Attention Nurses and Nursing Students: The 5 Apps You’re Not Using (But Should Be!)

Whether you are nursing student, a new nurse, or a veteran nurse, there is always more that you can learn, and tools to help you keep your skills sharp. We traveled from app store to app store and hung ten surfing the web to bring you these hidden gems that are must-have for nurses or nursing students. From general information to medical translations to continuing education and professional development, we’re sure one of these apps will have you covered.

Human Anatomy Atlas

(iOS, Android: $24.99)

The Human Anatomy Atlas, by Visible Body, is the best-selling, most anatomically accurate 3D atlas of the human body. This app shows over 5,000 structures of the male and female bodies including the structure name Latin name, anatomical grouping, definitions, and descriptions of common injuries, diseases, and pathologies.

human anatomy atlas app 3d presentation screenshothuman anatomy atlas app 3d eye screenshothuman anatomy atlas app 3d hand screenshot

Images courtesy of the App Store

This app is obviously great for nursing students needing to learn all the anatomy of the body, but Human Anatomy Atlas offers nurses far more than just an overview of body anatomy, like being able to create your own 3D presentation, which makes for a great patient education tool. The following video tutorial gives a fantastic example of the app capabilities.

Pros Cons
Vibrant 3D pictures of body structures Cannot export a drawing
Create 3D presentation Only one color and thickness for drawings
Ability to draw on body and ligaments Not all features/body structures unlocked (in-app purchases)
In-depth, concise information about specific body parts
Audio (and written) definitions
Export picture


(iOS, Android: Free, Epocrates Plus for $174.99/year)

In the United States, 1 out of 2 physicians use the Epocrates point of care medical app to make sure their patients get the best care. Over 1 million healthcare providers use the awarded app to support their clinical decisions. There is a free version available with limited, but worthy features, and you can get Epocrates Plus at a cost of $174.99 per year.

The drug information tool included in the free app provides adult and pediatric dosing information, black box warnings, adverse reaction information, and drug interaction information. You can check for harmful drug interactions between up to 30 different brand name, generic, or over-the-counter drugs. Beyond the drug interaction tool, you can also identify pills based on imprint codes or physical characteristics. Results will include images that can be enlarged with a tap.

Epocrates app drug main screen screenshot Epocrates app drug interation checker screenshot Epocrates app pill ID screenshot
Images courtesy of the App Store

Also available in the free version is athenaText, which enables healthcare professionals to collaborate conveniently through HIPAA compliant text messaging.

The plus version does unlock many more features including clinical guidelines, ICD-10 code search, alternative medicine information, and disease information. The paid version also includes information about infectious disease treatment, and also lab and diagnostic information. While you can buy the plus version individually, for medical schools or institutions that want all of their healthcare providers on the premium clinical plan, there are discounted group rates.

Pros Cons
Ease of use, quick navigation Pricing
HIPAA-compliant text messaging Does not have information about as many rare diseases as other apps
Group/institution discount pricing
Information about alternative medicine, herbal supplements

Nursing Central

(iOS, Android: Free download, subscription required)

The Nursing Central app, crafted by Unbound Medicine, was created to be a premiere source for nurses and nursing students to find information regarding diseases, drugs, tests and procedures.

Nursing Central combines 5 different best-selling nursing applications into one:

Davis’s Drug Guide: Information regarding dosing, interactions, and patient education for over 5,000 medications

Taber’s Medical Dictionary: Definitions of over 65,000 medical terms including images, videos, and audio pronunciation

Davis’s Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests: Gives access to rationale and results for tests and procedures, as well as pretest requirements, and post-test patient care.

Diseases and Disorders: Provides coverage and information regarding over 250 different medical conditions

MEDLINE Journals/MEDLINE Search: Provides access to more than 22 million MEDLINE/PubMed journal citations and abstracts right on your mobile device. You can link directly to full texts and share articles via email or social media.

While you can purchase all of these apps separately, subscribing via the Nursing Central app saves you a couple bucks and comes in at a total of $169.99 for the first year, and $99.99 per year after.



(iOS: Free)

MediBabble is a free professional-grade medical translation tool. This app helps to improve the safety and overall care for non-English speaking patients. The app comes preloaded with Spanish but also has French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, German and Haitian Creole as free downloadable options within the app.  MediBabble believes in the profound impact an app like this could have, which is why they think it is too important to sell, but they do accept donations.

medibabble app main page screenshot medibabble app physical exam page screenshot medibabble app language picker screenshot

Images courtesy of

The app has been tested in university and hospital settings, including emergency departments, inpatient wards, intensive care units, and perioperative environments. For non-English speaking hearing-impaired patients, turning the phone to landscape mode will show a large text-version of your selected phrase. When you are done interviewing your patient, there is a way to review up to the last 50 questions that you asked.

Other features are that once it is downloaded, you do not need an internet connection to access translations, and all content is written and reviewed by a panel of physicians. Each phrase is also closely reviewed by at least two medically trained native speakers for accuracy, cultural appropriateness, and accessibility.

This app is perfect for nurses, especially traveling nurses who may visit areas with less English speakers, who want to make sure they are providing the best quality of care to non-English speakers.

Pros Cons
Medically focused translation app Takes up large amounts of space on your phone
Variety of languages
Large type for hard of hearing
Offline access
Pronunciation of phrases available
Phrases reviewed by medically trained native-speakers



(iOS, Android: Free)

The Medscape app was created by WebMD to provide a comprehensive set of tools to support clinicians and other healthcare professionals in decision-making support at the point of care, medical news and perspectives from healthcare thought leaders, and CME courses. Recently, a new feature, Medscape Consult, was launched and allows physicians to ask clinical questions, share images and discuss challenging or interesting cases.

With the Medscape app, you can look up drug information including prescribing and safety information, drug ID look up, and drug interaction checker. There are nearly 130 different medical calculators, and a procedure reference tool with instructions for over 1,000 clinical procedures, complete with videos. Search the MEDLINE database for journal articles or read the latest news with Medscape News.

medscape app point of care screenshot medscape app virtual consult screenshot medscape app drug dosage screenshot
Images courtesy of the App Store

Medscape is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation, and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.  Medscape provides physician, nursing, and pharmacy continuing education credits to help professional development. This app will allow you to complete courses and monitor credits to fulfill licensure requirements.

Other features include offline access, a medical directory with over 460,000 physicians, pharmacies and hospitals, and the ability to save and share articles.

Pros Cons
Extensive article collection and over 4,000 in-depth clinical references
Contains rare and obscure disease information
Offline access
Continuing education credits (accredited)
Physician/pharmacy/hospital directory

Author: Travel Nurse Source

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