11 Must-Have Productivity Tools for Nurses
Nurses value productivity and efficiency. While some nurses get along just fine with pen and paper, many nurses rely on apps and technology.
Let’s explore twelve tools that some nurses will love.
Evernote: Evernote allows you to save bookmarks and web “clippings” on your desktop computer, Android, or iOS device. The mobile and desktop apps sync automatically, and users can share clippings with one another. With Evernote, you don’t need to remember what web browser a bookmark was saved on -- instead, notes are saved in “notebooks” and tags make cross-referencing easy.
iAnnotate: iAnnotate is a mobile app currently for iOS only. It allows the user to mark up and highlight any PDF, document, PowerPoint presentation, spreadsheet, or image. This can be useful for nurse journal clubs or research and can be handy for nurse educators and others who review large amounts of complex information.
UpToDate: UpToDate is a mobile app that provides access to reliable, peer-reviewed information on all internal medicine subspecialties, as well as primary care, pediatrics, OB/GYN, and general surgery. It also includes more than 1,000 patient education articles, more than 150 medical calculators, and monographs for over 5,000 drugs.
Medscape: Many nurses and non-nurses swear by the Medscape app. Like UpToDate, Medscape provides peer-reviewed, reliable information.
Hospital reviews: Nurses’ opinions matter. Nurse.org provides over 37,000 reviews of hospitals written by nurses, for nurses. Finding a great employer is key to a satisfying nursing career.
Drug reference apps: A medication app is gold for a busy nurse, and there are many to choose from. Mosby’s is a common choice, although others are comparable. If you’re not using ePocrates (#10) or UpToDate (#3), a drug reference is a great app.
Nursing job boards: When you’re looking for a new nursing position, there are plenty of ways to search. For many nurses, a nursing job board is a practical way to filter searches by location or specialty in a user-friendly format.
Feedly: Feed.ly is a popular content curation tool. Your feeds are custom-tailored for the content you really want. For following nursing specialties or breaking healthcare news, tech-savvy nurses love this app.
Google Scholar: Google Scholar is the perfect place to begin a broad search on a clinical topic. When preparing for a committee meeting or doing research for your MSN thesis, Google Scholar points you in the right direction.
ePocrates: Back in the days of Palm Pilots and Blackberries, ePocrates was the go-to resource for tech-savvy medical providers and nurses who were early adopters of pre-smartphone devices. While other apps crowd the marketplace, ePocrates is still handy for basic searches.
PubMed: Google Scholar, UpToDate, ePocrates, and drug reference apps will generally get you where you want to go, but some clinicians know that PubMed is the top of the line. Created and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a PubMed subscription costs money, and some institutions may have subscriptions that employees can access.
Remember that when you work for a forward-thinking and progressive facility, you may have access to the facility’s corporate subscriptions to paid resources and apps like PubMed, UptoDate, and ePocrates.
The world increasingly runs on apps, and healthcare is no exception. With app development going through the digital roof, savvy nurses are focusing on learning how to use these tools. Apps are here to stay, so integrating your favorites into your workflow is smart for your efficiency and productivity.
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Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC is a Board-Certified Nurse Coach, award-winning blogger, nurse podcaster, speaker, and author. Based in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Nurse Keith’s work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications.
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