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Student advice

Useful apps for student nurses

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Trisha uncovered the world of nursing apps during her course and found them invaluable for helping her through.

Since starting my nurse training, I’ve found it far from slow-paced, but smartphone apps have helped me to stay organised, given me easy access to unlimited research, and helped me stay current on trending medical news and quickly reference medical information.

I found them so helpful myself that I wanted to share my recommendations with the student nurse community.

Mini Nurse Lite - This free app offers excellent information for nursing students, including nursing skills, IV rates, and medication dosages.

Nursing best practices app - Knowing best practices at a moment’s notice is a handy talent to have, and this app simplifies that, putting nursing best practices at the tip of your fingertips.

Informed RN Pocket Guide / Informed Emergency & Critical Care Pocket Guide: In a critical situation, seconds can count, and for a new nurse, this app can provide a quick answer for a question during medical emergencies.

Bio Dictionary: For nursing students or even someone who’s been nursing for years, this app includes most general biological terms and offers two search methods. Terms and their explanations are even presented audibly, which is nice when you have your hands full with a patient!

Davis Mobile NCLEX-RN Med-Surg: This is an ideal app for nursing students on the go. It gives you questions to answer wherever you are, whenever you’re ready to study.

Instant ECG: With more than 90 images of ECGs, this app is an excellent addition to any nurse’s bag of tricks, especially the telemetry nurse who spends a significant amount of time interpreting rhythms. This handy Electrocardiogram Rhythms Interpretation Guide offers quick reference as well as useful studying, so that when the moment is critical, you’ll have the knowledge you need.

Critical Care ACLS Guide: Nurses in ICU might find this app useful for laying out the ACLS algorithms, as well as good information about the rule of 9s for burns, chest X-ray interpretation and 12-lead ECG interpretation.

Pocket Body: Half of the battle of nursing or medical school is memorising the names of each bone and muscle in the human body. This app breaks down that process, making study time easier and available on the go!

The Color Atlas of Family Medicine: While this app is on the pricier side, it offers beautiful full-color pictures that illustrate common ailments, such as rashes or skin conditions.


Mobile technology is providing nurses and student nurses with more methods of research and study than ever before. Not only can they help you with research, organisation or studying, they might even help to save a life.


Trisha Vivona is a student nurse at Concordia Univeristy, Nebraska

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Katie Sutton

    I'd like to add a few to this! They aren't nursing specific (mostly) but they've still been really good for me so far.

    ATracker - helps you track how much time you're spending on study vs work vs play, useful to reassure yourself that you're doing enough!

    Evernote - keep your lecture notes handy! The app and some storage/bandwidth is free, and you can pay extra if you find you need it, to get bonus features like offline notes.

    BNF - if you have an NHS Athens account, you can have a copy of the BNF (aka the Medication Bible) on your phone. Brilliant - but takes a while to download!

    UniGrade - studying hard towards your First? This helps you keep on track and tells you what grades you need to aim for to maintain your average. (UK specific.)

    StudyBlue - make your own flashcards for revision, and share them with other people on your course and around the world. I found these really useful when I was revising A&P!

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