Top 5 Apps for the Modern Nurse

Nurses use computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones every day at work. Some hospitals issue handheld devices to nurses to assist with and streamline the delivery of care. While nurses are prepared in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree programs to provide care, and they also can use apps to enhance their nursing ability.

What is an App?

The word “app” is used as an abbreviation for “application” but is also interchangeable with the term “software.” Often an app is operated through a web browser on your electronic device. You do not always need an internet connection to utilize an app. The three types of apps are:

  • Desktop
  • Mobile
  • Web

Generally, it takes a mouse and keyboard to work with desktop and web apps, which are visible on large screens. You use a finger or stylus for mobile apps and view them on a small display.

Where Can You Find Apps?

For mobile devices, nearly all of the operating systems like Android, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and BlackBerry have app stores. The official sources for desktop apps are the Mac App store for macOS apps and the Microsoft Store for Windows apps. Web apps are different because they are part of your browser so they do not need to be downloaded.

Why Should Nurses Use Apps?

Nurses are busy professionals. They spend their days providing care to multiple patients at a time, performing multiple tasks and communicating with numerous healthcare professionals and coworkers. Apps allow nurses access to useful information without leaving the point of care; they do not have to take notes, rely on memory or check a book.

With the help of apps, nurses can improve the quality of patient care. They can look for up-to-date answers to their medical questions. Whether they need to know how to calculate a drug dosage, investigate symptoms or record a patient’s health history, chances are, an app exists.

What 5 Apps Aid Nurses?

A multitude of medical apps is available for free or to purchase. Here are five that are good resources for nurses.

  1. Symptomia – Allows nurses to pinpoint a diagnosis, treatment and prognosis, as well as determine prevention methods by searching more than 50 symptoms and their causes.
  2. Pill Identifier by – This searchable database of more than 24,000 Rx/OTC medications is a pill guide that lets users look up drugs based on name, imprint, shape and color through images and descriptions.
  3. Medscape Mobile – This comprehensive set of tools consists of clinical, drug, disease and procedure references. In addition, the app offers a drug interaction checker and medical calculator.
  4. Skyscape Medical Resources – The app includes drug information, a medical calculator and evidence-based clinical research on over 850 topics and breaking medical news.
  5. The Color Atlas of Family Medicine – An encyclopedia of common and uncommon diseases, this app contains full-color photographs and evidence-based treatment recommendations.

By incorporating apps into the nursing practice, nurses can refine their workflow, keep track of their responsibilities and reduce the possibility of medical errors. Patients can also benefit from the use of apps. Nurses can show patients how to maintain and monitor their health with mobile apps. Apps can increase efficiency, boost clinical knowledge and increase the likelihood of positive patient outcomes.

Learn more about Northeastern State University’s online RN to BSN program.


Nightingale Apps: 5 Reasons Why Nurses Need Apps DiversityNursing Blog – 2017 Best Nursing Apps

Health eCareers: Top 5 Apps for Nurses

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Lifewire: So What Exactly Is an App?

Johnson & Johnson: Mobile Apps Help Boost Efficiency for Nurses

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