Five Apps To Up Your Nursing Game
Welcome to the first installment of the weekly occupational apps spotlight! Every week, I will post apps that center around a certain career or occupation, hopefully helping you be the best you can be. This week, I will be focusing on nursing. If you’re a nurse, you know that it is hard work, both physically and emotionally. I have picked a few apps that I felt would help make your job easier! I will include a snippet about the app, the app’s rating and specs, as well as my own review. That’s right, I’m going to put them to the test! Without further ado, here are my picks to help make nursing a bit better than it already is.
Lippincott Nursing Advisor
Most nurses will remember Lippincott from nursing school, and the memories may not be all good. (Kidding!) This app claims that you can “stop searching through lengthy textbook articles or voluminous Internet search returns,” because Lippincott Nursing Advisor has everything you need. First, if your institution has access to Lippincott Nursing Advisor already, you can log in under their subscription. The app’s description states that the Nursing Advisor is used in facilities nationwide, so there is a possibility that yours uses it; if you are in a smaller facility, they may not have a subscription. It might be worth suggesting to your supervisor, because if you want full access on an individual basis, you need to pay for a yearly subscription with a $29.99 price tag. However, even if you pay the subscription fee for your individual account, you don’t get the same access that facility subscribers get, which seems to be one of the biggest complaints amongst reviewers. Individuals can access covers the following categories: diseases and conditions, diagnostic tests, treatments, and signs and symptoms. The material is updated quarterly, and you can create a favorites list and add notes. When I opened the app for the first time, I obviously had to let it update, which took around ten minutes. It was then that I saw what everyone was talking about. In each category that I listed, there were only two topics that you could explore in the free edition. The app does give you the option when you first open it to purchase the $29.99 subscription right away. I did check out the entry for myocardial infarction, which is one of the two topics you can preview for free. It was very detailed, covering the overview, history and physical, patient education, and more. The user interface is clean and easy to use.
All in all, I feel that if you have access courtesy of your institution, this app is a must-have. If your facility doesn’t have a subscription, they can obtain one at Lippincott’s website.
Every nurse knows–and dreads–continuing education hours. You need these to renew your license, and it can be hard to find good, legitimate courses. Nursing CEConnection promises to have over 1,300 courses to choose from, and you can study them offline. When you’re ready to take the test, you can get online to sync with your CE Planner account and get your certificate! In order to see any courses in the app, you first must sign in to your CE Planner account; if you don’t have one, you can register here. After logging in, unless you’ve already gone online to the CECenter and added courses, it will tell you that your planner is empty. As you add them to your planner, you will be able to access them in the app. They do offer a promotional deal of sorts called the CESaver: you can complete as many courses as you like (that are in the collection) for $39.95 a year or $59.95 for two years. So, you’ve added courses to your planner. Now, when you are on the main screen in the app, you’ll see them all listed, including their price, the score you need to pass, and their expiration date. You can download the steps to earn your certificate, and when you are ready, you can take the test right from the app. You can do all of this for free, however, when you want to get your certificate, you will have to pay the price listed.
If you want to easily manage your CE courses, this app is your best bet. And remember, you can get the CESaver deal, which includes a set of courses to choose from.
Medscape is a free app created by WebMD that is the highest rated and fastest growing app of its kind, and they have 4 million users to prove it. If you don’t have a Medscape account, you can sign up for free as soon as you open the app. The app has a ton of features, including medical news, drug information, medical calculators, and CE courses. There’s even offline access for references on drugs, conditions, and procedures. It’s simple user interface is very easy to use, and each monograph is highly detailed. Medscape also features a health directory, where you can look up healthcare providers based on your location. Within the app, there are 129 medical calculators at your disposal; there are also 600+ drugs in the reference section that have their own integrated dosage calculators! You can look up a drug and see if it is covered under a particular insurance plan, and chances are you’ll find it: the app searches 1,800 plans in each of the 50 states. The app page has a list of supported devices, so make sure yours is actually able to use the app. The page also states that if your device has ad-blocker software, you must disable it before downloading the offline content.
If you want a free app that doesn’t require an institutional subscription (and who doesn’t?!) but still has a plethora of information, you should definitely check out Medscape.
NCLEX RN Mastery
Passing your NCLEX is obviously the most important part of your nursing journey, and of course, there’s an app for that. NCLEX RN Mastery’s app download is free, but you will need to pay $29.99 for the full upgrade, which has the potential to be the best $29.99 you have spent. The app’s page states that the app offers over 1,800 practice questions, as well as quizzes, nursing mnemonics, and strategies that are based on previous NCLEX exams. Both professors and nursing students have contributed to this app. You can also practice anywhere, even without a network connection. There are many tools to assist you with your studying, such as a percentage of “select all that apply” questions, pharmacology questions, a timer for quiz questions, lab values and even statistics to show what your strongest–and weakest–topics are. With the newest update, they added an account feature, so that you can sync the app over multiple devices. The user interface is very modern and easy to use. The preview offers 162 questions, and a handful of mnemonics. If you buy the upgrade and aren’t satisfied, they have a 14-day money back guarantee. And if you don’t pass your NCLEX? Double your money back. If you’ve already passed your boards, this app can still benefit you: the quizzes may help keep you up to date on facts and procedures that you don’t see a lot of in the clinical setting. If you’re not ready to take your boards yet, this may help with your ATI testing.
Also, if you’re in PN school, they offer another app, specifically for you! The interface and preview are the same, and so is the upgrade price.
Sometimes, nurses need support from other nurses, and that’s where Code Happy comes into play. This app, created by the folks over at Scrubs Magazine, is a great way to connect with other nurses to trade shifts, offer support, and more. You can add nurses to your very own support circle by their email address, specialty, nickname, or workplace. Whenever you need support, you call a “Code Happy,” which notifies your support circle–and, if you so desire, other nurses. If a friend calls a Code Happy, you can send them a “Happygram” with a custom message and over 300 animated cartoons. The home screen consists of bubbles that represent your support circle (the larger bubbles) and other nurses who aren’t in your circle yet (the smaller bubbles). You can tap the bubble to read about that nurse. If a particular nurse works in the same facility as you, you can trade shifts via the Code Happy app. The app also includes other things to help brighten your day, such as jokes, great deals for nurses, and more.
There are a ton of nursing-related apps on the market, that can help with so many tasks. My Duty is a calendar app that you can use synchronize your department’s work schedules. If you’re the scheduling coordinator, check it out! If you’d rather not carry the heavy print copy of the Nursing Drug Handbook around, then check out the app. Just so you know, it does require payment for the whole app. Figure 1 is an excellent source for medical images and learning about new specialties. There’s an app for almost everything out there, so don’t be afraid to search the app store!