The Best Nursing Apps

Nursing apps can be a powerful tool for students and professionals. Some of the most helpful and powerful apps for nurses reference valuable information on the go, such as dosage calculations and anatomy and physiology questions.

Smartphone usage should not encompass private patient information, however. Nurses using apps in this way could be violating federal laws, hospital security policies and the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Code of Ethics. Nurses should not keep any sensitive data on their smartphone unless it is allowed by their employer.

The Best Nursing Apps

Nurses should consider the following apps to use as a resource in the classroom or for practice:

Pocket Anatomy

$19.99, iOS

Pocket Anatomy features 3-D images and videos of medically accurate female and male anatomical content. Nurses can search through thousands of anatomical structures and systems including layers of the cranial system, internal organs and the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems.

The app has added the Blausen Animations Library, which includes more than 1,000 award-winning animations that detail anatomy, physiology, conditions and procedures. Other features include multiple types of quizzes and the ability to add notes within the app.


Free, iOS

iPharmacy can identify pills and includes 10,000 pill and package images. Named “Best App for Prescription Reference” in the book Best iPhone Apps (2nd edition) from O’Reilly Media, it offers medication guidance for more than 20,000 FDA-approved drugs.

iPharmacy is one of the most popular medical apps for professionals as well as consumers because they can take advantage of features like medication reminders, a nearby pharmacy locator, prescription discount cards and weekly deals from local pharmacies.

MedPage Today

Free, iOS and Android

MedPage Today provides access to breaking medical news and reference information. Nurses can select from more than 30 specialties to monitor, receive live conference coverage and access free CME (continuing medical education) and CE (continuing education) credits.


$1.99 for iOS

Eponyms is an app that defines more than 1,700 eponyms in 28 searchable categories. It provides a brief description and links to Google and Wikipedia for each eponym, a term used in medicine that is named after people. For instance, Rovsing’s sign and Virchow’s node are eponyms.

CDC Vaccine Schedules

Free, iOS and Android

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the CDC Vaccine Schedules app for healthcare professionals who are recommending and administering vaccines to children, adolescents and adults. It provides schedules for all age groups on immunizations and vaccines, as well as a contraindications and precautions table.

Nursing Central

$179.95 for a 1-year subscription, iOS and Android

Nursing Central features disease, drug and test information for nurses. It has a dictionary, literature searching and a study system. The app includes the following books:

  • Davis’s Drug Guide with more than 5,000 generic and trade name drugs
  • Taber’s Medical Dictionary with more than 65,000 entries
  • Davis’s Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with explanations of common diagnostic tests
  • Diseases and Disorders with coverage of more than 250 medical conditions

A subscription provides mobile and web access to these and other resources.


Free, or $174.99 for a 1-year subscription, iOS and Android

Epocrates provides a directory of drug prescribing and safety information, interaction checks, calculators and more. The Epocrates+ version, available for a yearly subscription of $174.99, offers disease information, alternative medicine, infectious disease treatment, labs and ICD-10 and CPT codes. The app has also ranked on the DRG “Taking the Pulse” ® U.S. Physicians Survey as the No. 1 Medical App for 2010-2017.

Medscape App

Free, iOS and Android

The Medscape App offers a Pill Identifier tool to help nurses visually identify drugs, OTCs and supplements. The application also allows nurses to access the most up-to-date prescribing and safety information, as well as vital information for patient care through a clinical reference database.


Free, iOS and Android

NurseGrid allows nurses to sync months of shifts into the calendar in seconds. Nurses can also sync their personal calendars into the app, allowing them to balance their busy schedules. Through NurseGrid, nurses can collaborate with colleagues to determine which shifts they are working and who can swap shifts. The app also features the ability to can keep track of credentials and receive notifications if they’re expiring.

Creating More Nurse Leaders

The right tools can help skilled and knowledgeable nursing leaders play a pivotal role in improving patient care. However, more leadership in nursing is needed to meet the ANA’s goal of advancing health and leading change. These nurses can oversee nursing staff members, helping and mentoring them along the way.

Alvernia University’s online RN to BSN program helps nurses enhance their careers and pursue leadership positions. In a flexible and convenient online environment, the program allows nurses to reach their goals while maintaining their current work and personal schedules.

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