8 Must-Have Apps for the Tech-Savvy Nurse

When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, one of the nods was to the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth in 1820. Since then, technology has evolved significantly.

While some people resist technology, those who embrace it find new ease in their day-to-day responsibilities. Here are eight apps that nurses or nursing students can use to help both themselves and their patients — and all are available in the App Store or on Google Play.

1) Medscape


Seen as a global authority in offering the latest medical news and expert perspectives, disease/drug data and continuing medical education (CME), Medscape is really a one-stop shop for information. The app offers a library of over 6,200 reference articles, as well as its “consult” feature where nurses can share and discuss patient challenges and network with other medical professionals. The app also includes clinical tools like a drug interaction checker, pill identifier and multiple medical calculators.

2) Nursing Dictionary by Farlex


The Nursing Dictionary by Farlex app is meant for nurses. It offers access to more than 56,000 medical terms, 4,000 entries on medications and 9,000 images — all from highly respected sources. There is no locked content or subscription required. Nurses can save unlimited bookmarks so they can quickly find previous search results. Supported digital devices even allow for voice-activated searches.

3) Nurse’s Pocket Guide


True to its name, this app provides quick reference access to over 440 medical conditions with their associated nursing diagnoses. With each diagnosis listing comes that condition’s definition, related factors, defining characteristics, prioritized actions/interventions, NIC/NOC classifications and documentation guidelines. You can also search by patient symptoms. Like the Nursing Dictionary, it even enables you to bookmark entries for quicker reference in the future.

4) NurseGrid


Touted as the “No. 1 nurse app in the nation,” NurseGrid helps with organizing work schedules. It also allows for collaboration with other nurses, providing a smooth way to swap or relinquish shifts. With this app, you and your family members can sync schedules, so everyone stays up to date. Nurses designed the app, so you know you’re getting a solution from those who understand the stresses unique to shift scheduling. NurseGrid is also helpful for unit managers, as it reduces all the back-and-forth that typically accompanies shift organization.

5) Resuscitation!

Free for basic, $3.99-$9.99 for more extensive cases

Using a virtual simulation platform, Resuscitation! provides patient scenarios where you have to administer care. Perfect for exploring avenues of care in a safe, controlled environment, this app puts you in control and helps you prepare for real-world situations. The different cases presented may require you to perform a physical exam or put the patient on a monitor.

6) Full-Code Emergency Room Simulator


Originally designed for ER physicians, this app is also helpful for nurses in training. Similar to Resuscitation!, Full-Code uses virtual simulation to present realistic patient scenarios in varying levels of difficulty. Every case includes vitals, labs and images. The goal is to prompt you to ask the right questions so you can accurately investigate, diagnose and treat each patient. The app scores you on your decisions and provides a detailed debrief of your performance.

7) Happify


High-stress situations are all in a day’s work for nurses. While the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the in-depth work nurses perform, they have always had to deal with the intense pressures of trauma and death. Additionally, they work long shifts, regularly eat on the go and manage difficult patients. All of it can take a toll on one’s mental health. Those who go into nursing may be naturally equipped to manage stress, but who couldn’t use a little help in avoiding burnout? Happify features games and short activities aimed at reducing stress and encouraging positive behaviors, such as thankfulness. It also tracks your mood over time, so you can get a full-scope view of how your job may be impacting your mental health.

8) Mint


Mint isn’t specifically for nurses, but it’s a trusted app for personal finance management. You can monitor bank accounts, credit cards, bills, loans and investments. You can also set up the app to send you reminders when bills are due, so you don’t get hit with late fees. Those due-date reminders could end up saving you a significant amount in the long term. Plus, the app has budget advice and money-saving tips so you can keep your spending habits in check.

Apps can be effective for simplifying areas of your life and serving as educational tools. Of course, there’s always a risk of digital clutter from too many “helpers.” It’s important to find apps that work best for you and your needs.

Learn more about the University of Southern Indiana’s RN to BSN online program.


World Health Organization: Year of the Nurse and the Midwife 2020

Nurses PRN: Best Apps for Nursing Students and Nurses in 2020

Berxi: The 18 Best (and Free!) Nursing Apps of 2020

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