It’s the end of the year. And here are our picks for the best medical apps for nurses in no particular order.

Stroke Certified RN Test Prep

Nurses benefit from having a strong foundation of stroke knowledge at any level of care — just like nurses everywhere strengthen their practice by having basic and advanced life support certifications. Time is of the essence in both cases. The Stroke Certified RN Test Prep was created by Higher Learning Technology Corporation to help prepare nurses to earn their Stroke Care Certification. The limited version is free — an in-app purchase of the premium version opens nearly 300 practice questions with rationales. Glossaries, medications, case studies, and National Stroke Care Guidelines are also provided in the app. By reviewing the guidelines and case studies provided here, nurses can strengthen themselves and their teams. Additionally, this app provides a great review for employer-mandated certifications.

Planned Parenthood Direct

Patients generally do not come to the emergency room primarily seeking birth control, but the topic arises very frequently, as does the lack of a primary care provider. Nurses now have the power to almost immediately connect them with a provider who can prescribe birth control. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America is now offering some prescription services and scheduling through their app — Planned Parenthood Direct. Users can request a prescription for birth control that can be auto-refilled for up to one year plus free shipping. Prescriptions for urinary tract infection treatment can also be ordered and picked up at a local pharmacy in as little as two hours with no exam required. The app also provides “straight answers” about many birth control options. Planned Parenthood Direct is available on Google Play and in The App Store. 

Advance Care Planning

Mortality, especially that of children, is not a well-covered topic in most nursing programs. Thankfully, the tools nurses need to initiate compassionate and productive conversations are becoming readily available. One such example is The Advance Care Planning app. The app provides a framework of discussion to those caring for children with life-limiting conditions. It outlines an approach to decision-making that can aid families when deciding what interventions align with their preferences and goals. Designed for providers, the authors even included recommended phraseology when speaking with families and children. The app also includes suggestive clinical triggers and illustrative case examples.

Corrie

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. Nurses are well-suited to provide patient and family education that could help prevent a fatal cardiac event. Sharing this app with patients who are at risk, as well as those who are being discharged from cardiac units, will provide continuing education for those who need it most. Corrie was built by a multi-disciplinary team at Johns Hopkins for individuals recovering from a heart attack. The app’s name is derived from the Latin word for heart: cor. It can be accessed by patients seen anywhere, not just those seen by providers at Johns Hopkins. Engaging content can be shared with patients, families, and caregivers, even before discharge from the hospital. Users can learn to track activities and vital signs, becoming more in tune with their recovering body. The section “My ABCs” contains engaging videos and easy-to-read summaries on important cardiology topics such as preventing future cardiac events. Diet, medications, exercise, and smoking cessation are also covered. The app offers quick access to critical information such as medical cards (e.g., device cards, insurance cards). An individual’s healthcare team’s contact information can also be saved on the app. The app is available for Android and iOS devices.

HAMILTON-C6 Simulation

How enriching would it be for nurses-in-training to be able to play with a ventilator? To change the settings and watch the dynamics of the machine facilitate change in a patient – without the risk of harm to a patient. To see how the numbers on the screen translate to metabolic effects in the body – and in real time. The HAMILTON-C6 critical care ventilator simulation app provides a fully simulated ventilator, including all standard controls, alarms, and ventilation modes. Nurses can experiment and learn firsthand how the settings can modulate patient condition. Monitoring values are displayed in real time with an adjustable physiological patient model. Educators and students can study, collect data, and then select interventions for patients who are breathing normally or experiencing COPD or ARDS. Data curves and parameters, including transpulmonary pressure, create an excellent visual for teaching, especially on the iPad.