Studying to become a nurse practitioner and treating patients has changed quite a bit over the last 10+ years. You’re probably not handwriting notes from class or patient encounters anymore (unless the internet is down, ugh). And lucky for you, smartphones and computers offer easy access to all the information you need. We’ve scoured social media groups and the internet to compile this list of must-have apps for anyone in our profession. Have another app you love that we haven’t listed? We want to hear about it. Leave us a comment or shoot us an email.
Billed as your “online writing assistant,” Grammarly is the one app on this list everyone needs to download. The free version highlights potentially misspelled words as well as grammar mistakes. It’s your very own editor in your back pocket. Need a little more help with your papers or notes? For a very reasonable price, Grammarly’s paid version offers more detailed suggestion and can check your work for plagiarism.
Imagine having access to the world’s leading physicians at your fingertips. UpToDate “delivers the evidence powered by clinical expertise from the world’s leading physicians.” The program is available through the internet on your desktop or laptop or as a mobile app on your smartphone or tablet. You can purchase an individual subscription or clinics and hospital groups may purchase subscriptions for their entire staff. As treatments and technology change, clinicians need access to evidence-based resources at their fingertips. You’ll find what you need on UpToDate whether you’re researching in your office, in the hallway between patients, or at home after hours.
We’ve all had that patient, the one with a half-dozen drug allergies and a list of current medications even longer. How will the medication you normally prescribe for a UTI or staph infection interact with their current medication list? Epocrates is there to help. This app allows you to compare interactions with up to 30 medications at a time plus see whether or not your patient's insurance will cover the medication and determine dosing instructions.
Family Practice Notebook
Family practice covers a lot of ground. Clinicians in this realm diagnose and treat a little bit of everything. FPNotebook, a rapid point-of-care medical reference, gives you access to medical books focused on the topics and details you need for easy access. It even includes images you can use to prepare for procedures or for patient demonstrations.
Developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to support the independent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), this app assists primary care clinicians in choosing the screening, counseling, and preventive medication services that are appropriate for their patients. Reviewers say the app “puts evidenced based recommendations literally in the hands of clinicians that they can use as they see patients throughout the day.”
Your clinic, like many others, includes x-ray, but no on-site radiologist. Sublux makes “X-rays accessible for all medical providers -- not just radiologists.” Reviewers recommend this app for all nurse practitioner and medical students. The app not only teaches the basics of plain radiography, it also includes evidence based treatments.
Is your patient at risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD)? With this risk estimator, you can estimate your patient’s risk and develop a customized plan to lower that risk all from your device.
If you haven’t maxed out your phone or tablet’s memory with all these apps, stay tuned, we’re just getting started. Technology means you don’t have to spend hours searching for diagnosis options or treatment plans. You and your patients benefit from information at your fingertips. All these apps are helpful for general practice clinicians as well as specialists, but it’s not exhaustive. We’ll be adding more posts about apps for speciality clinicians over the next few weeks. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updated information from our blog and for updated lists of available NP preceptors.
As a longtime NP with a desire to help and make positive changes to her beloved profession, Lynn often writes opinion pieces about the NP profession.
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