When I was a nurse practitioner student we were all required to purchase a palm pilot (remember those?!) in order to have quick access to the prescription drug database epocrates.  The palm pilot was bulky, slow, difficult to use and mine was somehow always low on batteries.  Fortunately for nurse practitioners and nurse practitioner students today there are an endless number of helpful apps you can download directly to your phone.  Which apps are the most helpful for nurse practitioners?  Here are our top picks (in no particular order).

1. Lab Values Pro

Lab Values pro quickly and easily shows you normal ranges for lab values and describes what and how each lab value is measured.  Labs are organized by body system making the app very userfriendly.  This app can be purchased for $2.99.



2. SafeDose

SafeDose allows you to select the pediatric drug you would like to prescribe, enter the patients weight and the drug dosing and instructions are immediately calculated for you.  SafeDose can be downloaded free.  SafeDosePro is also available for $19.99.



3. NEJM This Week

This app, put out by the New England Journal of Medicine shows weekly medical articles, images and short video clips.  It is a great way to stay up to date on new research and learn more about medicine without having to thumb through a medical journal.  The application is very userfriendly and can be downloaded free.


4. Micromedex Drug Information

I have found Micromedex to be faster and more userfriendly than epocrates (a competing drug database).  Micromedex allows you to quickly select the name if a drug then allows you to easily find safety information, mechanism of action and dosing information for each drug.  Very useful in the clinical setting.  Micromedex is available free.


5. Visual Dx

Visual Dx is helpful for rashes which can be difficult to diagnose. The free app allows you to either enter a patient’s symptoms and then will suggest possible diagnoses.  Alternatively, you can search by disease and the app provides images that correlate with each diagnosis.



6. Medscape

Medscape is an excellent reference tool for new nurse practitioners.  It is like having a textbook in your pocket.  With the free Medscape app, you can search hundreds of medical conditions by body system a instantly get an overview of the disease, clinical presentation, differential diagnoses, workup, treatment and management. 


7. Skeletal 3D

Skeletal 3D by Real bodywork allows you to view diagrams of the bones of the body as well as interactive, labeled 3D images.  The free app works as a reference for yourself but is also great for use as a visual aid when explaining orthopedic medical conditions to patients.


8.Organs 3D

Also by Real bodywork, this free app provides labeled diagrams of the body’s organ systems along with 3D images of organs.  Works well as a reference or as a visual aid for patients.




All of these apps can be downloaded to your iphone or ipad for under $3 and will be helpful in your studies, your clinical expereinces and in your first years of practice.  Feel free to share your favorite apps in the comments section below.


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