Nowadays, there’s an app for everything. (Seriously, everything, from legal day trading to monitoring your bowel movements.)
Thankfully, this industry has extended into the realm of nursing and nurse education, which benefits enormously from the tools that have been designed to streamline education, information reference, daily scheduling, and overall time management.
Since we here at Brainscape are all about optimizing productivity, we decided to gather together what we consider to be the best apps for nurses, based on sheer sophistication and your reviews, and here they are!
- The best apps for nursing students
- The best apps for nurses looking for on-the-job references
- The best time management apps for nurses
We hope that you find one (or many) to be game-changers for your career!
[Speaking of career, make sure you check out our academy article: ‘How to get a job in nursing’ OR, if you're only now in nursing school, 'How to study in nursing school (and pass with flying colors)!]
The best apps for nursing students
Whether you’re in school just trying to digest the daily firehose of content pointed at your cerebrum, or you’ve graduated and are preparing to take on the NCLEX, here are some outstanding apps for nursing students to check out. Also, importantly, don’t forget to read Brainscape’s ultimate guide to studying for the NCLEX (more efficiently) or watch this video if that’s more your speed …
What does it offer? Brainscape’s NCLEX-RN exam prep has over 3,000 flashcards covering the most important concepts you need to pass the exam … the first time around. The format of the flashcards focuses on content knowledge & memorization and is an indispensable complement to whatever main NCLEX course or book you may be taking. (Check out 'How to use Brainscape in nursing school' to squeeze the very most value out of our web and mobile app!)
Availability: iOS and Android; free download with in-app purchases; monthly, semester, annual, or lifetime subscription.
What is it? A nursing app that provides NCLEX RN practice questions.
What does it offer? NCLEX RN Mastery has a bank of hundreds of sample questions and quizzes, which you can use to practice for the exam. When you get an answer wrong, you’ll get a detailed explanation why so that you don’t make the same mistake again.
Availability: iOS and Android; free download with in-app purchases: otherwise monthly fees
What is it? A quick reference app for nursing students.
What does it offer? Nursing Essentials is super nifty for nurse students (or licensed nurses) who need a quick reference tool to help them look up or review a concept. You can also use it to take notes, mark sections for later reference, and perform clinical calculations.
Availability: iOS and Android; $7.99 on Amazon
What is it? A comprehensive guide to human anatomy and physiology.
What does it offer? The Human Anatomy Atlas offers thousands of models to help understand and communicate how the human body looks and works; and includes textbook-level definitions. You can use this nursing app as a reference, instead of an anatomy textbook or to create virtual lab experiences.
Availability: iOS and Android; $24.99 with in-app purchases
What is it? A mnemonic memorization app
What does it offer? Med Mnemonics packs 1,900+ acronyms, rhymes, and memory tricks to help you learn and remember critical information, from medical conditions, symptoms, and terminology to medications, indications, and side-effects. It’s easy to use and even allows you to add your own personalized mnemonics.
Availability: Free on iOS (downside: lots of ad pop-ups)
Pro Tip: Mnemonics may not always be the best use of time when it comes to learning and memorization so check out our article ‘Do mnemonics and other memorization techniques really work?’ to see if it’s an efficient use of your time.
The best apps for nurses looking for on-the-job references
Okay, so now let’s turn our attention to licensed, working nurses and the suite of reference apps they might find helpful in getting quick access to crucial clinical information. But before we dive in, I’d like to point out that many of the afore-mentioned nursing apps are still useful once you’ve graduated and can even serve as valuable tools in the clinical working environment.
Brainscape, in particular, isn't just great for nursing students but is also one of the best apps for nurses, particularly new nurses, helping them to constantly review and refresh older content, while drilling themselves on all the new information they’ll undoubtedly learn throughout the working day.
Those first weeks and months on the job will present a tsunami of information that you’ll need to learn and remember. With Brainscape, however, you can whip out your phone during your breaks or at the end of the day, make a quick flashcard for new important facts, and drill yourself on those so that they become a permanent part of your nursing knowledge bank throughout your whole career!
With that said, let’s jump back in …
What is it? A clinical care assistant app for nurses
What does it offer? Affectionately referred to by healthcare experts as “my second brain”, Epocrates makes it onto our best nursing apps list because of its profound depth of content. Access up-to-date information and resources to make more informed clinical decisions, manage complex diagnoses and treatment plans, and streamline searches for information on prescription drugs, drug interactions, and pill identification.
Availability: iOS and Android; free, with an upgrade for disease and diagnostic access, or enterprise subscription
What is it? A medical app for quick-referencing the A to Z of diseases and their symptoms.
What does it offer? Completely offline and free medical dictionary app containing medical disorders and diseases with detailed definitions, symptoms, causes, and treatment information.
Availability: iOS and Android, free
What is it? Nursing app for clinical-decision support
What does it offer? Lippincott Advisor is the single source for immediate, evidence-based, online nursing clinical-decision support. It delivers instant, 24/7 access to the latest evidence-based information that clinicians need at the point of care with over 17,000 monographs and patient teaching handouts.
Availability: iOS and Android; free download with in-app purchases
What is it? A comprehensive reference resource app for nurses
What does it offer? Nursing Central offers information and reference for diseases, drugs, and tests for nurses, as well as a literature search function. This nursing app includes access to Davis’s Drug Guide, Taber’s Medical Dictionary, Diseases and Disorders, and MEDLINE Search and Journals, among other databases.
Availability: iOS and Android; annual subscription fee
What is it? A medical translation app for nurses
What does it offer? If English isn’t your first language or that of your patients, you can easily and instantly improve your quality of communication and, therefore, your standard of care with this translation tool, which consists of medical phrases organized in a standardized history-taking format.
Availability: iOS only, free
What is it? Comprehensive medical resource, including latest medical news
What does it offer? For immediate clinical answers to the full spectrum of inquiries, look no further than the Medscape nursing app. Within its virtual coffers is detailed information on 8,500+ prescription and OTC drugs, herbals, and supplements; 6,200+ reference articles for decision-making support; and clinical tools that include a drug interaction checker, calculators, and pill identifier.
Availability: iOS and Android, free, no subscription costs
What is it? A drug and clinical resource for healthcare professionals, including nurses.
What does it offer? With versions for different professions, including nurses (and EMTs, physicians, students, and more), PEPID medical app provides detailed information for all elements of patient care. Students gain a credible and complete resource guide for coursework, lab exercises, and clinical practice.
Availability: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and mobile browser compatible; subscription fee
What is it? A nursing app for identifying pill medications by color, shape, and imprint
What does it offer? The Pill Identifier app is a searchable database of more than 24,000 Rx/OTC medications found in the U.S. The app allows nurses to search by imprint, drug name, shape and color, which can provide crucial, potentially life-saving information in the clinical setting.
Availability: iOS and Android, $0.99 with in-app purchases.
What is it? Well, it’s a comprehensive medical dictionary!
What does it offer? Taber’s Medical Dictionary contains definitions for more than 75,000 medical terms with full-color illustrations, videos, integrated audio pronunciations, and in-depth appendices, making it one of the most comprehensive nursing apps on the market.
Availability: iOS, Android, and mobile browser compatible; annual subscription fee
What is it? A nursing app for clinical-decision support
What does it offer? uCentral combines trusted resources, clinical tools, and local content to provide critical answers at the point of need. It’s an easy and quick reference app for nurses, and while it’s recommended for studying in nursing school, many use it long after graduation.
Availability: iOS and Android
The best time management apps for nurses
If there’s one thing most nurses could benefit from, it’s more hours in the day. But since the Earth would literally have to slow down its rotational speed in order to achieve that—bringing about apocalyptic conditions on the planet—we’ll go with the second best option: these time management apps!
Pssst. Do you know what the #1 habit to succeed in nursing school is?
What is it? An intuitive platform for managing the workday.
What does it offer? Evernote is one of the best nursing apps for time management because it serves as an intuitive platform for nurses to manage their workday. Remember everything, find things fast, and tackle any project with your notes, tasks, and schedule all in one place.
Availability: iOS and Android; free or access more advanced features with their subscription plan
What is it? A scheduling and communication app for nurses
What does it offer? If you want your calendar, your colleagues, and your career at your fingertips, NurseGrid is the best nursing app for you. Developed by nurses to manage the often complicated scheduling process, this app lets you schedule across all worksites, view who’s on your shift, message other nurses, and much more.
Availability: iOS and web portal; free
What is it? An all-in-one calendar app for nurses.
What does it offer? MYDUTY helps nurses and hospital staff managers to easily create, manage and even share their calendars. You can also track all the duty changes in one place without having to go back and forth through a complicated roster.
Availability: iOS and Android; free with in-app purchases
A final note on the best nursing apps
All of these nursing apps are, in one way or another, designed to make your studies, job, career, and life easier. But first you’ve got to figure out which one works the best for you so we’d recommend that you charge up your phone and start playing.
However, irrespective of which app or apps you ultimately choose, we (naturally) heartily recommend that you use Brainscape’s NCLEX RN flashcards or NCLEX PN flashcards to keep your learning at the very razor’s edge of efficiency. And that’s because our spaced repetition algorithm has been engineered to help you understand and remember nursing content TWICE as efficiently as any other study system.
May you use these tools to rise to the challenge of a rewarding career as a nurse!
**NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), which neither sponsors nor endorses this product.