Useful Apps. Should I spend $200?


You may have heard word about the $200 smartphone app that was considered a requirement for the nursing program. It’s called Skyscape. I have that app & I actually do like it, using it for care plans & during clinicals to look up medications & interventions. It comes with several categories: IV medications, Med-Surg Nursing, Mosby’s Dx & Lab Test Reference, Mosby’s Nursing Drug Reference, Mosby’s Pocket Dictionary, MosbyLab, Nursing Dx Handbook, Outlines in Clinical Medicine & RxDrugs. However, there are other apps that were recommended to me that I found to be pretty helpful.

I. Medscape – Medscape offers a variety of functions including: drug referencing, drug interaction checker, diseases & conditions, procedures reference, tables/protocols, daily medical news, hospital directories & continuing medical education activites. This is my favorite of the free apps. It’s very comprehensive & I would say it is almost just as good as the Skyscape app. You are required to make an account to sign into the app.

II. WebMD – This goes along with the same network as Medscape. It provides tools such as Symptom Checker, Drugs, First Aid Essentials & Local Health Listings.

III. NCLEX – This is a great NCLEX-RN quiz card game to use during your free time. It comes with rationales & covers a variety of nursing topics from Basic Care to Management. This app is designed to help you pass the NCLEX. I would suggest getting this as a review once your first semester is over.

IV. VitalSource Bookshelf – This app is simply for storing your nursing textbook & read them on the go.

V. Micromedex Drug Information – I haven’t used this one much, I just downloaded it for the fun of it. It’s simply another drug reference. It covers generic vs trade names, dosages throughout the lifespan, contra/indications, ADEs, pregnancy categories, pharmacokinetics, etc.

VI. 3M Littmann SoundBuilder – This is a very fun, interactive app. I find it very useful for Assessment. It’s designed to help you refine your auscultation skills for key heart sounds. It covers normal vs abnormal heart sounds & goes into detail under each type of heart sounds.

VII. iPharmacy – This is another drug reference, but it includes actual pictures of the pills & packages of about 12,000 drugs. This is helpful for the visual type of person.

The best part about these? They’re free! Consider playing around with these before buying the Skycape app. I personally like it & have found it very useful, but for those trying to save on money, I feel these will be just as sufficient.

FYI: If you do buy the skyscape app, there will be some text/books from the package in there already: Mosby’s Dictionary, Nursing Diagnosis Handbook, 2011 Drug Reference & (later on) Lab & Dx Test Reference for J1/S1. So I would advise if you consider buying the app, do some research to purchase the other textbooks at lower costs (you’ll still need to buy the Evolve codes & Assessment lab manual). If you choose to buy the package, then forget the app & download the above free ones.


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