app uses this unique learning method to deliver over 1,900 mnemonic techniques for nursing students to improve their memory and knowledge. The app covers a wide range of topics like the physical sciences, pharmacology, and surgery. You can search the database and filter the results by discipline and system.

You can also add your own mnemonics to the database, which will then appear seamlessly with others in the program.

Why is it recommended:

Mnemonics are a proven method of learning and retaining information. This app is a study aid to improve your knowledge base using memory aids for a wide range of nursing topics.

Cost:

$1.99

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Taber's Medical Dictionary

What is it:

Taber's Medical Dictionary is a tried-and-true resource used by health professionals around the world. The current app is the 24th edition and contains:

  • Over 75,000 terms
  • 1,300 photos
  • 33,700 audio pronunciations
  • 130 videos
  • Over 600 patient care statements

The appendices have laboratory values, alternative medicines, acronyms, and medical abbreviations. Bookmark your important entries and highlight notes in any entry.

Why is it recommended:

Taber's Medical Dictionary has been the industry-standard resource for decades. Today you can carry it on your smartphone and access the information at point of care. This is a must-have for all students and nurses.

Cost:

Free with an in-app purchase to upgrade

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Nursing Central

What is it:

This app combines five of the best-selling apps into an integrated clinical solution. Designed for nurses and students, it has information about diseases, tests, drugs, and procedures. The app is linked to the PubMed database for instant access, where nurses can search and study unfamiliar topics. The app contains:

  • Davis' Drug Guide: Information on dosing, harmful effects of drugs, interactions, and patient education on over 5,000 drugs
  • Taber's Medical Dictionary: Over 75,000 medical terms and hundreds of audio pronunciations, images, and videos
  • Davis' Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests: Access to test rationale and results, requirements, procedures, and post-test patient education
  • Diseases and Disorders: Complete coverage of more than 250 medical conditions
  • Prime PubMed: Connects with the PubMed citations and abstracts database, provides review suggestions, and has a feature to share articles over email and social media.

Why is it recommended:

The upgrades may be pricey, but it is well worth having all this information in one place for easy access while working.

Cost:

Free with optional upgrades

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

MediBabble Translator

What is it:

This is a professional-grade medical interpretation translator for healthcare providers. The app is designed for taking the history and physicals for nonEnglish-speaking patients.

The initial download comes with English and Spanish. You can download French, Mandarin, Russian, German, Cantonese, and Haitian Creole from within the app. There are thousands of translated questions and instructions organized by symptom, including a thorough physical exam section.

Once downloaded, the app can be used offline.

Why is it recommended:

The app was tested in university and county hospital settings. Users were located in emergency departments, intensive care, and inpatient units. Each phrase used in the app was reviewed by at least two native speakers for accuracy and cultural appropriateness.

Nurses find the app helpful for admission assessments, physical exams, and follow-up questioning. You don't have to rely on an in-person translator, such as a patient's family or friends, to translate.

Cost:

Free

This app is available for iOS.

Download

Pocket Lab Values

What is it:

This handy app has important clinical information, diagnoses, and useful websites related to lab values. You can edit the values according to the standards used in your hospital and write notes in the app. The interface allows you to search the database quickly, save favorites, and see the last 20 labs quickly.

The app is frequently updated, and you have access to support through email or Twitter.

Why is it recommended:

Unless you read a lab value frequently, it can be challenging to make sense of lab results. With this tool, you have access to more than 320 lab values and lab panels, along with reference values.

Cost:

$2.99

This app is available for Android.

Download

Keener — Self-Care for Nurses

What is it:

a href="/resources/nurse-burnout/#:~:text=Nurses%20find%20themselves%20exposed%20to,phenomenon%20is%20called%20nurse%20burnout.">Nurse burnout is an all-to-real challenge for nurses. This app helps beat burnout through mindful reflection, self-care, and motivational support. It has a one-of-a-kind Shift Reflection tool that helps you record how you feel after each hospital shift.

The process was created by well-being experts to prevent you from fixating on the negatives and untangle your emotions after work. You can also create a personal journal to look over your emotional trends and identify problem areas. Each day you can see a new video story to inspire your well-being and mental health. These include mindfulness mantras and positive affirmations.

Why is it recommended:

Out of 50,000 U.S. nurses, 31.5% left their jobs in 2018 because of burnout. Keener uses proven strategies to reduce your risk of burnout and focus your energies on self-care.

Cost:

Free

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

NurseGrid

What is it:

Nurses have challenging careers and often struggle with work/life balance, which contributes to burnout. Using NurseGrid scheduling, you can take control of your work schedule, giving you 24/7 access to your schedule. You can also message your managers and colleagues directly through the app.

Compare your schedule with colleagues when you need to swap shifts or want to make off-duty plans with friends. Know who you're working with and even put up your hand to pick up another shift.

Why is it recommended:

This app makes it simple to find people to switch shifts, see your schedule, pick up extra work, and coordinate your work and home life.

Cost:

Free

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Human Anatomy Atlas 2021

What is it:

There are thousands of educational models inside this app to help you understand how the human body works. Textbook definitions and descriptions are in several languages, including English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and simplified Chinese. The basic app includes gross anatomy models that you can dissect with select microanatomy and sample animations.

Why is it recommended:

This app is a go-to for nursing students in anatomy and physiology. Experienced nurses find it helpful for a reference and as a teaching tool for their patients.

Cost:

$24.99 with in-app purchases

This app is available for iOS and Android.

Download

Meet Our Contributors

Portrait of Dustin Cotliar, MD, MPH

Dustin Cotliar, MD, MPH

Dustin Cotliar is an emergency-medicine physician living in New Orleans and married to a registered nurse. He has worked alongside hundreds of nurses across three different states and in many different settings. A self-professed tech "nerd," he loves using point-of-care clinical apps and has a special interest in patient advocacy. You can find him on Linkedin.


Portrait of H. Eva Hvingelby, Ph.D., ACNP

H. Eva Hvingelby, Ph.D., ACNP

H. Eva Hvingelby is a faculty member in Walden University's master of science in nursing adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner program and a clinical advisor for Optum. She has 21 years of experience as a healthcare clinician and received a Certificate of Commendation from the federal government for her work in researching marginalized populations.

She is actively involved in the integration of telemedicine into existing clinical platforms for greater reach, particularly for vulnerable persons.


Feature Image: The Good Brigade / Getty Images

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